The Miracle of Grandma’s Mixer

How a new, unfarmiliar house began to smell like home. Just like Grandma's house always did.

Posted in , May 1, 2015

Marci Seither's chocolate chip cookies.

Have you ever had one of those “Ahh! I can’t take this anymore!” moments?

That’s what happened to our guest blogger Marci Seither, a frequent Guideposts contributor and author of the book Empty Nest: Strategies to Help Your Kids Take Flight.

Marci was ready to throw in the towel, frustrated by a recent move. Until she experienced a little miracle in the kitchen.

Here’s her story:

We’d just downsized our home. As grateful as I was to have a roof over our heads, I couldn’t help but feel blue. Our old house was beautiful…and huge. Our current home? Half the size and cramped. We’d had to give away or toss a lot of our stuff. But there were still boxes everywhere, from the family room to the garage.

The day after the move, while the kids were in school, I tackled more boxes. By the afternoon, I’d made real progress. The furniture was unpacked. The photos were hanging on the walls. But it just didn’t feel like home. 

Marci and her whole family!Maybe I could change that. I checked the pantry and saw that I had enough ingredients to bake chocolate chip cookies. Just like my grandma used to make whenever I needed cheering up. Wouldn’t that be a nice surprise for the kids? When they got home from school, there’d be a fresh batch of cookies waiting for them on the kitchen counter.

I put on my favorite apron, measured out the brown sugar and butter and got to work. One by one, I added eggs to the mixer.


What in the world? The beaters stopped spinning. My mixer was broken.

“Really?!” I felt like screaming. It was just a kitchen appliance, but it felt like the last straw. What more did I have to give up?

What would my grandma do? She’d lived through the Great Depression, had lost everything. Even in the midst of hardship, she’d kept her family together. She used whatever she had to get by, whether she was canning produce from her garden or using scraps of material for quilt squares.

Grandma wouldn’t quit. She’d find another way. Inspired, I ran to the garage and rummaged through the remaining boxes. Found it!

I pulled out Grandma’s old white mixer. The one she’d passed on to me. She’d purchased it back in the 50’s and it was, well, ancient. I’d marked the box it was in as “fragile,” but the movers hadn’t paid attention. They’d dropped it anyway. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they left it outside, along with a bunch of our other belongings, during a rainstorm.


I wondered if it still worked. Looking at the fabric cord, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to find out.

I set the mixer on the kitchen counter and carefully plugged it in. Please work!

I turned the switch on…nothing. Ugh! I should have tossed it in the dumpster. Ruined and beyond repair. Just like my life these days.

C’mon, try again, a small voice said.

I flicked the switch back on. To my amazement, the beaters slowly churned to life. I added the rest of the ingredients, and shook my head in disbelief. It worked!

Two hours later, the kids opened the door. “Mmmm, cookies!” they said.  

For the first time, our new house felt like home. It even smelled like home. Just like Grandma's house always did.

Maybe this house wasn’t as grand as our old one. But, then again, maybe home wasn’t where we lived. It was where we shared the sweet moments, the small miracles of every day.

Like a broken mixer that came back to life when I needed comfort most.

To read more from Marci, visit her website here. Plus, don’t forget to share your own kitchen miracles below!

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