Reflections by the Sea: Making ends meet

Published 11:00 pm Sunday, September 25, 2022

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By Betsy Ore Glass

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:11-3 ESV

This past week I was in the grocery store and came across all of the fixings for making a fruitcake. The currants, citron, candied fruits, nuts and more. While September is way too early to make fruitcakes, I did make a mental note to stock up soon for my November baking.

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Making ends meet and fruitcakes. My first thought is of my husband’s grandmother they called Granny. She was a sweet woman that I only got to know a few years before she went to glory. She wore the pristine, ironed white apron, she wore her long gray hair in a bun and was petite yet round, with a good hug always! Her stories of living have captivated me over the years. She had a summer garden where most everything was canned to feed her and she had enough to share. Her winter pastime was to make homemade quilts with her nimble yet arthritic hands. For additional money she made and sold fruitcakes for Christmas.

Granny’s white shingled house offered a lovely front porch and a swing. Two large mature pecan trees gave us a canopy of shade we needed in the humid southern heat. That is where we had most of our chats. It is where I learned that having her approval was very important. She was highly regarded by her grandchildren. From our talks, I learned that she was fiercely independent and that’s how she learned to make ends meet … and yes, her family stepped in often to help but she enjoyed doing it her way, working hard and being resourceful. I was struck that she looked older than her years, but the hard work had taken its toll. She was most beautiful though with her twinkling eyes.

At Thanksgiving when the family gathered at Granny’s, the afternoon exercise was filled with pulling on branches of the two pecan trees to encourage the pecans to fall. The kids would pick up the pecans and all would be saved for her baking in the coming weeks. Word of her fruitcakes spread in her little town and orders would file in each year. She used old coffee tins; tube cake pans and loaf pans to make her confections. I was told there was just enough batter present to hold the ingredients together. It was packed with goodness! The money from the sales of these cakes would supplement her in the winter months and maybe help to buy more quilting supplies.

This dear grandmother was a godly woman. She found contentment in her life. While she didn’t have many possessions, she did have a roof over her head, her faith, family and grandchildren willing to spend time with her. Maybe she was rich in all that mattered. I believe so. Perhaps that is our message today. Whatever our circumstances are it would give us more peace if we found contentment about where we are in our station of life. At this time in the world, things are tough. Maybe setting aside a few guilty pleasures to be able to just maintain the basics. Many people are making adjustments. No, it isn’t easy. But God didn’t promise everything to be rosy. In fact, he said we should be grateful for trials when they come. It builds strength, our faith and character.

Betsy Ore Glass has long-standing ties to the Outer Banks. From Virginia Beach, her family bought a vacation cottage in the 60s and her love of the area began. Later in the 90s, Betsy and her husband bought a weekend cottage and introduced the area to their children. Then Betsy’s parents retired to KDH where the family gathered often. Reach her at To learn more about her new book, Reflections by the Sea, visit