Our Stories – July Column

The poet Lemm Sissay says, “We are our story.” It’s so simple and yet so true. Each of us is walking around with a story of who we are and how we fit into the world. Although we may not realize it, this story is affecting every decision we make, how we interact with others, what we expect from the world, and what we give to those around us.

The big question is whether this story is our own or one someone assigned to us. Did we think it through or did it just develop over time with a little bit from this experience and that one, influenced by a comment here or there? For most people it’s the former, for some people it’s a mix. I don’t think it’s possible for our story to be completely our own, with no outside influence.

Do you think of yourself as good at art or cooking or jumping rope? Do you think of yourself as bad at housekeeping or running or math? How did that develop? Is it really true? It’s probably not an absolute. We humans seem to come with few of those.

Sissay says, “We are simply the story. The truth of it.” The question is if those are really our stories, or just ones we have acquired because of someone else’s actions. I came into the world being an aunt, and I love the role, but it’s not a story I wrote myself.

These are big questions to ponder when it’s too hot to do much other than think!

This month I’m sharing with you a lemon cookie recipe given to me by a lovely lady named Lydia. She volunteered for me at Radio Kansas a couple of decades ago and brought these in one day. They’re so light and perfect that I asked for the recipe and she was gracious enough to share. It’s super easy to whip some up and so quick you don’t mind doing it even in the summer. They’re perfect with a glass of the coldest ice water you can imagine. You can slip in a slice of lemon or a sprig of mint into the glass if you want something extra.

Quick Lemon Tea Cookies

¾ cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 pkgs instant lemon pudding (3 ¼ ounce each)
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
Sift together flour, soda and salt and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar. Add pudding mix and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and beat until creamy. Add flour mixture and blend well. Refrigerate dough for an hour to keep cookies from spreading too much when cooked. Form dough into balls and roll in sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake about 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees.