The Sweet Spot


The metaphor “Sweet Spot”, I first heard in reference to that place on a baseball bat where the ball pops off the bat with the greatest velocity. It is the place on a golf club where the ball does what you want it to. It is that time on a vacation or trip where everything comes together. Today I am talking Swedish Tea Rings.
My grandpa Joe Anderson, was a full blooded Swede whose parents immigrated to the US and settled in SW Iowa. My mom Pat, who would have turned 100 in three weeks, loved her Swedish heritage. She could say the Lord’s Prayer in Swedish. She was a great story teller and had many tales of her Nordic heritage. What I remember best, is that this time every year she would make four Swedish Tea Rings. This was no simple task. It took her all day. There was the dough prep, the rising, prepping the filling that consisted of walnuts, currents, cinnamon, honey, and who knows what else. She would bake them two at a time. When they were cooled they would get just the right amount of frosting.
“Don’t you dare touch these Mark, they are for Christmas morning breakfast”. They sat there for a couple of days talking to me. Then after the joy of “unbridled materialistic avarice” (to quote Ralph from A Christmas Story), we headed to breakfast. My mom was a world champion homemaker. Christmas at our house was a combination of chaos and grace.
Well, the Swedish Tea Rings were warmed up to perfection. Now something I had learned in my yearly consumption, is that, as much as my mom achieved perfection, there was always about a three inch section where the juicy best found its home. So believe it or not, I became an expert at spotting that “sweet spot”. I would carefully plot my selection where I aimed for that most amazing concoction of Swedish perfection, oozing with extra moist goo. In my well honed proclivity for “tasty” this was a grand slam over the center field fence.
Sweet spots are harder to come by this year, but all the more joyful when discovered. I will share two with you. One, my wonderful daughter Amy and family, sent me the most amazing slippers, along with the best homemade Christmas card. If you want a peek just connect with me and I

will send you a picture. Two, my grandson Miko made his second short film. He has the gift of both heart and mind.
So enjoy your ‘sweet spots’ whatever they might be. I would love to hear from you as to where you found, tasted, heard or observed your 281 yard drive, which rocketed right out of the perfect place on your club.
Onward and Upward, Mark

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