It's The Ingredients...And The Love!



Happy New Year to you all! Every year we host a NYE party with several of my college friends and their families. Everyone stays, no one drives home, and the frivolities are truly awesome. While getting older and having kids have toned it down a bit for us over the years, a good time is always had by all. We have a couple who drive in from Cleveland just to be part of the adventure every year. Rob and Katie are worth their weight in gold to us. They think enough of us and our silly little tradition to make the drive from Ohio to ring in the new year with us. Katie is a high school English teacher who also has a side hustle as a baker, and boy oh boy can the girl bake. This year, in addition to the batch of cookies and other sweet treats she always brings, she also made scones. Now I’m gluten free and have been for 9 years. But I’m the only one in our little ‘subtribe’ on New Years that is and let me tell you, the scones were the hit of the party. New Year’s morning Katie was talking to another guest about learning her recipe from an old gentleman when she worked at a tea shop in Cleveland years ago. I had a really great draft of an article written for this week about resolutions and fresh starts. But as I was scrambling eggs in the kitchen, I was actively eavesdropping on Katie’s story of that “wonderful old man” and his scone recipe.

“He told me, 2 things matter when making the perfect scone. The first is the ingredient list. The second is love,” Katie recounted.

“If you use the right ingredients, the best ingredients, you get great scones.” She went on to talk about pairing ingredients that compliment each other. I’m told her white chocolate and cranberry scones were the best. What a wonderful pairing indeed! As a side note, everyone loved my scrambled eggs on New Years because they were whipped and beaten to within an inch of their lives. I just stirred and stirred and whipped and whipped while she talked.

Katie went on, “But if you don’t make them with care, with love, then they won’t truly be perfect.”

Sometimes inspiration comes from a long thought of concept or idea. Sometimes inspiration comes from a documentary about a tragedy where advocating joy in hard times finds you. Sometimes it’s the times itself (the holiday season). But sometimes, if you are lucky and really paying attention, inspiration finds you. It found me in the perfect scone. A scone I couldn’t eat but it filled me like nothing I have eaten in a long time. I consider myself fortunate. I am incredibly blessed to be the self-appointed leader of our Tribe of Up. I resolve to advocate for more joy every day I am blessed to be on this Earth. I resolve to continue to be actively aware of what’s going on around me to uncover inspiration. My friends, life is a scone. If we seek the best ingredients, and mix them with love, we can be the joy that others are seeking. We can become the advocates we always wanted to be. Find the right ingredients dear friends. Find positive, uplifting messages to fill yourselves with. Live from the front. Be the type of person in our community that you want our community to be. This new year, resolve to be the best scone you can be. Thank you Katie.

Steve Gwisdalla is the Head Honcho, Director of Smiles and Happiness and Vice President of Up at Better Place Consulting, a coaching, consulting and all things people company based in Dexter. Let him know how he's doing at

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