...It is known by my children that I hand grind peppercorns on the largest setting over my homemade turkey soup…or eggs…or pork roast. They chuckle and shake their heads in dismay when I choke out the words “I…love… pepper!” They don’t understand. It has finally managed to get near the freezing point this week so, being desperate to take a break from death and taxes, I gather mittens, ear muffs, leggings, hooded sweatshirt, down vest and head to Harrybrooke. Because it has been so frigid, most of the way is packed tight with slick snow and black ice. My speed is impeded by having to constantly skip to where I think the best traction might be and when I feel my heel slip, I envision my first broken bone…and my children shaking their heads in dismay that I walked this way not once, but twice. They don’t understand. But here comes an older woman wrapped as crazily as I am…and a grandpa with a pink papoose…the wind chill stinging us all. I remember as a child the beige pepper shaker my parents had - a 1960’s “space age” styled thing - which I decided to clean one suppertime by blowing off the pepper residue inside its recessed top. I’ll never forget the burning sensation on my eyes and in my nose…and yet…I do love pepper. My life isn’t like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, it’s more like pepper…and, just like braving the wind chill, there is real satisfaction…once you get past the sting.