Sunday, January 2


Déjà vu gave us a knowing look as B and I realized we do this most years: head out on New Year’s Day around 5:30 P.M. ready to shop and walk around at stores that close around 5:30 P.M. Food was the next order of business so I looked up the closest UNO’s because we had this really tasty healthy pizza there the other day. Google said it was Permanently Closed. We then spotted a restaurant that we hadn’t been to in a while, but at a new location. A giant banner announced “Coming Soon! Now Hiring.”

We pressed on.

Down the road a Chinese restaurant we’d never seen before sported three-foot high lettering announcing GRAND OPENING, your traditional-oval Open neon, and a truck out front announcing the same for good measure. This place was most definitely open. We ordered meals we’d never ordered before in the spirit of new, ate nearly all of them and chatted whilst drinking tea afterward. Our waiter delivered two fortune cookies and the bill. I tore the cellophane wrapper and cracked open the cookie to learn that my fortune was...nonexistent. I smiled thinking my fortune is up to me, as it is for each of us.

Happy New Year.

Sunday, November 28

A Baker’s Dozen of Grateful-For Things

Another Thanksgiving has filled my belly...and my heart.

Here’s a baker’s dozen of the good stuff for which I give thanks:
1. Opening my parents’* front door Wednesday night to the smells of turkey in the oven, apple pie resting on the stove top and homemade Chex mix on the kitchen table. Bliss.

2. My new job and how much I like it. Like any good thing in one’s life, it makes all the other good things even better.

3. Being able to spend the whole holiday weekend with my family. (I wasn’t sure what the paid holiday situation would be at the new job so I was thrilled to learn it was Thursday and Friday.)

4. My mother-in-law’s good health...and her incredible scalloped corn.

5. My mom getting in the kitchen to bake her Cream Cheese Pumpkin Roll. What a surprise treat! You can see it’s half gone in the forefront of the photo.

6. My sister- and mother-in-law hosting the holiday as usual and cooking a delicious spread.

7. How funny people in my family are - they had me laughing to tears.

8. My brother suggesting breakfast Saturday morning.

9. My dear husband, the whipped cream on my life.

10. Shopping at dawn on Black Friday with my dad and B and getting all new socks and a gorgeous, soft scarf I wore all day.

11. Running into old friends and family during that cold, dark morning and enjoying the conversations more than the door busters. What I went for turned out to not be on sale anyway!

12. Equally enjoyable was eating my second turkey dinner, napping and then spending the rest of the evening on the couch watching TV with my parents and B.

13. All the barriers that have been torn asunder this year. Doors I kept pushing on gave way and then others popped open surprisingly - maybe because they finally realized it was a better state of being: open.

I hope your Thanksgiving was a filling as mine.

*My parents just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Cheers, Mom and Dad!

Monday, July 5

Floating on the Fourth

The fireworks vibrated our foot pegs as B and I floated on the river. We had the best seats by far.

Tuesday, June 8

The Second Best Sandwich in the Country

Another moment in Seattle: The day before we leave for Seattle, B calls out from the living room that there is this sandwich we’ve got to try while we’re there. It is on one of those Travel/Food Network shows, and Paseo’s Cuban Roast is in the number two slot of some ever popular top whatever list. We are a bit giddy to fulfill a silly goal: to travel to some place to eat what we saw on TV.

Saturday, May 15, turns out to be the day. Paseo’s has a couple locations, and we decide we’ll go to Fremont, a cool, artsy in the let’s-build-a-giant-troll-under-the-bridge-sort-of-way suburb. We know we’ve found the place not only by the blue dot on the Google map, but by the meandering line up the sidewalk. There is no sign. The place is clad in aluminum, has glass front doors and is about 10 feet wide. Okay, maybe 15. We take our place, jaw a bit with some other folks who are here on the same quest and play on our iPhones - the device that makes waiting completely painless. A sign informs us that due to the rising cost of corn a side of it will be extra instead of coming with the sandwich. B deducts that they put it with the sandwich for a reason so he orders two Cuban Roasts with corn. Once his name is called and a heavy bag of roast pork sandwiches is in hand, we head off to a park I located on the phone while we waited.

There are maybe six places to sit in tiny Paseo’s, and unless you enjoy wild-eyed, pork-leering people streaming past as you eat, I highly recommend taking your lunch to nearby Green Lake Park.

We park the rental, locate a spot at the edge of a tree’s shadow overlooking the pretty glacially-formed lake and open the bag. This sandwich is big like a sub on the tastiest crusty-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside bread. We both sit straddling the large white squares of meat-packing paper in which our sandwiches rest. The pork is tender and plain. This is not a saucy sandwich, but the juice makes it a drippy, sit-down meal. On top of the pork are super-thick onions. You know when you have a giant onion ring and the whole thing comes sliding out of the crust all in one piece? About 10 of those succulent monsters glisten on each sandwich. Finally, there’s a surprisingly light layer of mayonnaise dotted generously with sliced jalapeños. This pork-and-onion-loving, mayo-despising, might-shy-from-jalapeños gal absolutely loves it. We deem the Paseo Cuban Roast worthy of the wait in line to get it. Heck, it’s worthy of the flight.

We are in a happy stupor afterward, watching people bike, stroll, run and roll by on the paved loop. We do a lot of fun things this week in Seattle, but this is one of my favorite moments, laying back on raincoats for blankets in the grass, bellies full of yum and hearts full of happy as we lay side-by-side.

Since I know you are not content with that ending, still yearning to learn about America’s number one sandwich, I give you this.

Monday, June 7

Bruce and Brandon Six Feet From the Living

Another moment in Seattle: Bruce and Brandon Lee lay below our feet. It’s completely surreal. Way back in the day B and I loved martial arts and actually met in a class; we still enjoy watching Kung Fu movies as much as ever. Bruce’s stone looks just like I’ve seen in pictures, but we are surprised to find Brandon right next to him. Brandon’s stone is designed with a space sliced down its middle; I touch it and imagine when it rains that it pours out each side making two little fountains. I remember later that I didn’t touch Bruce’s stone. I have lived three years longer than this man, but he lived so much more intensely.

We took pause reading the too-true inscription on Brandon’s stone: “Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times. And a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seem limitless.” - For Brandon and Eliza, Ever Joined in True Love’s Beauty