Posts Tagged ‘friends’

When we got the good news that friends would be in town Friday night for dinner, Bill suggested we have raclette. Raclette is both a cheese and a meal featuring that cheese, a meal perfect for using the time with friends for eating and having fun, rather than cooking and cleaning up.  That’s a winner in my book!

In Switzerland, where both the cheese and the meal originated, the edge of the round of cheese is heated and the melted cheese scraped onto the diner’s plate. In fact, raclette comes from the French word racler, meaning “to scrape.”  Also on the table will be boiled new potatoes, cornichons (small pickled gherkins), and pickled onions.  Eat a bit of each together = heaven! (more…)

High above the clouds, on my way from 75 F to 7 (or lower), I’m disconnected. Although this is one of the (pay) Wi-Fi flights, I have as usual resorted to a book on Kindle or pen and paper. Besides a dramatic change in temperature, on returning home I’ll experience a dramatic change in internet access as well.

At home, I have internet available constantly and, with my first smart phone, I can be online as much as I like…or as I can stand. (I can’t imagine wanting to read off my phone’s tiny screen and the small “keys” and tri-keyboard make typing onerous for one who excelled in typing.) But on a visit to Arizona, I return, if not to the Stone Age, to at least a quantum leap from an all-day-online-if-I-like world.

My parents not only don’t have internet, they don’t have or use a computer. Neither do they—are you sitting down?—use the ATM or have a smart phone and they favor paying in cash rather than with a credit card. You know what? They get along fine, although Dad has discovered the advantages of a daughter with internet access. Be that as it may, that sort of life is going to get more difficult as things convert to digital.

At home, the siren call of the internet tempts me to take “just one quick look at my (or someone else’s) blog”, “take a peek at Facebook” or send “just one email.” Minutes can morph unnoticed into half an hour or more while the things I really need or want to do go begging for attention.  But while visiting my parents, I have to go to the library or a Starbucks to go online for anything larger than what I want to do on my cell phone. I find myself anxious to get done and get back to relaxing, reading, going to art galleries, seeing the desert, lying in the sun or visiting. I start slipping more easily out of the online world than in, although I go through emails on my phone and delete whenever possible, leaving the ones I want to read or save. I love being able to easily connect with friends, but I find real life taking over more and more.

That’s a good thing.

That’s a break we all need now and then and are less and less likely to get or take. Because these days, you have to take that time back, get off the internet in whatever form, leave your phone behind once in awhile and certainly don’t look at it all the time even when you take it with you.

Talk with someone while in a line.
Look at your spouse when you talk to him or her, rather than at the tiny screen on your phone.
Watch a movie or TV together without being on another device; sit together on the couch.
Go for a walk.
Work a crossword puzzle or do a Sudoku.
Play a game NOT on a device.

There can be real life going on all around you. Disconnect and get back to it.

Just step away from the devices!

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The words “thankful” and “gratitude”  have popped up in my life quite often over the last weeks.  Not long ago, I mentioned that in one of my online groups, every Thursday is Thankful Thursday, a day when we lists things or people for which we are thankful.  On her blog, another friend is encouraging her readers to list one thing each day for which they’re grateful.  Finally, a few days ago, an online friend posted this saying:

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

Are you seeing a trend here? (more…)

Today as I lay in bed,
nursing my sore throat,
slipping in and out of sleep
until the sun beat in through the half moon window
forcing me to move,

I dreamt of Christmas.

Not the faux Christmas seduction
   attempted by stores 
   beginning much too early,
   but of this Christmas...

of letters sent to friends not close enough now
   yet treasured,
   recapping the year,
   recalling good times.

of ravioli made and frozen against the day,
   cookies pressed and decorated,
   menus planned, discarded or amended,
   but always upside-down cornbread
   topped with maple-drenched apples and sausage.

of boxes of ornaments and ribbon,
   gift boxes and bags,
   beauty arranged and re-arranged
   on tabletops,
   in windows,
   hung from lamps,
   festooning mantels.

of gifts brought out from hiding places
   (sometimes after much searching),
   last minute buys,
   the sharp joy of “just right.”
   Wrapped and tied and dazzling.

Tangible bits of love
yet not the real thing.

of Christmas Eve
   and church and carols,
   (hopefully of snow)
   and silent night
   all calm and bright with
   lights on houses and on trees.

of joy welling up from somewhere deep
   to overflow on all around,
   to sleep and wake too early
   and go downstairs to start the preparations
   for too much food,
   to read the Christmas story,
   to laugh and sing,
   exclaim over gifts
   and lie back,

replete
with love.

After several days of helping a friend collect her part of the physical detritus of a shared life prior to moving into a life on her own, I’m also emotionally drained, as both the people are our friends.  I don’t say “were our friends” because singly they remain our friends even though now detached into two separate names rather than two names joined by the small word “and.” (more…)

Amish friendship bread popped up (so to speak) in a novel I read last week, reminding me of my own horrifying experience with it many years ago.  I’d just moved to Cleveland to teach high school and found a church I liked.  One of the women there gifted me with the makings of Amish friendship bread. (more…)

 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.          Genesis 2:2

Wait!  If you don’t believe in God, don’t run off.   This is about resting, not about faith.  If God rested (which we all know He didn’t really need to do, except as an example), surely we mere humans can use a rest as well.  But do we get one?   (more…)

Every Thursday, an online group of which I’m a part, has Thankful Thursday, something instituted by yours truly in an attempt to bring some balance to the litany of shared woes.  Don’t get me wrong.  Sharing these woes and asking for prayer is part of what this group does and we are privileged to do so, but it’s far too easy to get into a woe-is-me frame of mind and never think of the many blessings in our lives.  (more…)

I mentioned to Bill one day that our three lilac bushes needed pruning, then forgot about it.  One memorable day not long after, I drove home and saw that he had pruned them (was, in fact, just finishing)–to about a third of the original size.  I was appalled.  But fortunately, the lilacs came back strong and every spring we see dark purple, lilac, and white blooms, one large bush of each.  (more…)

Claire–lovely picture, excellent work.  Rochelle–the usual.  Friday Fictioneers–a joy and a privilege.   Read more–click on the cutie at the end.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it– enjoy!  It’s not impossible.

Just FYI, Thursday is a traveling day for me, so if you stop by and read and I don’t return the favor right away, don’t worry.  I will.  I read every story (unless it’s posted on Sunday or Monday and I’ve stopped checking), so I will look forward to reading yours with great anticipation.  And thanks for taking the time to read and comment on mine.  It’s always greatly appreciated.

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Enough

It was the book’s fault really—accidentally dropped by her, fortuitously retrieved by him—sparking talk, the discovery of shared tastes.  Days later, a chance encounter at the coffee shop spawned laughter, the joy of shared thoughts, a frisson of attraction, the ease of friendship.

The coffee shop became their haven, a much-anticipated break from the everyday, always as if two halves were joined, the missing puzzle piece slotted into place.

Each time, replete, they went their separate ways, home to loved and loving families, anticipating the next completion. It could never be more, but it would never be less.