Doing Nothing As a Philosophy of Life


About a year ago I was in a small grocery store here in Columbus, Fresh Market. I was in the produce section when I saw a credit card on the floor. First I looked around to see if anyone was nearby.  Maybe it was theirs. Or I could give it to a store worker. But I was alone in the produce section.

So I picked the card up and took it to one of the cashiers at the checkout lanes. I went back to shopping for my produce.

A few minutes later I saw a woman with the store manager pointing at me and whispering. The woman came up to me and introduced herself. She was the owner of the credit card. She thanked me. Actually, she must have said, “Thank you” two dozens times. You would have thought I found a million dollars she was so grateful.

I said, “You’re welcome. You’re welcome” The woman said words to the effect that she was grateful to me for being so honest because most people would not have turned the card in.

I responded that I thought most people would have done exactly what I had. But the woman said words to the effect not in today’s world. She said you are one-in-a-million.

We hugged each other and I thought that was the end of it. I had done my good deed for the day.

I was at the checkout lane when the lady who had lost her credit card got in line behind me. My transaction was over and she said to me, “Wait a minute.” She gave the clerk a beautiful orchid plant.

When it was rung up this lovely lady gave it to me and said thank you again for being so honest. “I hope this plant blooms many, many years for you for your kindness.”

I thanked her and we hugged again and I left the store.

Now here’s the thing.

I love orchids. They are beautiful beyond belief. But they are very hard to grow without a greenhouse. They need lots of humidity. They are tempermental too. For those reasons I had never tried to grow one.

But it was lovely and I was grateful and I took it home and put it in front of my fireplace. It thrived there until the first really cold days of late fall. Then the flowers all fell off and all I had left was green leaves and a brown stalk.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. Several friends told me that once the flowers fall off they never knew of an orchid blooming again. All they ever had after orchid flowers fell off was green leaves.

I moved the plant when winter came and I started using the fireplace. Figured it was too hot and dry for the orchid there. I continued to water it through the winter. I was going to transplant it and fertilize it but never got round to it. I also noticed one of the roots was growing out of the pot.

Anyway, long story short about two weeks ago I thought I saw something green spouting from the old stalk. I investigated and sure enough there was life there. A few days later it looked like flower buds were there.

Sure enough!

The orchid plant was re-blooming.

The Wisdom of Doing Nothing

I don’t know what I did. I did nothing really. Yet this lovely plant decided to grace me with gorgeous beauty another year.

Sometimes life is like that.

Sometimes gifts come when you least expect it. Sometimes gifts come in unlikely places and from unlikely sources. Sometimes you just have to let go and do nothing. Sometimes you just have to let life go through its own cycle.

Sometimes doing nothing may be the best philosophy.

Featured Recipe    Tangy Tomato Sauce and Spaghetti

I haven’t shared a pasta recipe with tomato sauce in quite a while. So it is time I do.

However, this is not your traditional tomato sauce.

In addition to being a meatless spaghetti sauce it is definitely a different kind of tomato sauce.  It is savory. It is tangy. I don’t know any other words to describe it.

I don’t know why this mix of ingredients is so good. But it is.

The sauce is also great over scrambled eggs, or as a substitute for taco or enchilada sauce.

I can’t remember where I got this recipe.

I know I have been making it since the 70’s when I was teaching school during the day and going to school at night. It was my ‘go to’ recipe back then. It was fast and easy plus very economical for a struggling student.

In fact so economical it is a Recession Buster Recipe.©

The longest part of this recipe is waiting for the water to come to a boil for the spaghetti. From start to finish it does not take more than 20 minutes.

There is precious little clean up too. What more can you ask for?

This $0.73 per person simple little recipe packs a taste wallop the likes of which I doubt you have ever seen or tasted before.

This is what you will need for 4 people:

½ pound of spaghetti

2 – 8 ounce cans of tomato sauce

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

Grated Parmesan cheese

Couple sprigs of parsley

Here is what you do.

Dice the parsley.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.

Place all other ingredients, except the parsley and Parmesan cheese, in a pan, mix well and heat through.

Drain the spaghetti. Arrange on serving plates and spoon sauce on top. Sprinkle with the parsley and cheese.

Serve with a salad and some bread.

Bon appétit!!!


½ pound of spaghetti                      $0.65

2 – 8 oz cans tomato sauce              $1.70

1 tablespoon butter                         $0.08

1 tbspn fresh lemon juice                 $0.18

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce              $0.04

1 teaspoon sugar                            $0.01

Grated Parmesan cheese                 $0.32

Couple sprigs of parsley                  $0.05

Total cost = $2.93
Cost per person = $0.73

Quote of the Day

Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.

Sophia Loren


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