The Spice of Life

The count down has begun!

In less than two weeks we’ll be making the big move. After 26 years in the same city, we’ll be heading out for our newest frontier – North Georgia! But before we drive away there’s still a lot to do.


Most of it is done but there are a few remaining cabinets that need examination and extermination of its contents.

The spice cabinet, for example.

Today I decided to tackle it alone (with permission from my now Georgia-bound husband to do so). As I pulled out the jars and tins of spices I looked at every expiration date, most of them printed nice and clear on the packaging. No brainer. Toss those that have expired and feel a little embarrassed that on some not only have the expiration dates come and gone, but the price tags (not the bar codes) have the names of stores that have been out of business for years. I salvaged about half of what was in the cabinet with still a few that may go before the move.

As I was looking at the spices (and their expiration dates) I thought of a life lesson that I’ve needed to learn. Don’t I always?

At first I was a little timid to let go of some of those products. Some I even popped open – wafting their aromas one last time. And then I argued with myself about how useful those might be if only I could somehow salvage them and restore them to their previous usefulness. That’s when it struck me. Some of the skill sets that I possess – even those I’ve worked at for years, have simply…expired. No longer useful. They have lost their flavors.

I have written a lot of dramatic works, i.e. musicals, plays, sketches – that the church and school markets used to sprinkle lavishly onto their ministries and curriculum. But things have changed. No longer is there a high demand for such works. My default feeling is that I am not useful anymore. Extinct. Dried up. Stale. But when I found bottles in the spice rack that haven’t expired, I thought again. Not only have many of those spices not expired, some have not even been opened yet. That gave me hope.

Yes, some of my skills – even inner passions – have become passé in the present market. But maybe there are some yet to be opened, to be used as seasoning, their aromas to be shared with yet another hungry generation.

And then there are those spices that I have yet to buy…


4 thoughts on “The Spice of Life

  1. Pam Nelson

    Insightful …..profound…….hopeful. What is the old expression? I think it goes –
    the best is yet to come. xxoo

  2. Marlyn Meredith

    I enjoy your blogs. We do hope to see more of you when you get settled in Cleveland.
    Don’t ever think your talent has dried up!! I know you and Dennis, and there is so much there that you can still share.

  3. Stewart Griggs

    It is amazing how a spice can bring to life something bland, common or just simple. I can think of you and Dennis as spices that have brought to life music and writings for so many people over the years. Something special I’d say!

  4. Vivian Stephens

    You expressed well the feelings many of us at this “age” feel. I think our spice cabinets get so full that we are caught by surprise finding that until we empty the old, there is no room for fresh and new! Ah, but how refreshing and rewarding it feels to discover space for something even better. You Nan are going to find your gifts and talents shared in new ways with new people… and as you taught me, we must keep looking for new ways to tell the Story! I have no doubt that you will.


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