Friday, October 31, 2014

Food Nostalgia

While driving back from getting my oil changed this morning, I was listening to a local MPR show  on the topic of "food nostalgia." The host was asking her guests and listeners what foods from the past brought back memories for them. Some remembered terrific and tasty dishes made by (usually) mom or grandma, while others recalled some things that were really not all that great but still had warm and wonderful connections simply because they were made and presented with love, or because they were attached to significant events. Driving along, I flashed on a food nostalgia memory of my own - Frosting Hotdogs.

When I was little, once a week my mom would take me to dance class after school, and while we were gone, my dad would get our evening meal, then known as "supper" ready, to have when we got back. On this particular night, he was going to fry up some hot dogs, using lard, as we did back in the day before we all lived in fear of the fat. The lard we used came from the butcher and was simply kept in a dish in the refrigerator with one of those little plastic hats on it that look like shower caps. We stored our leftovers in the same fashion, and that day beneath a hat, in addition to the lard, there was also some vanilla frosting left from something or another, and dad, moving fast to get those dogs on the table for the hungry dancer, grabbed the frosting dish and fried the hotdogs up in that instead of the lard.

Once we got over the surprise we realized we liked them, in fact, they were really good! They were crisp and sweet, kind of like a glazed ham, and definitely an upgrade over your plain hotdog. I'm sure they were not very high on the health scale with the extra sugar and all, but then we are talking hot dogs fried in lard here! So the frosted hotdogs went into our family cooking roster as a now and again treat. When there would be a need for frosting, sometimes mom would make a little extra on purpose so we could have them. I've made them a few times as an adult, but they are not as good somehow.

When it comes to what feeds us, whether in nostalgia or the here and now, maybe it has more to do with the who, when, and where as much as the what of it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Instructive Din of My Quiet Mind

What is it about lying on a yoga mat and being told to "quiet your mind" that makes mine do anything but?!? I have been going to a lovely restorative yoga class on Sunday afternoons that really consists of nothing much more than assembling oneself in a supported pose and just hanging out for about fifteen minutes doing, at least theoretically, nothing but allowing the ground and the props to hold and support the body while the mind becomes more and more quiet. Mmmm-hmmmm. Let's see, on today's menu we had everything from earworm fragments of several different songs - a little Queen, a couple hymns and a few bars of Kenny G that drifted up from an MPR story I heard about him the other day, I think - the usual distraction of the "what I have to do after class" and the thing that seems to drift in mostly these days when my mind has nothing better to do, my "big questions" about the alignment of my life, work, vocation and all that jazz.

I avoided yoga for a good stretch of time. Avoiding all that quiet space for all that head noise that tells me how much I am not paying attention to how much I need to pay attention. But it's due and overdue. Just like the writing and the singing....all leading back to something (someone?) I'm missing.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lost in Transition?

I kind of knew in the back of my head that it had "been a while" since I blogged. Um...yeah, like a year and change apparently. That's a lot longer than I thought,  so when the postings about NaBloPoMo started popping up on FaceBook it seemed like a good little push in the right direction, and reaffirmed the idea I had lately that this might be something (along with some other somethings) that I really should be considering putting back into my repertoire of daily life.

I find myself wanting to argue with Blogger about that last posting date....September of LAST year? Really? No, it can't be THAT long....can it? Thirteen months and some days since I have recorded more than a post or a tweet about my daily comings and goings? Well, there have been a few journal entries here and there I think, a couple of long-ish e-mails of the more reflective type to friends, and one lonely sermon, but that's it. I wonder where they are going, all those thoughts that used to commit themselves to words on the screen?

Maybe they are hanging out in the same place with the music. I just realized the other day that I don't sing much anymore. Another thing that  I once would have told you was a pretty essential part of my identity that just kind of faded away.....

So, you ask, what DO you do with yourself these days? Well, there's work-four long days and a commute-tired at the end with not much left of me, my sweetie and I have dinner (together on a good day when our schedules collide), try for some good adult conversation, a little screen time and it's off to bed. Fridays I have off, sometimes I play but often that is the day of the appointments and errands- car to the oil change, dog to the vet sort of things. Weekends are catch-up time, we shop and cook for the week, and I do try to squeeze in a yoga class before the week takes off again.

I know that in there there is time, probably lots of it if I look, that I could be spending better than I am. I used to be much, much busier when I wore all those hats and was the energizer bunny. I worked full-time, plus pastored and preached  and served on COM and diocesan committees and the local ministerial association and walked a mile a day with my friend and her dog, wrote on my blog, went to yoga twice a week, and seemed to have time for it all.

It's been over three years now since we moved back to "the big city" and while in some ways it has been good for us, it has also been hard, and I don"t think I am still really settled. Certainly not in the way I was settled into my little life on the prairie. This still comes as kind of a shock to me, as I (somewhat naively I now suspect) expected that I would find things much easier to come "home" to than I did on so many levels. Of course there were things I could not know. And perhaps there were things I should have known and did not. But at any rate, what I expected and what came to be are not at all the same and there are days when I find myself wondering "what if?" But as my very wise husband reminds me "we live with what is not with what if...." and so my challenge now is to make life here and now. And I think maybe some of that is to re-connect with those parts of me that have somehow gone missing. Like things that get misplaced in a move, left in boxes in the back of closets, "until there is time" I need to unearth them, gently dust them off and get them back in plain sight to remind me of what feeds me and brings me mostly deeply to who I am.