Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Going to the gym last week, this sign was posted on the front door, and it stopped me in my tracks, making my heart happy. A place of business (two locations actually) were closing so that all the staff could attend a co-worker's wedding. How awesome is this? Making time for community over making a buck.
I love a story in Julia Child's book "My Life in France" with a similar theme. I'm going to butcher retelling this story, but the gist of it is that Julia's husband Paul was part of a US agency in France after WWII. One of his responsibilities was to help local business people grow the post war economy of Paris. A Parisian restaurant owner was told she should increase her clientele in order to increase her profits. She scoffed at this, and dismissed the idea with the explanation that she had plenty of customers, made enough money, and still had time to enjoy life. Why would she want to make more money?
In this new season, I have the luxury of time to think. I've realized that I don't need more time to do the things that are important to me. I'm learning that the roadblock to doing the things I value is me, not lack of time. I'm never going to have more time. My desire is to embrace what I value right now. For my compulsive, structured little self, that means letting go of some of the structure to make room for the things, and most of all, people I value. It means learning to embrace being spontaneous, and learning to simplify things I have made complicated. How much is enough? What will give life to me and the people around me? Think I'll close early today.
Friday, May 10, 2013
One of my early solo outings in Redding was to get some honey. Katie took me to the undisclosed, unmarked honey location a few weeks ago, and nobody seemed to be available to sell honey, so I decided to try to find my little introverted self's courage and make the trip alone. This is how you buy honey up here. You drive down a specific dirt road (I have no idea how this place was initially discovered), turn in where there is no sign, but there is a house and some farm buildings, and when you exit the car, you notice the presence of bees. Off in the distance, there are lots of hives. You hope someone sees you, and comes your way, then you get to buy honey.
I was in luck, and a bee guy came to ask if I wanted to buy honey, and how much I wanted (there is a five-pound minimum.) Then he asked me where I lived, in detail, including the street, and where I had moved from. He was interested, and not in a creepy way. We had a conversation, and I tried to pretend I wasn't at all terrified of the bees buzzing around my head. I got my honey, and he went back to his hives.
Attentive, interested conversation; it's a way of life here. We went to open a bank account, and it took an hour. We know everything about the person who was helping us, from where he proposed to his wife (on Half-Dome) to the location of some of the best restaurants in Redding. When I joined the local gym, the owner, after a long conversation about his family, how the gym started, and where the best trails are in the area, said "we look out for each other here." This was the second time someone had said this to me.
Neighbors chat when we're outside. Community is desirable, and normal. Hmm.
A few weeks ago at church, I heard a still, small little voice say "you're in a new country." I felt myself immediately relax. To me, "a new country" means everything is different in this new season. I don't have to look for things that are similar to what I know. I can enjoy everything and everyone without comparing and critiquing. Nothing is going to look the same as it did before. I'm learning to see with new eyes, and an open heart.
On a completely different, and random note, we have been playing with liquid. Brent's first cappuccino made with his happy retirement Jura. It was made in a Starbucks cup, just to be passive-aggressive:
And I made vanilla!
I have extra to share, but you have to come to Redding to claim it. Then we could go to the honey place and see if there's anybody there to sell honey.
Love you all,