My auntie, born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, got married relatively late in life to an American citizen. I was very fond of her: with no children of her own, she doted on my sister and I, even after she got married. No matter where we were living – and being a military family, we moved often – my auntie always made her way once a year or so to visit us. As my sister and I entered the preteen years, we, along with my little brother and mother, reciprocated by traveling to my uncle’s charming little hometown in New Jersey.
What I remember most about my visits to my aunt and uncle were the tree-shaded streets, the bright red cardinals, and the most delicious watermelon and tomatoes I have EVER tasted. My aunt made a lovely home and was an excellent cook. My uncle smoked a pipe, and I still remember its rich aroma. They had a happy life together, proving that love can strike even later in life.
My aunt was an excellent baker, and when she visited at Christmastime, she always brought home-baked cookies, including her famous “Kringle Cookies” (recipe below) and “Almond Crescents”. Just thinking about them gets my mouth watering! My mother carried on the tradition when it became more difficult for my aunt to travel up to Canada in the winter weather. Eventually, I baked them for my own kids.
Sadly, Alzheimer’s cut my aunt’s life short. My uncle brought her to visit my family and me (by then I was married with two boys) less than a year before she died, so at least I had a chance to see and talk to her before she passed. She kept on saying to me, “I feel like I know you, but I don’t know from where!” It was hard to see her decline, but I have a certain peace knowing that my mother guided her in re-affirming Jesus as her Lord and Savior shortly before she died.
Paralleling this relationship with my aunt and uncle, I always felt a heart connection with the people of the United States. When 9/11 happened, I mourned deeply along with all American citizens. Being a military kid, I was tremendously sorrowed at the loss of life by American soldiers in Afghanistan. When lives were cut short as a result of the Boston marathon bombing, I grieved with my US brothers and sisters. In return, as I have expanded my circle of friends in the United States through my work as a writer and musician, I have been so blessed to have many people come alongside me on behalf of my own nation in difficult times. As my country mourned the recent loss of two Canadian soldiers through isolated terrorist attacks in Quebec and Ottawa, my American friends have stood beside me, and us as a nation, in solidarity.
This holiday season, I pray that each of you experiences the true peace on earth found only through our Saviour Jesus Christ. May we continue to stand together as neighbors in times of trial. One day, we will also stand together as rejoicers, on that great day when the Lord returns.
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And here is the pdf of the recipe: dec 10
1 cup Parkay margarine (or substitute)
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped nuts
red and green decorator’s sugar
Cream margarine and sugar; blend in vanilla. Add flour and nuts; mix well. Shape level tablespoonsful of dough into balls; roll in colored sugar. Place on greased baking sheets. Bake at 300 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove immediately from baking sheets. Enjoy!
Sally Meadows is a singer/songwriter and author living in Saskatchewan, Canada. She has recently had two short stories published in two separate anthologies (#1 bestseller Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada and Organized Obstacles: An Underdog Anthology). She also has been nominated twice (2014, 2013) for Canada’s national Word Awards, category lyrics, for two of her songs “This New Year” and “Turn the Page” which are on her CDs Red & White and Turn the Page respectively. You can connect with Sally at: