Tag Archives: Grace

A Quick Trip to the East Coast

25 Sep

The Old North Church in Boston

Last Tuesday I flew to meet my husband, Emile, in Boston where he was to attend a conference for the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA).  Wednesday, while he spent the day attending the conference, I took a walking tour of Boston.  Once I left the Hyatt in Cambridge, I walked over the Harvard Bridge towards Boston.  It was then that I saw Fenway Park and wanted to get a closer look.  The stadium was closed (no game) but I was able to get an inside view of it via a little tavern called “Bleacher Bar“.  Wow.  I think every ball park could do with a place like this!

Fenway Park

After that, I decided I needed to see the Old North Church.  You remember that this was the church where the signal was given to warn the patriots that the British were approaching (One if by land, two if by sea).  As I tend to be geographically challenged, I approached a couple and asked, “Am I heading in the direction of the Old North Church?” to which one of them replied, “I’m not familiar with that church.”  What did he just say?  Anyway, I found that I was indeed heading north, and kept on walking.

Tombstone of Paul Revere

After a nice long walk (and asking directions of a few more people) I found my way to the Old Granary cemetery where Paul Revere, Sam Adams, and the victims of the Boston Massacre are buried.   On Paul Revere’s headstone, people have left small stones and coins (maybe because he was a silversmith?) and it is said that out of respect for him, even those who could use the change do not disturb it.  I don’t know if that is true or not, but I can tell you that I felt that I was in a very sacred place – and I can’t say that I feel that way often.  And then, less than a mile away, I finally made it to the Old North Church.  Imagine, all that history concentrated in such a small area!

Later, on my way back through town I came upon the Museum of African-American History, but even though it was only 3:30 it was closed! (the magazine article I’d read about this place listed the hours as 10-4).   I’d been especially looking forward to seeing the exhibit entitled “The Color of Baseball in Boston” which tells the little-known stories of players of color and the teams that they played on.   I’m sorry I missed this exhibit and hope I’ll have a chance to see it on my next trip to Boston.

After my long walk back to our hotel, I met up with Emile and his fellow food coop managers and we took a tour of Boston on Segways with a company called (remarkably) Boston by Segway.  It was a little bit scary (for me) at first, but within a few minutes, we were all zipping around town.  It was AWESOME!  Without a doubt, this is a really great way to tour the city.

The next few days are a bit of a blur!  Thursday we drove to the western tip of Massachusetts….

had an amazing lunch…

And spent a night with our friends Susan and John.

Emile and Susan

Friday we headed back east towards New York where we had lunch with our niece, Grace, in the town of New Paltz and then went on to a homecoming dinner at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.  Whew!

Saturday morning, we drove back to Boston to board separate planes.  Emile is now back at home in Ashland, and I am visiting my sister, Janice, on Staten Island.  My days have been much less hectic here, but we do fit in a 4.5 mile walk along the boardwalk each day.   I’ve seen a few friends… but mostly, am happy just to spend time with Janice.

With my friend Laura!

With my sister Janice on the Boardwalk

But what would all these words be about, if I didn’t throw a pie in the mix?  Who could resist making apple pies with the abundance of apples in every store and farm stand?  Not me… and so, I baked two.  One for my brother-in-law to take to work to share with his buddies… and one for an old friend who is dealing with some health issues right now.

I’m tremendously  grateful for the chance to take such a fun-filled trip… and truly grateful for the dear friends and family that we have.  This short vacation has reminded me of just how very blessed we are.

MacIntosh Apple Pie

Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has  many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
Charles Dickens

 

 

Welcoming visitors from far and near

17 Sep

It will come as no surprise for me to say “Life has been busy!”  For four days last week we were lucky to be visited by a couple from Scotland, Andy and Ryan Bond, who were traveling with fellow Scots on a Rotary exchange.  They traveled all the way to Oregon and spent two weeks visiting various Rotary clubs around the state.  As part of their visit to Oregon, these folks had a chance to tour the coast at Newport and the Rotary club there made sure that they had a fabulous time.

Ashland was the last stop on the journey for many of the Scots, though some of our visitors did plan to extend their trip into Vancouver, B.C.  We met our  guests on Tuesday and had a lovely dinner together.  I think that Rotary has a great idea here:  visitors come to a new city and are greeted by Rotarians… and are hosted by Rotarians, and are shown around the area by Rotarians.  It is a great way to see a new area… and make new friends along the way.

