Monday, December 28, 2009

Feeling Child-ish

I am not a cook. I like to say that I am pretty good at assembly—meaning that I can put together a delicious meal. I start with an entree from Dinner by Design or Entree Kitchen. Then I buy a yummy Corner Bakery salad and put it into my own bowl, some bread from Panera and a cake from Portillos on a pretty cake plate and set a nice table and we are good to go.

When preparing food means using a recipe, I get a little nervous. During Christmas, however, it is worth the risk to use a few recipes. One weekend in particular I used many recipes. I cooked on Friday, Saturday and Sunday--twice. I used Lou's corn pudding recipe, of course, which is not intimidating because I have made that lots of times. But I called Bev and got her recipe for Foolproof Sirloin Tip roast, Cindy's twice baked potatoes, Ellen's baked asparagus, Nancy's Bing Cherry and Cream Cheese Balls salad, Margits Lettuce/Apple Salad, Lou's Egg Casserole . . . that might be all but still that was a lot for me.

So Sunday morning, I told Bob, "I am so Julia Childs this weekend, that I am wearing pearls all day today."

When I got to church carrying two casseroles, I decided to take the elevator to our classroom. Just inside the elevator, somehow, I dropped one casserole. It went on the floor and up the sides and even splattered on a few buttons.

It was a good thing that I was wearing my pearls because I remembered that Julia would have said, "I'm glad that happened. . . " And that made me smile.

I could also smile because I don't know how or why but none of the casserole spilled on me.

I could also joyfully smile because though I fumbled a bit, I kept the other casserole from the same demise.

Another blessed coincidence is that I was the only person in the elevator.

I had brought two serving spoons so as the elevator opened on the next floor, I was on my knees spooning casserole back into my Pyrex. A dear person ready to ride the elevator, instead ran to get some paper towels for me. The elevator moved before she returned but as I was still in that prone position when the elevator returned to that floor, I could easily grab the large stack of paper towels sitting just outside the closing door.

On my third or fourth ride on the elevator, I was standing nicely composed holding my one remaining casserole as about six people joined me on the elevator. Several remarked, "It smells really good in this elevator." I could smile again.

I wore my pearls all day.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

By my side and got my back . . .

I was thinking about Mr Rogers today.
Remember . . .

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood
A beautiful day for a neighbor . . .

I've always loved having a neighbor just like you.
I always want to live in a neighborhood with you.

Cindy is my neighbor that lives directly on the south side of our home. Mary is my back door neighbor.

We like each other. We borrow; we loan; we rejoice over good news; we study the Bible together; we listen to the long stories—sometimes more than once; we admire each other's home projects; we shovel each other's drives and water plants; we cry over disappointments and the loss of our dads. We love each others' kids and celebrate when they graduate, marry and have their own kids. We know each others quirks and deal with them gladly. We celebrate birthdays and go for lunches. We diet and walk together and have exercised together although not now—sad to say. We share recipes and good books. We tell each other if we find a good sale. We have history. God put us in place as neighbors. We are so blessed!

We have a Christmas tea tradition. None of us can remember when it started but it was lots of years ago. Usually we have to carve out just an hour from here or there. Today was our day.

It's such a good feeling, a very good feeling,
The feeling you know that we're friends.

I think I will go put on a cardigan zipper sweater.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

That's too far . . .

Tomorrow, our guests will have been with us for eight weeks.

They have helped us see things from new perspectives.

They have brought us great joy.

Tomorrow, they officially move to their own home ten minutes from our home.

We wish that they were moving next door.