Tag Archives: Pakistan

Day 225: Matt

17 Nov

Matt Damon was my son Coco’s third grade teacher at Helman Elementary. One of the things that I liked most about Matt was his quiet, gentle demeanor. He impressed me because he was able to speak to the children in the classroom in a calm, thoughtful way even when the kids were not cooperating; make that especially when the kids were not cooperating.

Another enviable trait that Matt demonstrated was his ability to tell stories. One evening he held a special storytelling night at the school. I remember one story in particular. It is a story from India and Pakistan called “The Gifts of Wali Dad.” In this story a poor man finds himself with more money than he needs to live on and uses it to buy a gift to give to the most noble woman in the land. Yet this small gift sets off a funny chain of events that is fueled by misunderstanding.

Matt is a marvelous storyteller and had the audience enchanted. I think that it was neat for the kids to see their teacher in a different role – and it gave Matt a chance to show off his acting skills (much like another actor of the same name!).

Today I brought a Dutch Apple pie to Matt to thank him for his role in my son’s education and to recognize the unique gifts that he brings to teaching.

Day 188: Mike and Mary

11 Oct

We met Mike and Mary many years ago because they are friends of our neighbors. We knew them for years before I realized that I had worked with Mary’s brother at a restaurant when I first came to Ashland in the eighties. It always surprises me when things like that happen; finding those little clues that prove how connected we really are.

About six years ago Mike came to my aid when I was working on a project to send blankets to Pakistan after the earthquake in Kashmir. With the help of Ashland residents I had collected almost 400 blankets and needed to get them overseas. The Consulate General of Pakistan in Los Angeles told me that if I could get them to him, he would include them in a shipment to his country. That’s when Mike asked his company, Oak Harbor Freight Lines, if they would ship the boxes to Los Angeles without charge. It was a very generous act on his part and most appreciated.

More recently, I have had the pleasure of catering the weddings for each of Mike and Mary’s daughters. It was a joy to work with Mary on the menus and other details and I was thrilled that everything came together so beautifully. I loved seeing their friends and family on those occasions and felt honored to be a part of it all. I especially appreciated Mary’s faith this past summer. She did not doubt that I would be able to cater Ali’s wedding three weeks after I had broken my rib; her trust meant more than I can say.

This afternoon I made a Mushroom and Sausage quiche for Mike and Mary. They are both pretty busy and I thought it would be nice for them to have dinner waiting when they got home… a small gesture to thank them for the gift of their friendship.

Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things. ~Author Unknown