762) Life Getting Easier

By Garrison Keillor, Life Among the Lutherans, pp. 82-3

     …It’s bad luck, but nonetheless she was thinking it:  there does come a point in life where a great deal that used to be worrisome simply becomes easier.  It’s surprising how easy life can get.  I associate this with winter, when the weather gets cold and sometimes ferocious, and life inside becomes simpler and lovelier.  A man and woman look at each other across the breakfast table and realize it’s been a long time since they’ve had bad feelings about each other, these two who’ve gone through rough patches when big arguments could come up suddenly out of nowhere that left them emotionally drained and sorrowful for days, and now it feels as if they’ve turned a corner and found something easy, a simple pleasure in each other, in their domestic arrangements, in their mutual life, in lying in bed and rubbing her back.  It’s so easy when it’s easy.  You come to this time unaware of it, and gradually it dawns on you that you don’t covet anything anymore, you’re not ambitious for yourself anymore, you enjoy the success of other people and are happy for them, and you see so often how unable they are to be happy about their own success, but that’s not your problem.  You’ve come to this sweet time in life.

     She put the spaghetti in the boiling water.  She hummed:  “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear…”  It’s Grandma’s Spaghetti.  A wonderful dish for people who’ve had too much cuisine and been eating in restaurants where the waiter recites the recipe of each special dish, who’ve tried too hard to make their own noodles and do the sauce from the recipe that starts out, “Two days before, marinade the chopped livers in a half  cup of salt-free soy sauce– I prefer the kind from the northern islands, which is available in most Asian food specialty stores.”  For people who’ve been trying too hard, Grandma’s Spagetthi is a great treat.  The chopped tomatoes simmer in the chopped onion and butter– you can add garlic if you like, or not.  Or basil.  Or not.  And the spaghetti cooks.  And you take the spaghetti out of the water and put it in the sauce and moosh it around and serve it up with grated Parmesan on top and it’s good.  And easy.  “Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear…. In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.”


Proverbs 5:18  —  May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

John 14:27  —  (Jesus said), “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Isaiah 40:11  —  He tends his flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.


O Lord, whose way is perfect, help us always to trust in thy goodness; that walking with thee and following thee in all simplicity, we may possess quiet and contented minds, and may cast all our care on thee who carest for us; for Jesus’s sake.  Amen.

–Christina Rossetti  (1830-1894), British poet