"...these loaves that I will share with you, were baked with love, and what I know so far. I'm a firm believer that we are what we eat, and I pray the bread I share here with you, will nourish and encourage you".

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


When I was twelve I went to my parents. There were some things that need be said. You see, I was not that obedient child. No that was my sister. Nor was I the straight “A” child, that position was held my other sister and of course I wasn’t the son, that was my brother and alas I wasn’t the baby, for he had just been born.

No, I was what you call the spinner child, the one in the middle. Not the smart one, not the good one, not the boy and not the baby, just me. So I decided to just be me, excepting my birth order as an invitation to define myself. I decided that when I grew up I’d be somebody, other than just the one in the middle.

My mother had told my I could, you see, and I believed her. And that expectation of a future was the thing that kept me from going completely off... oh but I came close. With all the other bases covered by my siblings I was rather wild and pretty crazy. And always on punishment. Which as you might imagine didn’t fit into my parent’s plan of a sane and sound household. So after a great deal of thought (about 2 minutes), I devised a plan of my own. I had decided it was time for a talk. so I went to them and I said, “Mother, Father we need to talk… I’ve been thinking, and I’ve decided that since it’s clear that I’m not going to do what you say, you should just leave me alone and focus on Marilyn, Gwen, Carl and of course now there’s the new baby.”

Well, it made all the sense in the world to me, but they just stared at me, I stood my ground and tried to stare back without using the reckless eyeball, which was sure to land my back-end at the front-end of a switch. I now know they trying not to laugh!

After a while (about a nine month pregnant pause) my father asked me "Had I’d planed to move out?" “Well no” I said, “I figured I could hang around here until…” Well that little bit answer was all I could manage and before I could lay out my carefully thought out plan about how I would live in their house, eat their food, and sleep in their comforts, he said “As long as your in my house, your going to do as I say!”

Darn!, I thought but didn’t dare speak, cause it was clear to me that our little talk had ended. And of the many options that we were given as children, talking back, at least out loud, just wasn’t among them. So I walked away thinking that evidently something was lost in the translation. I thought at that time that I might approach the subject latter after some more planning, or maybe when I grew up.

As a child of the 60’s and 70’s you didn’t have the kind of options that many children seem to have or shall I say suffer from these days. We were never consulted about the running of the household or its finances. We were not allowed in adult conversations or even allowed in the room when grown folks were talking, unless of course they were talking to us.

It seemed to me that grown-ups had all the fun, which is why of course I couldn’t wait to be one. I spent a lot of time thinking about the time when I’d grow up. It never occurred to me however, that I’d grow up and long for those days of youth. Those days of rules and guidance, shelter, protection and of course the weekly allowance. Those simple things that make a child feel safe, feel loved. Those days that were reserved for being a child. Those days are gone for me now as well, as for many children.

My parents seemed to know that too much information only served to confuse unformed minds. Too much information at an early stage often serves to frighten children, giving them the illusion that they are supposed to know how to handle it, which of course is impossible.

My parents held us in our places as children until the time we did grow up. My parents gave us the love that all children seek so we didn’t have to look for it in the streets. But these days we expose, talk to and at our children about things that should be classified information at least until they grow up. And then we turn around and want or expect them to be children. I am saddened, but not surprised that we are losing them, for many of them have lost the ability to be a child.

This is truly a submission of suspicion, for as you know I did grow up and I have no children. But I didn’t have to birth them to know that they are in trouble. And the saddest thing of all is that these days many children never even think about the day when they’ll grow up.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Anyone who knows me knows that popcorn is my most favorite food, In the world! I actually know which movie theaters have the best popcorn, and to those I will go and watch almost anything as long as I can have my popcorn. I am a bucket girl, and yes, I want my free refill!

I also have a secret for popping perfect popcorn at home, which was what I was about to do last night, before I realized with horror that I was out of seeds. Well as you might imagine I was stressed, and went to bed craving popcorn. Then it occurred to me that life and people are often like popcorn, oh I’m just tripping? well take this trip with me.

Let us think about popcorn, it is a hard little seed, that is in it’s un-popped, or un-pressured state, it is to say the least unappetizing. It looks like potential but it’s, well, rather worthless. So how does it go from something small and unimpressive to something magnificent? Okay. Well at least something good to eat?

Well, lets check it out. I actually researched popcorn, here’s what I found; Each kernel of popcorn contains a tiny drop of water stored inside a circle of soft starch. The soft starch is surrounded by the kernel's hard outer surface. As the kernel heats up, the water begins to expand, and pressure builds against the hard starch. Eventually this hard surface gives way, causing the popcorn to explode. As it explodes the soft starch inside, the popcorn becomes inflated and bursts, turning the kernel inside out. The steam inside the kernel is released, and the popcorn is popped! Or for the sake of this conversation transformed.

I do know that heat and pressure is definitely a catalyst for change. So now is it just me, or is popcorn beginning to also sound a little like life to you? You see, when a kernel of popcorn is exposed to enough heat it begins to, well explode! When we are exposed to enough pressure we too begin to change. We may begin to brake out of our hard little shells just like that kernel of popcorn, finding it impossible to stay in the tiny places, or spaces, which have held us.

Now, lets examine that drop of water on the inside, Could this be true of us as well? Could there be a soft spot inside us? A soft spot that when triggered just right, could be exposed? That, when we are backed up against the wall could explode past what even we thought possible, past what even we thought we could be? Possibly becoming something wonderful, not unlike popcorn. Becoming light and fluffy.

Now I do understand, that all explosions are not good, and that being turned inside out, might not be a position that we choose to find ourselves in, and maybe that kernel of corn felt the same way. But lets remember the potential. As a matter of fact lets check out the word potential, for it means; Possible, but not yet realized. With a possibility or likelihood of occurring, or of doing or becoming something in the future.

And so, this is where we must do the work.This is where we must nurture or should I say protect that soft inside, our unmet potential. We must trust that it is there, we must trust that it is good, that we be ready for the day that the heat is turned on and the pressure rises, because you see, this is what I know so far; on that day when we are called out, or turned inside out, we too may be transformed into something wonderful. Just like popcorn.

The ALL NEW Cassandra!

The ALL NEW Cassandra!
It's finally here- The ALL NEW click ENTER to visit!


Cassandra takes center stage at The Marcus Center For The Performing Arts to sing the National Anthem, at the 2010 Birthday Celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.