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Wed, Oct. 16

AROUND THE BLUMIN’ TOWN: Figuring out your purpose in life

What is your purpose? Perhaps it is the one question that we all seek to answer. What the heck am I doing here? Do I matter? Will I make a difference? There is an answer. And it is not found in great riches, fame, celebrity or material possessions. Find your purpose and it will propel you through all the stages of your life.

My mother is my example. She moved two years ago out of her family home of 65 years into assisted living. She was not exactly thrilled.

Yet, the one clear gift she has to offer, is that my mother is an e xceptional cook. A baker of extraordinary talent. Forget the food shows with all the fancy gadgets, double ovens, sleek surfaces and multiple ingredients. My mother knows how to make a pie, cook a roast, bake a cake and teach an entire cooking staff the basics of fine cooking.

Don’t let age stop you! Mom is 95 years old and has a cooking class (mostly attended by the kitchen staff) every Tuesday. In her room while on the phone to me one day, I heard a woman come up to her and ask, “Flossie, does this look right?” It was the cook asking her if the strawberry filling was the right consistency to put into a pie.

Oh yeah, my mother has transformed pretty “mediocre” meals in her nursing home to gastronomical feasts. She has a purpose.

It seems all living creatures need a purpose. My friend runs a horse shelter and a 20-year-old horse named Jake was brought in because he had recurring hoof injuries. He had been a performance horse in team roping for 12 years. When Jake arrived, he was completely depressed. He stood in his stall, rarely going out in the arena. He stayed in a corner, hung his head and refused to eat much.

Then the energetic Mitzi, a little shelter goat with spunk, was brought into “help” Jake. Slowly but surely, Mitzi prodded and pushed Jake to walk around the arena, get out of his stall and start living again. Mitzi would stand next to Jake while he ate his hay and would sleep curled up in his stall at night. Jake became Mitzi’s purpose. She had a job to do. A friendship was formed and a “new Jake” was born.

Our purpose can seem simple or life changing. Small tasks can lead to huge rewards.

Children who have regular chores to do learn early on the value of accomplishment. Making a bed, loading the dishwasher, taking out the garbage might be mundane tasks but form a foundation.Actions bring results. Results reinforce a sense of purpose.

Getting back to my mother, she had a purpose her entire life. She showed the family love, one cookie, one meal at a time. She never worked outside of the home, but she had a “full and meaningful life” of church, family, volunteering and cooking for others.

A life well lived. And it’s still delicious.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at

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