454 Words I Wrote on April 23, 2024

Have you ever come back to something you used to do and rediscovered both the thing and a part of you you didn’t even know was missing? This has been me these past few weeks as I’ve come back to baking artisan bread, something I used to do years ago after reading an article about it in the NYT. (I can’t seem to find the original article, but HERE is the recipe, and HERE is the book. NYT seems to have updated it with a new Dutch oven technique, but I’ll stick to my original 2007 version, thank you very much.) I made bread so much in 2008. My new husband loved it. My neighbors loved it. My house smelled of freshly baked bread all the time. But then my husband got diagnosed with a gluten intolerance and I stopped baking it. Three gluten-tolerant children later, though, and the homemade bread is back in my life. I missed it. Hello crusty bread and pizza dough, it’s great to see you again. I’ve missed you. I think the thing I love about it (and sorry for going on and on about this, but it’s where I am this morning) is how absolutely dead simple and magical it is. This is a theme for me: simple things that are greater than the sum of their parts. I take it out of the oven and think “What a miracle.” Truly. 

While we’re talking about simple pleasures (I think that’s what we’re talking about. I didn’t really have an agenda when we sat down) I’d like to talk about the wonder that is the dog sitting at my feet like he is right now. Why? Just because he loves me and he’s decided this is the cozy place to be. There’s not even a blanket there, but I’m here clackity clacking on my keyboard and that’s enough for him. Thanks, Clifford. You’re the best. 

Artisan bread, the dog at your feet, a great cup of coffee. What! You’re not surprised I took a hard left on Coffee Avenue, are you? Coffee is… otherworldly. It’s always the right answer. I have a sign in my kitchen that says “Coffee and Jesus, Amen.” Spot on. What else do you need, really? Current coffee preparation is French Press. It can’t be beat in terms of simplicity and quality. It also reminds me of a few people and places, so I get to go places every morning. 

We ran out of milk this morning and my husband picked some up, just for me. He put some half-and-half in the cart too, just because. 

It’s a beautiful life if you stop to appreciate it, even just a little bit.

#WritersWrite and I write almost every day. I sometimes share my thoughts publicly in this series called “500 Words or Less” This practice allows me to explore a variety of different topics in a restrained/contained way and learn what resonates with people. I wrote it, not AI. If you share, please give proper credit. © Traci Smith, 2024. All Rights Reserved.

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