Dandelion Jelly

My family and close friends suggested I start a blog after reading my day (May 3 2017). 

   Today I did something I thought I would never do.  After many gloomy, rainy days (I think I saw Noah’s ark pass by here yesterday) the sun is out and shining brightly today.  I saw some dandelions in the yard and near the woods and thought of an article I had read on dandelion jelly.  Yes, today I picked dandelions … on purpose … for fun!  In a million or so years you could have never made me think I would pick and enjoy picking dandelions.  I did it as a kid. Smeared them on my siblings, pop the heads off them (momma had a baby and her head popped off), etc.  Now is different. I’m was too busy to even take a second to glance at them.

   I have struggled for years with not being able to truly enjoy downtime. Oh, I have fun, but I never can truly just stop and not be thinking of other things I need to do. My job, things around the house are always haunting my thoughts. It seems I am chasing the clock, trying to hurry up so I can move on to the next project or whatever.  I haven’t had to punch a clock in the past twenty three years but somehow I always feel I need to push forward and keep moving. I’ve even expressed this to Andie, the Love of my Life. 

   God has decided to help me slow down. Against my will He has decided I needed a break from driving, the bustle of busy days, four hour sleep nights, constantly thinking and worrying about work, phone calls and the list goes on.  I am dealing with some medical issues that hopefully get resolved soon by the way.  In the interim, I am “stuck” at home unless my wife, one of the kids or a buddy takes me for some time away from home.  At first I was so upset.  I drive hundreds of miles every week and have never had to be restrained to home. I love my home. I love the beautiful yard, the animals, the creek and pond, trees and everything else God has blessed us with.  I just don’t enjoy the idea of not being able to leave whenever I feel like it and go wherever I want to go.  Well, I have had to get “used to it”.  I feel I have come along with not having “wheels”.  I am alright with it.  The beating the clock has been the biggest and hardest “opportunity” for me.

   Today, I decided to pick dandelions.  My first thought after bending down was this is dumb.  However, I was interested in trying the jelly so I pressed forward.  The recipe states you have to remove all the green from the tops so it is not bitter. Now this is time consuming.  I took a bowl and walked around picking yellow heads off the stems. Let me tell you, time consuming.  After the first couple minutes and looking into the bottom of the bowl, I came to the conclusion that dandelion jelly is not everywhere because you have to be crazy to take the time to pick twenty eight million dandelions!

   It was during this picking that I started to really notice the plant. It was not just a weed that I hated. It actually is a pretty yellow flower that has many beautiful characteristics about it.  Some are big. Some have a more condensed center of the flower. Bees enjoy them. Lady bugs, a wasp, some freaky looking bug I can’t identify – all enjoying the food from this weed.  I started thinking of this weed as a fruit that I was harvesting.  I listened to birds chirping in the trees near by. Heard Blitzen, Lilly’s buckskin quarter horse, nibbling grass on the other side of the fence. Just plain listened. I wasn’t in a hurry. I had nowhere to go. Truly felt I was receiving a lesson in slowing down. I feel so good right now just knowing that I can slow down.  I don’t have to worry or think about forty one different ideas or thoughts at the same time.

   I guess what I am saying is slow down and enjoy what is around you.  I am going to work really hard to do this myself everyday.  Enjoy everyday – I know this is a cliche. 
   Stop and smell the roses or if you are anything like me, stop and pick a dandelion.

   Dandelions pedals are steeping and will be ready to make jelly tomorrow.  For those of you who know how bad I cook, I’m not certain this will turn out.  I am enjoying the experience anyway.  I am told it should taste like honey.  We shall see.  

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