Change is inevitable. Back at the beginning of the year, change was on my mind...only natural as the calendar flips to a new year, a new time, hopes for a new beginning. All change should be so kind, not all changes are.
In a post at the start of the year, I shared my husband's struggle with heart surgery, our wait for a heart transplant and our hopes and dreams for a beautiful 2014. Together with our daughters and grandchildren, we rode the highs and lows of that entire life-changing experience, finally with a successful(!) heart transplant on Mother's Day.
A beautiful new heart in a beautiful man who wanted nothing more than to enjoy again the simple pleasures of home and independence. And he achieved just that.
Mark grew stronger, was able to drive not just his car, but his treasured tractor (he DID have t-shirt that said, "The Lawn Ranger!). We grilled and smoked and even bought a new charcoal grill for the neighborhood get-together we were planning to thank our wonderful neighbors for all their help over 7 long months.
We got out and about and socialized with friends and family all around Pittsburgh and looked forward to ditching that 2-hour travel restriction and really getting back on the road again...Michigan to see the kids and grandkids, Maryland and the ocean, the bay and our beloved Baltimore and further still to South Carolina and long-missed family.
Then changes came 'round again. Suddenly. Quickly Mark was back in the hospital. Immunosuppressant drugs are both a miracle and a curse, the latter when infection strikes and no way to battle against it. A man who fought so bravely over so many months with such determination and an amazingly positive outlook, was felled in just a few hours.
And here I am again talking about change. And heartbreak and hope. Change, good or bad is inevitable. Change is just another part of life and life goes on, differently, but on. With sweet memories.
Triple Dilled Potato Salad
I made this variation on my standard potato salad for Mark just a couple of weeks ago. He loved it so much he asked for it again when our potato-salad-loving grandson came to visit from Michigan. Matt really likde it, too!
- 2 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes, cooked in their jackets, peeled, cut into medium dice
- 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled, cut into small dice - save one for garnish
- 1 large celery stalk, cut into small dice
- 1/2 medium onion, cut into small dice
- 1 C Vlasic Zesty Dill Spears, cut into small dice (or use your favorite dills with a nice zip to them)
- 1 T Jane's Crazy Salt
- 1/2 t dill seed
- 1/2 t celery seed
- 2 T brown mustard
- 3/4 C mayo (Hellman's, of course)
- 1 t sugar
- 1/4 C dill pickle juice from the jar - or more to taste
- 1/4 C fresh dill fronds, minced - plus extra for garnish
In a large bowl, gently mix potatoes, eggs, Jane's Crazy Salt (Yes, you can use another seasoned salt, but why? Jane's is the best!), veggies and seeds.
Mix well the mustard, mayo, sugar & juice and pour over the potato mixture. Sprinkle the fresh dill over the top and gently fold the dressing into the potato salad.
Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and garnish with a sliced egg and dill fronds. Cover & refrigerate until serving time.