Those soup days give us a reason to slow down


On Saturday, I made my first homemade soup of the season to greet my handsome hunter of a husband. For the record, it was venison-free. But I hear there’s still time…

While I do look ahead at our schedules to plan some special dinners or treats, I rarely have more than a general awareness of what’s in the pantry.

Typically, prepping for dinner includes homework help and using the smoke detectors as a cook-timer. And that’s okay. My boys would be happiest if every night was an easy taco night.

As I was growing up, my grandmother lived with us and frequently made the menu (and the kitchen messes). Though I can only imagine how my father must have felt about three generation of women under the same roof, the memories are mostly sweet. And supper? Delicious.

Nan determined what we were going to eat based upon the sales at the Piggly Wiggly and the weather. She’d spend the day scouring grocery advertisements and the evenings tuned into the Cats scores and the weatherman. Nan celebrated these gray November days where the sky seems lower and the clouds are more like smoke. Yellow and red leaves would blow outside as jazz music and the sounds of chopping and peeling floated from the kitchen. No rush.

“Days like this are God’s way of reminding us and the animals to slow down, and these days pair perfectly with soup,” if she said it once, she’d say it weekly…for years.

Some folks are mindful of the need to slow down and be still. My grandfather would’ve joked that Nan was overly good at this, but I appreciate her repetitive reminders and steady example. Even the busy bees slow down on soup-making days.

As the holidays approach and surely more chills blow our way, know I’ll be making hearty soups and savoring the moment.

Neena is a Kentucky wife, mother, daughter, and beekeeper who does life in Owensboro. Her first novel, The Bird and the Bees, is a Christian contemporary romance set to be released in April 2020. Visit her at


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