I’ll start my writing this morning, as has been the current tradition, with a historical tidbit from the year corresponding with the number of this post, “Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Republican Pres. Herbert Hoover. The 1932 election was the first held during the Great Depression, and it represented a dramatic shift in the political alignment of the country.” In another 20 posts from now, I will have been born and soon these tidbits will be personal memories. I’m feeling a bit melancholy today with cool temperatures, gray skies, and the chance of rain. A post by one of my high school classmates yesterday is the real reason. Nearly two hundred names of deceased members of the Class of 1969 were listed. For most people, my wife included, this alarming number is much greater than the size of her entire graduating class. I added Grant Balkema and Bob Grove to the list, as other losses of life were added as the day went on. One-fifth of my fellow high school students are gone, some of which I never knew other than a picture in the annual. 

It made me think of life as a lottery, some of us luckier than others. I was fortunate in several related lotteries including adoption and the Viet Nam War. Some of these classmates lost their lives fighting for our country, while I could have ended up at any any other high school if it weren’t for the loving people that made me part of their family and raised me in Elkhart, Indiana. I might not have had a life at all if abortion had been an option. I’m certainly thankful for all I have today.

While I was contemplating life and death, the sweet smell of baked goods led me to the kitchen. My wife’s new neighborhood friend was teaching her how to make Nazook. It’s often spelled nazuk or  nazouk, Armenian Նազուկ, Persian نازوک), an Armenian pastry made from flour, butter, sugar, sour cream, yeast, vanilla extract and eggs, with a filling often made with nuts, and especially walnuts. Nazook is sometimes referred to as gata. After a few bites, my depression went away, even though my waistline was probably starting to swell. How sweet it is!