Slice of life - No sun in Ely?

by Meg Heiman

Dear Slice of Life Lady, <BR><BR>I am 6 years old. Some of my friends and say there is no sun in Ely. Mama says, “If you see it mentioned in The Echo, it’s so.” But I have not seen the sun for a long time. Please tell me the truth: Is there sun in Ely?<BR><BR>Dear Joshua, <BR><BR>Your friends are wrong. They have been affected by the cynicism of a technical age. They do not believe except what they see on the Weather Channel. Their little minds think nothing can be which is not seen on a monitor screen. <BR><BR>All minds, Joshua, whether they be in the little heads of big people or the big heads of little people, are little. In this great northwoods of ours, we are mere insects, wood ticks, in so far as our imagination. Yet, like a wood tick, we must stretch beyond what is conceivable and fill ourselves with the red blood of hope.<BR><BR>Yes, Joshua, there is sun in Ely.<BR><BR>It exists as certainly as sand flies and mosquitoes, and you know that they abound and give your life its highest challenge in the spring. Alas! How dreary the northwoods would be without sun in Ely! It would be as dreary as if there were no fish in Basswood. <BR><BR>There would be no childlike faith then, no purpose to bait nor bug juice to make tolerable this existence. We would have no enjoyment, except in brats and beer. The eternal hope with which we make it through the seven-month winters would be extinguished. <BR><BR>Not believe in sun in Ely! You might as well not believe in Jackpine beetles. <BR><BR>You might get your mama to catch with all instruments for the eye a single sun ray, but even if she did not detect that single ray shining down, what would that prove? Perhaps nobody has seen sun in Ely these past 60 days of spring, but that is no sign that there is no sun. <BR><BR>Did you ever see a sand fly bite you? Of course not, but that’s no proof that it is not there. Take note of your legs, behind your ears, the nape of your neck! Dear boy, we can believe the sun is there although we no see ’im.<BR><BR>No sun in Ely? The most real things in the world are those neither you nor I can see. Nobody can imagine all the warmth unseen and unfelt beyond the dark, dismal, drizzly clouds that hover above.<BR><BR>Indeed there is cloud-cover veiling the unseen world of the sun which neither the strongest wind nor even the feeble projections of weather forecasters could tear apart. Only faith, blind faith, can push aside that curtain of darkness and view and picture, through rose-colored glasses, the surreal beauty and glory beyond the clouds. <BR><BR>No sun in Ely? <BR><BR>Thank goodness the sun lives and lives forever, thus a thousand years from now, Joshua, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, it may at last make glad the hearts of children.<BR><BR>Merry Spring, Joshua, and a Happy Summer Solstice!!!!<BR><BR>Columnist’s note: Perhaps, in the time between print and distribution, this response to Joshua will be as meaningless as had Virginia received hers from an editor at The New York Sun (The Sun, imagine that!) the day after Christmas. Let’s hope so.<BR><BR>Lemon Sunshine Cake<BR><BR>1 1/2 c sugar <BR><BR>1/2 c oil <BR><BR>2 lemons <BR><BR>3/4 c buttermilk <BR><BR>2 c flour <BR><BR>1 t baking powder <BR><BR>1 t baking soda <BR><BR>1 t salt <BR><BR>8 egg whites<BR><BR>Lightly grease and flour 10-inch tube pan or 9x11 cake pan. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil until sugar dissolves. Add grated rind and the juice from the two lemons; add buttermilk. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a third mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Sprinkle about a third of the flour mixture on the sugar mixture; gently fold in a third of egg whites. Fold until no flour shows. Continue folding in flour and egg whites until both are gone. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in 325 oven for 40-50 minutes or until done. Cool on a wire rack. For tube pan, cool 10 minutes then loosen sides and center of cake by running a knife blade between cake and pan. Invert on a rack and cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with fresh fruit, if desired.