Archive for the ‘candy’ Tag

A Tale of Dried Cranberries   Leave a comment

Last summer, our family had the opportunity to go camping in Colorado in conjunction with a celebration near Breckenridge in honor of my parents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary.  That was a great celebration and both fun and amusing having fourteen very different people sharing one house and one (albeit large) kitchen.
So after several days of festivities with extended family, we set out again, for another week of sightseeing and camping.  Among our destinations was Rocky Mountain National Park.  The kids had never been there, and I would guess it had been almost twenty years since my husband and I had visited.  We had fond memories so were glad to go back.
On my birthday, we picked a hike in the Moraine Park Basin that looked do-able and would be enjoyable for all four of us.  It led along a creek, through woods and an amazing boulder field.  All went well, and when we reached our destination, The Pool, we all felt like that hadn’t taken long at all.  We ate lunch while listening to the roar of the circling waters of the Pool under the bridge we had just crossed.
Afterwards, I suggested that we go on and try to make it to the waterfall further up.  So far the trail had been basically level.  I felt great, despite not being in the best of health in general, but no altitude sickness or anything.  Everyone agreed and we started up the trail.
It was a lovely hike, through a burnt area with shocking pink fireweed, overlooking a rapidly tumbling creek below.  But, of course, after a while, it certainly seemed that we ought to have reached the falls by now.
My husband and son finally decided they definitely wanted to turn around, but I was determined to make the falls, which some hikers we asked said were really not that much farther.  I was just hot, tired and sweaty, so what of that?
Unfortunately, something about that last tenth of a mile did not agree with my entire body, and while we were sitting admiring the wonderful view of the waterfall, I started feeling light-headed and spacey.
I rested and drank water.  My daughter and I started back down.  Some nice gentleman offered me some of his water.  Now that I think of it, I must have looked like I needed a drink, but I didn’t want to take water from someone who was still going uphill, so I didn’t accept any.
My intention was to return to where the guys were sitting and get something to eat from the pack.  However, when the girl and I got back to that rock — they weren’t there.  Apparently they had done what we had agreed they might do and started back down; we’d catch up.
So now I had to manage without what was in the pack until I caught up.
We rested, I breathed deep.  I wasn’t really dizzy.  I just felt really weird.
If I could just have taken my next dose of medication, which was of course in the back-pack, I knew that would help.  Or a potato chip might help.
Honestly, though, chocolate was what I really wanted!  But I hadn’t brought any.
We continued down the trail.  As I kept feeling waves of weird, I put one foot in front of the next, was thankful my daughter was with me, and glad it was downhill at this point.
I prayed, “Lord, please get me off this mountain.”  This prayer was completely sincere.  I was concerned that if I fainted we’d be looking at ranger evacuation by helicopter or something crazy — and I really did not want to put my family through that, nor spend my birthday that way.
We finally caught up with the backpack and the medication.  I had my next dose, and had some potato chips thinking that carbs would help.  But I still really wished I had candy, chocolate, something with sugar in it (note to self: always take candy on hikes).
We took a rest back at the Pool, where we had lunch, and I ate a few more bites, and told my husband I needed to sit for a few minutes.  I didn’t tell him how badly I actually felt.  After a bit I felt I could go on, still wishing I had chocolate.
Imagine my amazement when I saw something I had never seen before on a trail: a spot of bright, cheerful, cranberry red.
It was a dried cranberry on the path.  I stopped and picked it up.  If it had been chocolate, or if there was any chocolate on the trail, I wouldn’t have been able to spot it in the dirt.  I brushed it off, and put it in my mouth.  My daughter chimed in, “Mom, don’t you know you shouldn’t eat things you find on the ground?”
I laughed and said, “Ah but this is an emergency.”
That cranberry tasted awfully good.  I thought to myself, what are the odds that there are any more?  Not too good I thought, but I kept looking as we hiked back toward the van.
There were two more.
By the time I swallowed the third one, I kid you not, I was feeling better.
You know how much sugar there is in those dried cranberries? Like 24 grams per 4 tablespoons. It was just what I needed, and there it was, waiting for me.

Posted February 6, 2016 by swanatbagend in prayer

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That’s What Friends Do   1 comment

We’ve really never done trick or treating.  We live in the country and never get trick or treaters, and being homeschooled we aren’t in the mainstream where other kids are talking about costumes and candy all the time.  Plus, I really did not want to get into it with my youngest being extremely susceptible to the effects of food coloring, high fructose corn syrup and too much sugar!

Not to mention the work of creating costumes–blah.

However, this year friends asked us to join them at Ridgecrest Avenue to see the amazing decorations, and my son had been doing much better dealing with the ingestion of sweets.  Despite his general dislike of being around people he doesn’t know, the draw of cool decorations and candy was too appealing–so I told the kids if they were entirely responsible for their own costumes, they could go. I would drive them there and walk up and down with them to see the sights and mingle with the throng.

Large crowds, uncontrolled situations, and Halloween have never been my cup of tea, so this was definitely putting myself out there.

The night of Halloween all started off well.  The kids had their costumes taken care of and when we arrived in the neighborhood we had no trouble finding a parking place. Waiting for our friends to arrive, those who were already there talked and laughed.

Once all gathered, smallers corralled in strollers, we made our way to the desired thoroughfare.

It was jammed with people.

So far so good–but then my son discovered the classic problem with a ghost costume (one that I had not thought to check for, since after all, the costumes were not my problem): eye hole size creates visibility problems.

Avoided a face plant but he did fall down when he tripped over sidewalk stairs he couldn’t see.

He’s back at my side after getting the candy, and somewhat tearfully says, “I think I’m done, Mom. I can’t do this.”

Internally I’m sighing and cringing, thinking, “Please Lord, let my child on the autism spectrum have a normal, positive, standard childhood experience,” while not at all sure there is a way for that to happen.

However, I have an idea that we can hold the sheet back so the eye holes are easier to see out of, with the same masking tape that has already repaired a shattered sword for one of our friends.

And, friends to the rescue.   Mom of six has, among other things, scissors and a safety pin with her…thank you Lord.

I tell my son, “I have an idea for how to modify your costume, so you can see out better.  Can I try that?”

“OK,” he accedes, and I pull the sheet off briskly, and proceed to cut the eye holes larger.  My son is ill at ease at first, as he notices that he is delaying his sister and four other children.

But, thank you Lord again, my friend tells him, “It’s all right; this is no problem.  They’ll wait for you.  That’s what friends do.”

Eye holes widened, the costume is re-applied to his head, and we safety pin it back.

“How does that seem?”


“You want to try it?  I’ll be right behind you to start out with.”

Off he goes, reassured, with his sister and friends.

They walked the entire circuit, up Ridgecrest and all the way back, and my son kept his ghost costume on until maybe the last 1/5th of the journey.  He had a wonderful time, collected a delightful amount of candy, and was so pleased with his experience and all the creepy or funny decorations.

Who knew something so blessed, friendship, could shine so brightly on a dark night?