Fruit of the Spirit
Mysterious Ways|Apr/May 2020
In just over two hours, I was expecting 100 people at my house for my father-in-law Larry’s seventieth birthday. I was right on schedule, putting the finishing touches on my corn casserole, when I froze. Where was the can of corn? I ran to my pantry, thinking I might have left it there. No luck.
Diane Stark

Did I buy frozen corn instead? I rushed to my freezer and rummaged through bags of icy vegetables. Nothing.

Larry’s health wasn’t great, and I really wanted to make this party special for him. I’d planned meticulously, making a list of ingredients I’d need to whip up big batches of Larry’s favorite foods—such as this corn casserole. The original recipe called for peas, but my kids hate them, so I always substituted corn. The finished product is cheesy noodles with chicken and corn, melted to perfection in the oven. I’d made it for dinner dozens of times, and since my in-laws live across the street, they often enjoyed it with us. As I stood there, staring into my corn-less freezer, I could hear Larry’s compliments about the dish. “This is delicious, and the corn really sets it off,” he would say every time. “It gives it just the right texture. It wouldn’t be the same without it!”

I glanced at the clock. No time to run to the store. I considered asking my husband, Eric, to go, but he was setting up all the folding tables and chairs. I scanned my shopping list. I hadn’t even written it down. How could I have forgotten?

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