Caramel Apples: Dealing With the Unexpected in Life

If there’s such a thing as seasonal foods, caramel apples are one of them.  They seem to go best with cool weather and Fall leaves.  Homemade, that is.  Eating a dark chocolate-covered caramel apple at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is appropriate at any time.
For homemade caramel apples, gather the supplies.  Nice, tart green apples:
A bag of caramels, unwrapped by several children under close supervision and frequent reminders of “No, you can’t eat one,” then lusciously melted in a bowl:
Next, the sticks.  Oh, wait a minute, we don’t have any sticks.  Never mind, adapt:
While a caramel-apple-on-a-spoon may not make the front cover of a cooking magazine, it served its purpose.  We used what we had on hand, and didn’t send someone to the store for sticks.
Adapting and asking yourself “What do I have in my hand?” is a useful skill for life.  It keeps you focused on the solution rather than the problem. 
You get what you focus on, you know. 
Focus on the problems and worries and you get more.  Focus on what you can do and how you can solve, you get answers and energy and power.
Here’s what this looks like in a variety of situations:
Out of hamburger buns?  Sloppy Joes on regular bread taste just as good.
Limited funds for homeschool curriculum?  Copywork takes care of spelling, punctuation, handwriting, writing and grammar for young students and the only cost is paper.
House a wreck?  Smile, gather the kids, create a prize, set a timer and go!
Kids get the stomach flu?  Cancel appointments, gather bowls and towels, make pallets in a main room and decide to handle it.  Cheerfully.
Schedule gets crazy?  Pause long enough to make a plan, figure out your purpose in doing each thing.  If you can’t find a compelling purpose for doing something, stop doing it.
What do you have in your hand?
The important thing is not to throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble.  Even more so, not to get totally stressed out and practically hysterical when things aren’t working out or a piece is missing.
When you don’t adapt, you miss out on what could be—-the feeling of satisfaction in your ingenuity and ability to go with the flow.  You might even miss out on a delicious caramel apple.


  1. I really enjoyed this article, Charlotte.  As I get older (ha, ha) I notice that I’m appreciating the unexpected much more.  Children tend to see interruptions as adventures and when I see life through their eyes it helps me notice the mystical in even the most annoying or mundane ‘adventures’.  I especially love your example of a household battling the flu–not only is our only choice to ‘get through it’, but making it a mini-camping-in-the-house memory is so great.  My mom always made our times of illness into adventures–fun water bottles, sleeping bags in the living room with lots of extra library books.  I still remember those times as some of the closest we spent when I was kid.

    Great perspective–thanks for sharing!

  2. Love this. I’m a solutions kind of girl. An ungly problem rears it’s head, I hate worry, panick etc. I just think solution, solution, what’s the solution? The problem is there, I can’t do anything about that, but I can always try to fix it.

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