31 Days of the Almost Empty Nest: Secret Ingredient

I cannot seem to get my words together today. They rise like birds from my heart and lift away, fly with the wind. Tomorrow we take Teddy back to school and I am trying not to be sentimental about it. Our time together has gone too swiftly. We won’t see him again until Thanksgiving, and all the holidays after that will loom with this joy of expectation. I know the ordinary will breathe again in between; time will stretch out without words and there will be new routines to settle into.

As I tap these words onto the screen I see how beautiful this can become, how life centered on loved ones and longing is a precious gift. I don’t know why the seasons must change for me to understand the loveliness of the now I cradle in my arms. I don’t want to forget this tender urgency, the way everything seems new.

I cannot keep him here, nor do I want to, so I spent the afternoon baking some pepperoni rolls to send with him. I’ll share this recipe later this week at Grace Table, but suffice it to say, the secret ingredient is love. It’s a sandwich immigrant miners carried with them when they descended into the dark, a savory treat that did not require refrigeration and therefore lent itself well to the lunch bucket. And it was discovered right here, in West Virginia.









So now I send it with him, not into the dark, but to a place of light, I hope. Still, it is a place of stepping into the unknown, requiring courage, and maybe a sandwich roll filled with love.

This post is part of my 31 Days of the Almost Empty Nest series. I’m writing in community with the thirty-one dayers. Women all over the world are joining together in the month of October to write every day about something they’re passionate about. Check out some of the other writers here. So much good stuff. To read my first post, with links to all the days, go here. 

Almost Empty


  1. says

    Often, when I’m experiencing something that brings me pure JOY, I pause and pray,” Lord, help me remember everything about this moment. The sights, the smells, the feelings, Your presence here with me. Everything.” I do this because I know all too well that less peaceful and perfect moments are coming and I will need His peace in those moment, too. Glad your boy is better. The holidays will come all too quickly, but oh, what a time to look forward to! Blessings.

  2. Donna C says

    Laura, your love and baking for your boy have brought up a memory. The day I left home for good, (I wasn’t just leaving home, I was leaving the cult I had been raised in, which meant I was leaving home forever) I had told my parents what I was doing, packed my backpack with essentials and came downstairs to say goodbye one last time before I walked out the door. I hugged both my parents, they asked me one more time if I wouldn’t change my mind and stay, and then as I turned to walk away, my Mum handed me a packet. She had made my favourite sandwiches for me to take with me. I carried that little bit of love out the door and into the new, exciting, scary world that was waiting. As a mother now, I can well imagine the tears and prayers she must have poured into that food.
    Thank you for reminding me of her loving gesture!


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