As the years tick by, I can say for certain that
People will get sick.
Stuff will go wrong.
Things will break.
Friendships will end.
Let’s not go on, because what I really want to focus on is the helping part of that. When someone I know and love is going through something that shakes up their normal, all I want to do is help.
That’s not even specific enough, though. What I really want to do is move in with that person and nurture them back to “normal.”
Here are some things I like to do:
Don’t wait, and don’t take no for an answer. It’s tricky to know what to say. “Let us know if there’s anything we can do,” feels vague, and you’re likely to get a vague response. But offering specifics can feel weird too, because who knows what anyone needs in a time of crisis. It is always better to ask, and soon, than to say nothing. And if you’re met with an, “Oh we’re fine,” ignore it and do something kind anyway.
Ask again. When someone is met with a challenge, that person often needs a hot second to wrap her head around what’s gone on. She might not yet know what she needs. What she needs in the moment you ask is going to be different from what she needs three weeks later. So follow up. See how she’s doing, and ask what you can do once more.
Be the casserole brigade. Unless someone has explicitly told you they have all their next meals taken care of, get in the kitchen and start cooking. I like to clear a day from my calendar and bake my face off. Faves include recipes from the backs of pasta boxes, and chili.
Pick up medicine, fold laundry, or offer to grocery shop. Think of little annoying things you hate doing, and do them for others who have enough else going on.
Make muffins, especially if there is any chance you can deliver them while still warm. These are amazing right from the oven.
To make 18, you will need:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons espresso powder
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 cup
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup cinnamon chips
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with muffin liners.
- Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and espresso powder in a bowl; set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, egg, sugar and vanilla extract using a whisk. Whisk to combine throughly.
- Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk, stirring just to combine everything evenly.
- Stir in cinnamon chips.
- Divide the muffin batter among the muffin tins.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the muffins are lightly browned and cooked all the way through. Remove muffins from oven and let cool on a baking rack.