9 oz. dried cranberries; 12 oz. strawberry yogurt raisins; 12 oz. dried apricots; 16 oz. almonds; 16 oz. walnuts

 Look at the list of ingredients. You don’t have to memorize them; this isn’t one of those baby shower games where you have to recall the items on a tray that is removed from your sight after 60 seconds. There is no prize today.

 I purchased the ingredients, mixed them, and offered the snack to a trio of women who shared my mountain retreat cabin.

 “You weren’t supposed to bring food up here. It attracts the bears,” said the first woman as she dipped her hand into my trail mix container.

 “I don’t see any bears in this room. Just friends,” I said.

 “You didn’t make this, PJ!” shrieked the next, cherry-picking several extra almonds.

 “Yes, I did, “ I calmly replied and recited the list of ingredients.

 The next friend scooped a handful that went directly in her mouth. She sidled up to my ear and hissed, ”There are dried cherries in it.”

 I put a handful in my mouth and didn’t say anything, though I nodded as the first woman said, “The yogurt-covered raisins make it.”

 Back to the list of ingredients. See it and believe it. It isn’t wise to hurt someone who shares a home-mixed treat…

I write when I feel blue; I write when I feel black; and then I feel all better.