“Too much change is not a good thing—ask Climate.”
–Michael Scott, “The Office”

Sunday morning, 9 a.m.-ish. All four of us are watching “The Office.” Isn’t this what your family does on Sunday mornings?

Oh, you’re at church? Good for you.

Normally, my husband and I go to the early service, the 7:30. But I had slept in till 7, which is super late for me. I decided to do something I hadn’t done in ages—make breakfast for my family. I had just bought some sausage, and I had the makings for pumpkin muffins.

Or so I thought. There are times it’s nice to have a teen who drives when you forget things.

First I sent him to Mini-Mart for flour. Then I realized I had used all my canned pumpkin in a soup, so I sent him to H-E-B.

I started the sausage. It’s easy. It cooks slowly and makes the house smell good, even though I’m not a big sausage fan. I started making the muffins while I waited for all the goods to come in. When my son returned with the flour, I mixed up the dry ingredients. While he was getting the pumpkin, I mixed up the wet ingredients. I turned the sausage over so both sides would brown.

Meanwhile, my daughter woke up and turned on “The Office,” the ones back when Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell) was there. I still think it’s a crime that Steve Carell didn’t win the Emmy for his final season on the show. It just goes to show there’s no justice in the world.

My husband hadn’t seen these particular episodes from season 6. All four of us were laughing at the same time. That’s called progress.

The sausage finished first. I went ahead and put it out. I smelled the muffins before the dinger went off, which is never good. It meant I’d burnt the bottoms.

I never burn the bottoms (almost never). For years when my kids were young, I made a batch of homemade muffins once a week. I knew all my recipes by heart. They always turned out perfectly.

“Are the muffins done?” my daughter called from the living room.

“Yep. Just give me a few minutes to let them cool,” I said. Cool enough to cut off the burned stumps.

My husband saw my mistake, smiled and whispered, “I’ll take the toasty ones.” He grabbed a few before I could stop him.

I heard Michael Scott say, “Too much change is not a good thing—ask Climate.” There have been so many natural disasters these last couple of years. Some experts think climate change is involved; some don’t. I don’t know. All I know is that it’s been one tragedy after another, some climate-related, some not. It takes a lot to endure.

While I put out the muffins, I thought about our recent trip to Colorado over the Christmas break. Last year when we went to Estes Park, it wasn’t very cold and I saw a lot of birds. This year, near Winter Park, I only saw one type of bird—a magpie.

One was on our cabin’s railing. I saw another one at a neighboring cabin. I saw them when it was -2 degrees. They were shiny and fat. They know where the garbage cans were, the dumpsters. They can adapt to an enormous amount of change. Come blizzard, come pine beetle, come drought, the magpies will be fine.

Like Michael Scott, they can adapt to even too much change. He hung in there through corporate takeovers, multiple breakups, office politics. He hung in there until Holly, his fiancee, needed to move across the country to be closer to her ailing parents.

I had enough leftover muffin batter to make six more after my first batch didn’t turn out so well. These were perfect. I made it to church in time for the 11:15 service, the last one.