One of the goals of this “program” is to break down barriers, find common interests, and forge new friendshps.  That was easily done with our guests.  Andy and I found that we both loved to cook and bake… and we also shared an interest in contests!  She is a wonderful baker and one of her specialties is making traditional cakes covered in marzipan.  From the way she describes them, I just know that they are delectable!

Saturday was our last day with Andy and Ryan and I asked Andy to visit the Rotary Garden with me.  On the way I saw a sign for a yard sale and thought Andy might like to see what we call a yard sale here in Southern Oregon.  After a few minutes of browsing the items for sale, I could tell that Andy was sorry that the weight limit on checked luggage is 50 pounds!

We are so lucky to be a part of this amazing organization.  Through our participation in Rotary, we have made friends around the world.  Our world view is greater because we are not isolated from the rest; we can see that we are all connected.  And that is a wonderful thing.

What does this have to do with a pie?  Well, give me another moment and I will explain.

Quiche prep

Today I made a quiche for a couple who run a business in Ashland.  They are both hardworking, caring people.  They are amazing to me because they help out a man who has few options.  This man is like a visitor in a way.  He lives simply, doesn’t ask for much, but he needs help.  And these folks give it to him when they can… not because they have to… but because it is the right thing to do.

Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes

I’ve gone to church all of my life… and I think I know how we “should” live.  And I believe that these folks are doing it.  Just because.  I am truly touched by their simple act of grace and wish that we all could give of ourselves as easily and without judgement.   It seems like a nice dream anyway.

Finished Quiche

“If you can’t fee a hundred people, then feed just one.”  Mother Teresa

 

 

Day 354: Grace

25 Mar

I’ve said this a few times on my blog, “It takes a village to raise a child.”  Lest there be any doubt as to how I interpret this phrase, here you go:

No child learns everything it needs to know from their parents.

This is not meant to deride a parent, or to fault a family, but instead to acknowledge the contributions that others bring to our children.

One of the people who contributed to my daughter’s growth, is a woman I shall call “Grace.”  She was one of Alexandra’s mentors about ten years ago.  Grace was very supportive of my daughter and treated her as a professional.  That meant a lot to Alexandra… and to me.  We all want our children to succeed in this world and we are lucky when they can find friendly guides along the way.

On this fine March day, I made an Asparagus, Roasted Pepper, and Swiss Cheese Quiche and brought it to Grace.  I want to thank her for being the wonderful, caring person that she is,  and for modeling that behavior for others.

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” Oprah Winfrey

 

 

 

 

Day 311: Gavin and Family

11 Feb

S’more Pie

A few days ago, our friend Todd emailed us to let us know that his son, Gavin, would be competing this weekend in the regional wrestling tournament which was being held at Eagle Point High School.  Gavin is a senior at Bend High School and has been wrestling since he was in the sixth grade.  Last year he came in second in his class at the state finals.

Gavin had two matches yesterday and two matches today.  He won the matches yesterday and also won the first match today… and then Gavin got to compete against the top wrestler in the country in his class!  Talk about luck! Last year Gavin competed against this same guy and was pinned in under a minute.  Today it took more than 3 minutes for the guy to pin him.  That means that Gavin earned a second place ranking and is headed to the state finals in two weeks.

Bend High School Wrestling Team

Todd asked if I would consider making Gavin a pie as a special treat for after the tournament.  Then he said that Gavin’s favorite pie was S’more Pie.  Since I have never made a S’more Pie, I was looking forward to making one today.  There were quite a few recipes for this pie on the internet.  Some of the recipes called for making a chocolate pudding and then adding marshmallow cream, while others called for a ganache filling that was topped with marshmallows.

The S’more Pie that I chose to make used the ganache filling and was topped with mini-marshmallows.  That was then set under the broiler until it was lightly golden and then I tossed some chocolate chips on top.  It smelled divine – just like it might at a campfire!

Gavin received his pie after the final match but then he was being whisked off to the team bus for the ride back to Bend.  He asked his parents to safeguard his pie until he got home because he wanted it all to himself.  And he deserves it!  Congratulations Gavin on your second place finish and we wish you all the best at the state finals!

“You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.”

~Arthur Ashe~


Todd, Gavin, Grace and Parker

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