You Tried to Make Cranberry Sauce

You tried to make cranberry sauce.

This was one of those lines from a story that I read that really just stayed with me. I read it sometime in 2006 and I come back to that story every now and then for something to make me smile.

It’s a short story written for a Thanksgiving Day writing challenge. It’s the last line in the story and it’s the answer the girl gives the guy when he asks her why she just hugged him. Their relationship had always been somewhat antagonistic, but in this little scene, there was tenderness, understanding, and a hug. Because he tried to make cranberry sauce.

I don’t expect you all to get the story, just the message behind the story. It reminds me all the time that it’s really the small things in life that add up to make you love someone. It’s the small things in life that make up a larger whole. It’s the little effort that matters. It’s the trying that counts.

Many times you will fail. But it also reminds me that it’s good to have people in your life who won’t just see your failure, but be able to look around at the disaster in the kitchen and realize that you tried your darnedest to make cranberry sauce. And then be able to give you a hug and appreciate it.

I go back to this story at least once or twice a year and every time it makes me smile. I hope I never get to a point where I have become so jaded that someone’s effort–though disastrous–no longer matters.  Everything is made up of the little things. I notice the little things, and yes, they do count.


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