Ego Won Out

I had every intention of reviewing for you Mary Pipher’s Women Rowing North as well as Dr. Laura Kelly and Helen Bryman Kelly’s The Healthy Bones Nutrition Plan and Cookbook. I’m in middle age, the time when body and soul begin some serious conversations. Like many in my circle, I’m facing the older woman’s dilemma  — what am I going to do about the ostepoprosis? In answer to that questoin, I planned to share with you how much I am learning from Healthy Bones. Our bodies are complex and miraculous constructions. I planned to write about bioavailability — pairing and eating nutritious foods so that once they are broken down, they can work together to help the body preserve bone.

The Kellys’ wrote their book for a woman’s body; Mary Pipher penned hers for a woman’s soul. I intended to recount stories of some of Pipher’s interviewees. These women speak frankly about growing older and have they are leaning to mind their elder years for their richness reframed bleak loneliness into enjoyable solitude and moving  through grief to wholeness once again. “My body would age. My soul would expand,” becomes truer for me month by month. I wanted to write abou that, too.

And then the library sent me a note that a book I’d ordered had arrived. That’s when ego elbowed herself to the top of the stack. Back in 2021, author Micheline Maynard interviewed me for her latest book, Satisfaction Guaranteed, How Zingermans Built a Corner Deli into a Global Food Community. I can’t wait to dive into it. It’s a biography of the celebrated deli after all. Zingerman’s is a foodies’ hero whose story parallels that of The Little Engine That Could.  But instead of starting with Part One, I turned immediately to pages 183 and 184. Some people go for dessert first; I had to see what the author had culled from my interview with her regarding Emma’s and Scott’s 2020 wedding at Zingerman’s Cornman Farms in Dexer, Michigan.

It was not the wedding we’d begun planning. In fact, as Covid progressed we weren’t sure what kind of wedding we would end up having. Zingerman’s Cornman Farms went out of their way and beyond to make the day memorable. More than memorable, epic, when you consider their November date. An outdoor wedding had not been part of the plan when we booked the date the year. Maynard described that we pruned the guest list from 90 guests to 27 and expanded dinner from a simple delicious menu to a more elaborate six-course meal. It was a kick to see Emma’s and Scott’s names in print and to read once again my heartfelt desire to stand by the venue that was standing by us in so many ways. Maynard ended with a quote I don’t even remembr saying, but it remains true today,  “It was more than lemonade [out of lemons.] It was limoncello.”

So, read Women Rowing North for your soul, Healthy Bones for your body and Satisfaction Guaranteed for the sheer delight of learning how one company’s vision and principles enabled them to grow from a college town deli to a global enterprise.


photo credits: wedding photo, Lola Grace Photography
stack of books, Debra Darvick


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