Letting the Pickles Go…


For twenty-six years, I have entered the pickle guessing contest at the North Carolina State Fair.

For twenty-six years, I have made a brilliant guess as to how many pickles are in the jar.

For twenty-six years, I have lost.

No glory for me from the Mount Olive Pickle Company.

So guess what?  This year I didn’t enter.  I’m giving it up.  I’m letting it go.

That’s what The Great Pause will do for you.  It helps you figure out what to keep and what to toss.  I’m getting to be a pretty good tosser:   Hurt.  Anger.  Regret.  Resentment.  Activities I don’t enjoy.  Skills I just can’t master.

T. S. Eliot writes, “Teach us to care and not to care.”  To that I might add a line from the Serenity Prayer:  “And the wisdom to know the difference.”

Letting go makes space for more joy, more love, more confidence, more engaging activities, and more new skills.

Hold this thought tight:  With menopause, comes the wisdom to let go.

Celebrate with a big old pickle or maybe even a whole jar!

Photos:  Above is this year’s pickle jar.  No announcement yet as to how many pickles it holds.  Below are photos of my husband Cliff entering the contest for the twenty-seventh time.  He hasn’t given up yet!  But that’s good, because he really wants to win, and besides, he likes pickles a whole lot more than I do.

Happy Birthday on November 1st to Cliff, who loves pickles, Duke basketball, pizza, reading, Star Trek, backpacking, American Flyer Trains, the morning paper, barbecue and hush puppies,  Bald Head Island, kids,classical music, Butterfingers, waterlilies, the Appalachian Trail, wine and beer, potluck suppers, cats, Blues artists Buddy Guy and Koko Taylor (among others), nice snakes, gardens, old buildings, the North Carolina State Fair, science fiction, magnolia trees, the Rolling Stones, Christmas, the New Jersey boardwalk, and Chinese buffets ALMOST as much as he loves me (and our children!)

19 responses »

    • Nope. You get listed as a winner at next year’s Fair. Maybe there are more perks that I haven’t paid any attention to. I just want to win.

      • It would be pretty great to be recognized as the Great Pickle Postulater!

        And Happy Birthday! I’m totally with you on the Appalachian Trail and beer. 🙂

  1. I can relate. I was part of an office lottery pool – you know where everyone throws in a dollar and you buy a bunch of lottery tickets and if one wins, we all split it up. Well, I started getting sick to my stomach every time I thought “What if I miss work one day, miss getting my dollar in, and we win!” Sure, that thought kept me a very reliable employee, but it was also going to give me an ulcer. So, I quit. No more pool for me. It was so nice to quit worrying about it. And, no, they never won. {{whew!}}

  2. And… Happy Birthday, Cliff. That’s a mighty good lookin’ giant pickle ya got there! The first one I ever ate was this year at my grandson’s football game. Very yummy.

    Have a great birthday.

    • I look in all the jars in the flavors I’m interested in, mainly kosher dill and hot kosher dill, and find the biggest pickle (in the top half of the jar). Then I request that specific one. The pickle people think this is a bit strange but always go diving for it. This year’s was truly giant.

  3. Belated birthday wishes to Cliff! Please tell him that he must go to Koko Taylor’s Blues Club in Chicago if he’s never been. My first and only voyage to such a wonderful place-yes I’m not as cool as my father-who grew up in Chicago and loved jazz. Lucky Peterson’s band was playing that night.

    • Dad’s pickles, not Moms, although I think they made them together. The funny thing about them was you never knew when you opened a new jar whether they would be good or spoiled. But I was a Pickle Puss for them and am for Mt Olive’s.

  4. Well Barb I am with you on giving up traditions that are more annoying than enjoyable. What’s funny to me is that the pickles you like are the ones here that are basically only sold in the Dollar Stores etc. No one I know buys them. Vlasic is the big brand here. But, now I have to try them and see what I’ve been missing, pickle-wise. But sweet only, NO dill for me. I even buy sweet pickle relish. Mmm
    And Happy Birthday to your handsome husband Cliff!

  5. Cliff appreciates the birthday wishes. Yes, do try the pickles. They are made about two hours from here at the Mt. Olive Pickle Company, which is happily situated at the corner of Cucumber and Vine Streets.

  6. Good thought – knowing when to give up and why. Habit and tradition can be good OR bad for you! P.S. A Very Merry UnBirthday to Cliff!

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