Friday, December 28, 2012

A Lunch Date

"We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink." (Epicurus)

I thought I'd try a new type of entry today.  I was reading a book on blogging last week, (tips on what to write and how to attract an audience, etc.) and it suggested that you come up with a couple of ideas for regular, recurring entries you write.  This way you'd have something to fall back on when you want to write something, but all you do is stare at the blank page (happens to me a lot!)

This is inspired by something I saw on a blog I follow, written by a young chef, called "Eat, Live, Run".  Occasionally she writes what she calls "Virtual Coffee Dates":  entries where she chats, as if you and her were sitting, having coffee together - shooting the breeze. (Here's a link to her blog, if you're interested)

"Eat, Live, Run - Celebrating Life One Crumb At a Time"

I'm calling this "A Lunch Date".  I'm not much of a coffee date kind of guy (I think that's more a female thing?).  But I could see myself inviting you over to lunch.  I'd fix us something, and while I'm bustling around the kitchen, we'd talk, and then continue over a nice lunch.  Lunch dates seem like such a luxury to me after 30 years of rushing through lunches at school!  Throw in the fact that I love to cook, and there you go - a perfect chance to visit!  Plus it'll give me a chance to write from a different perspective - more conversational, more informal.

So let's start!  First, what are we having for lunch?  It's a cold, gray day today, so I'm fixing a classic lunch - a favorite of just about every "red blooded American".  Grilled cheese sandwiches and vegetable soup!

Hmmm, hmmm...good!
What would we talk about while I'm stirring the soup and slicing the bread, and then sitting down to eat?
Let's see...
  • "How was your Christmas?"  I had a very nice - very different kind of Christmas than usual.  Christmas has usually meant a big family gathering at my parents' house in Scholls ("The Ranch").  A long drive there and back for me and Deborah; tons of siblings and offspring; lots of tradition; loud and boisterous; something we've been doing for almost 50 years.  But this year Deborah and I couldn't go.  So we had a quiet, simple Christmas Eve to ourselves.  We went out to dinner; we saw a movie.  We came home and opened our presents for each other in our "jammies".  It was a very intimate and warm celebration.  I enjoyed it!  For once, it felt like "my" Christmas - not a "Schnorenberg" Christmas.  Sooner or later, Christmas at the Ranch will come to an end when my parents pass.  Learning how to enjoy the day in a new way was refreshing.
  • "Get any good gifts?"  Oh yeah!  My wife spoiled me!  She gave me the new Amazon Kindle Fire HD! I've been a giddy little boy for the last two days, playing with this magical device!  Surf the Web, play games, watch videos, check email, play music.  The only thing I haven't really done yet?  Read a book on it!  But the Fire wasn't my favorite gift.  The gift that she gave me that touched my heart (made me cry) was a pretty glass jar with a cork top that she called a "Year's Reflection Jar".  Along with the jar, she gave me some nice note paper.  Over the next 365 days, she invited me (and her) to write down anything that makes us happy or inspires us, and then stick it in the jar.  Next Christmas, we'll empty the jar and read to each other all that we remembered.  What a wonderful, touching idea!  Perfect for the "sentimental historian" that I am!  I love how she knows me so well!
  • "You're still looking pretty good!"  Yeah, but I've put on a few pounds this last month:  not enough exercising as it got colder (and I got busier at school), and enjoying a few more treats.  Bad combination.  Here's something that bugs me.  Why is putting on 5 pounds so effortless??  I don't even notice doing it.  But losing those same 5 pounds?  Definitely takes blood, sweat, and tears!  Something about "nature's math" just doesn't add up here! (especially as I've "aged")  Oh well, I'm back at the gym - working at regaining my "schoolboy" figure.  
I'm not quite as "perfect" as Calvin!
  • Go see the movie "Life of Pi"!  Deborah and I loved it!  We both read the book a few years ago.  It was amazing seeing this story of an Indian boy shipwrecked at sea, alone in a boat with a tiger named Richard Parker come to life!  It was uplifting; it was inspiring and spiritual.  The cinematography took you to a whole new world.  And the ending left us chattering all the way home!

I love this quote from the book...don't know if I remember it from the movie.

"The world isn't just the way it is.  It's how we understand it, no?  And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?  Doesn't that make life a story?" (Yann Martel)

Time to clear away the dishes...what will we have for dessert?  My favorite cookie, Snickerdoodles, and tea.

And as we ate our buttery, cinnamony, crinkly cookies and sipped our tea, I would probably tell you how much I enjoy having another week off before heading back to school.  I love puttering around the house, and taking care of my wife (since she has to work still most days)

But I know when the New Year begins, and it's officially 2013, the fact that I'll be retiring in 6 months will become more real and concrete than it has been so far.    And that will be both exciting and uncomfortable.  I'm excited about what that means:  all the new possibilities, new changes in my life, etc.  But I know there'll also be some discomfort and worries:  What will the future bring?  What do I do now after having done something else for 30 years?

But that's life.  I read this quote and liked it.

"Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow, and reach new heights." (Pauline Kezer)

I'm ready to sprout a few new branches.  That'll be something to write about in the future.

Thanks for coming over!  No, don't worry about the dishes - I got 'em!  Look forward to our next lunch date!


  1. Hi Jon,
    A very fun post. The soup and sandwich were delicious!
    Happy New Year.

  2. Glad you stopped by! You're just the type of person that I think it would be fun to have lunch with! Happy New Year to you and Desi too - Deby and I hope it means we'll get a chance to see you again up here!