Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Granola Ladies

It's still here today, and cloudy- the kind of heavy, translucent-gray weather autumn trots out after pulling on her sweater. Inside, windows are open and there's deep, thick, honey-sounding cello music coming from the study. I hear it from the kitchen where I'm stirring batches of homemade granola.

Back when I had my bakery, granola was a top seller. There's one granola customer in particular I remember. She came in a couple of times a week wearing this shawl you could tell was handmade and carrying a dog-eared copy of someone's poetry- Dickinson's or Oliver's or Millay's. She would tuck her book under her shawl-wrapped arm and, after squinting for what seemed like ages at the huge glass jars of granola, she would always request the same thing: "blueberry and almond, 5 scoops, to go". That was it. No conversation aside from that. The poetry would stay wedged under her shawl arm while she slid cash across the counter, clutched her paper bag of granola, and left without saying another word. I always wondered about her and what sort of place she ate her 5 scoops of blueberry almond granola in.

I'm not making blueberry almond today, though. Instead I'm doing an almond and golden raisin for those who enjoy things like raisins and coconut and fruit. And I'm doing a pecan and dark chocolate kind for me, who enjoys things like dark chocolate and milk chocolate and white chocolate. Ha. Yes. We know who the healthy one is in this house.

What sort of things do you like in your granola? These are things I wonder about sometimes. To me, you're kind of like the blueberry almond lady... showing up, yet wrapped in an internet shawl and seldom saying a word. I wonder about the kind of things you like and what sort of place you're reading in. I wonder if, ever given the chance, we could sit and talk for hours about how life brought us here and what our life looks like once we leave.

But most of all, I wonder if we know how our quiet, ordinary-seeming selves impact those watching. I wonder if the blueberry almond granola lady will ever know that sometimes I made it just in case she came in that day. I wonder if she knew that sometimes I put extra scoops in her bag. And I wish I had the chance to tell you what I never told her: I'll bet you're fascinating. And I think you're more beautiful and interesting than you know. And whatever your life looks like once you leave my world, I hope you know it matters. 

I hope you know you matter.

Headed back to my still, gray day and my granola now....



Mrs. Paul said...

Oh Brin! I am probably one so guilty of this. I come to your blog so expectantly and I am never disappointed. You encourage and bless my heart. I am so happy that you are blogging regularly once again. As far as granola -no blueberries but I love anything with nuts and white chocolate is always a welcome addition :-)

Mrs. Paul said...

Guilty of reading and not commenting is what I meant - just to make myself clear.

Dani said...

Dear Brin, I`m Dani and I`m a swiss "girl"(49;-)). I`m reading your blog since years. And your blog is one of 5, I read every day in the morning with my first cup of coffee.
I love home making, cooking, reading, organic gardening, knitting and reading. We are a family of 4, husband and two sons. We also live in an old house (90 years old), a swiss chalet, that we renovated and still are renovating in some parts. I absolutely love to live in this house, it is really our dream come true.
Thanks a lot for all your inspiration you give me with your blog and I`m so interested in your entire renovation of your wonderful house.
xoxo from Switzerland

Betty said...

Granola..I like mine nutty and fruity:)
Oh yes there would be so much to learn from a heart to heart chat.
I have always enjoyed your blog Brin. You speak from the heart.

Anonymous said...

I am very guilty of reading and not commenting! I have read your blog for years, started reading right after I got married and now we have two toddlers running around.
We often entertain thoughts of leaving DFW and moving to East Texas (my parents are there, living on the family farm that they bought from my grandmother) and building a farmhouse. But it would be difficult to find IT work out there so here we stay for now. Someday I know we will find ourselves on the farm, hopefully with a big garden, chickens and goats. For now I amuse myself with square foot gardening and wondering if I could sneak some chickens in my backyard without my neighbors noticing. Maybe I could bribe them with fresh eggs?
And I like my granola with chocolate and blueberries.

SDQuilter said...

Funny, I am reading this on a gray fall morning, wrapped in a homemade shawl. I am not your poetry reader, though. I prefer David Baldacci, James Patterson (just to name a couple), and definitely nonfiction, currently 'Killing Jesus' by Bill O'Reilly. I like my granola gluten-free, organic, filled with nuts, seeds, lots of dried fruit and coconut, but I would not say no to a little chocolate. I would love to sit over a cup of tea and talk for hours with you. I find you most interesting and would peek back after you said you were giving up blogging, hoping to see something new. Thank you for that. I knit, too, mostly socks and shawls, with an errant sweater and pair of mittens thrown in. I have commented from time to time and add you to my prayers.

Durf said...

I've just started commenting regularly. I think what I love most, apart from your awesome DIY and decorating adventures, is to read about a life lived out faithfully. You never give up on God. I think it was you who said you finally understood that our purpose in life is not what we desire--to be comfortable. It's to be faithful in response to obstacles and problems, God-given or not. I don't know if I'm being clear; but I certainly agree with your spiritual viewpoint.

I live in a suburb in north central CT in a c. 1875 Victorian workingman's cottage. I love to decorate and garden. I don't cook as much as I used to. I have an ordinary job, live an ordinary life, and seek to have an extraordinary relationship with my Lord and Savior. There are not many Christians here in the Northeast anymore, so it can get lonely out there!

I'm about your mother's age but I know we could talk for hours about design, gardening, theology and life.

Deb W. said...

You struck a nerve. Granola! I always thought I was a kitchen sink kind of girl until 2 days ago when I prepared the most simple granola to serve as an oatmeal/yogurt topping for an event at church. Oats, coconut, pecans, honey, oil - that's it! So simple yet so delicious - no dried or fresh fruit to compete with the flavor and texture - no mix of nuts or seeds - here's to basic and simple. BTW, having skimmed the other comments, I find a community of readers I heartily agree with. So thankful for your openness and transparency - and especially thankful for the way your words and faith expressed minister to me - thank you.

Terri Steffes said...

What a sweet sweet post. I hope I am not the blueberry lady to you. :) I like dark chocolate and dried cherries in my granola, with sweet almond milk on top. Yum. Dessert for breakfast.

Your words, you have such a (writers) voice! I would have loved being your teacher. I was a fourth/fifth/sixth grade teacher before I was a principal. I would cradle your papers to my heart.

Have a beautiful Tuesday, which will be coming up soon!


Rebecca said...

Your evolved. Its different than it was when I first started reading your blog all those many years ago. Deep, selfless, something, I don't know, I can't describe. But, it makes me feel proud, and honored, to sit here, in this place, with you. I lost my muse a couple of years ago...but she is only sleeping.