“Better late than never” and “Better never late” are two philosophies of time. I favor the first while my husband prefers the second. I realize that being on time is important, but sometimes things happen that make it impossible. For instance, when I was a counselor in Winona, I traveled between seven buildings. The train tracks are in the middle of town. That means anyone might be held up by a train. There have been many drivers who thought that they could beat the train and died. Now they have gates that prevent even attempting that risky behavior. Literally, better late than never would be the best choice!
For people attending school or punching a time clock, the pressure is on to be on time. Tardy slips are handed out. Employees are docked pay or even fired. “Better never late” would be a better choice in these situations. Time management classes and books abound on how to be punctual and productive.
My husband’s idea of punctual is actually to be early. He used to get ready before me, and then sit in the car and honk the horn to “hurry me up.” This caused conflict in our relationship. Then there were several times we sat in parking lots for 20 to 30 minutes waiting for a restaurant to open. Sometimes we saw the end of the first showing of a movie before the second one began. This caused conflict in our marriage.
Of course, “Miss Better Late than Never” also caused some conflict. He doesn’t like to walk in late to church or crawl over people in a dark movie theater. Then there were the perfectly planned times when we would have been on time except we got lost, ran into a detour or had to wait for a train to pass. Then I got the lecture about starting earlier just because things happen.
Perception has a lot of power in the passing of time. Time flies when you’re having fun, not so much when you are having a tooth filled.
My first battle with time occurred when entertaining and trying to get all the food cooked on time. Crockpots and microwave ovens help with this because I only have one oven. I wouldn’t want two ovens because I can barely keep one clean. Multi-tasking is important in cooking, as are kitchen timers. I have an old-fashioned one just like my mother had because the digital ones are so confusing. I also have an old-fashioned watch and alarm clock. Resetting digital clocks after a power outage is a pain. My brain doesn’t do digital! I guess I am an old-fashioned woman. I resent having to get any new appliance that I have to read a manual to figure out how it works.
Time waits for no man (or woman). Time is money. A stitch in time saves nine. I am starting to sound like Old Richards Almanac. Thank you, Ben Franklin! Another old saying about relationships is “Pick your battles.” We have compromised on time management in our marriage. At least no one sits in the car and honks at me anymore. Here is a timely recipe which will hardly take any time to cook!
Almond Rhubarb Coffee Cake
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb, thawed
3/4 cup sliced almonds (toasted)
1/3 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two round 9-inch cake pans.
Beat together brown sugar, oil, egg and almond flavoring in a big bowl with an electric mixer on medium until smooth. In another bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking soda; add to the sugar mixture alternating with milk, beating until smooth after each addition. Stir in rhubarb and 1/2 cup of the almonds. Pour into prepared pans, spreading evenly.
Stir together white sugar and butter in a small bowl. Add the remaining almonds. Sprinkle over batter.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Let cool in pans on wire rack. Serves 16, or 8 if you freeze one.