Cooking and Crying

December 26, 2009 at 7:14 pm (healing, Inspiration, Memoirs, Rebuilding) (, , )

My Magic Kitchen

Cooking and Crying

It hits at odd moments when you are doing something normal.  The universe decides to remind you of how friggin lucky you are.

So here it is the holiday season, and it is all about cooking for my husband and I. We cook for gatherings that happen in our home, and are asked to cook for most other gatherings we attend as well. Rum-glazed bosc pairs, vegetarian matzoh ball soup, roasted winter vegetables over couscous, roasted beer can chickens, an apple cider brined turkey, tabuleh salad, mint and dill cucumber salad….I’m full just reading about it!

I am so pleased that our friends and family enjoy our cooking, and I believe that breaking bread with others is a sacred act.

But cooking is more than that for me. It is a reminder.

After my house burned down in August of 2007, I was naturally afraid of flames. I had seen fire at its most destructive, and had barely escaped being consumed by it myself. I did not light candles, go near fire places, sit near camping fires, or cook on a gas stove for months.

Then one cold winter day in our little rental house, I had a craving for matzo ball soup. I am a vegetarian, so I couldn’t just go to a deli to get the soup – it would have had chicken in it. I had to make the soup myself. I remember my hands shaking as I lit the burner that first time.

Now I cook most days with out a second thought, but once in a while I am reminded and I am grateful to be healing.

They tell me that this last batch of matzoh ball soup was especially good. It had a secret ingredient – tears of joy!

Permalink 4 Comments

Why I Want To Marry the Red Cross

February 10, 2009 at 11:59 pm (Charitable Organizations) (, , , , , )

Why I Want To Marry the Red Cross

I used to think that The Red Cross only showed up if there was a disaster of biblical proportion to be dealt with and throngs of people in crisis to soothe, shelter, and feed.
Well, they also show up when your house burns down.
They not only show up, but they VOLUNTEER to show up.
If I could marry an organization, (and polygamy was legal in my state), I would marry The Red Cross.

As the firefighters fought fiercely to subdue the blaze consuming our house and now also the neighbors’ roof, my husband and I lay on the carpeted floor of a neighbors’ house across the street.
We were trying to stay calm as various police, fire inspectors, EMTs, and friends came in and out.
In the midst of all the chaos, a soft-spoken diminutive old man entered the room. He said he was from The Red Cross and showed us his credentials. He sat with us for over an hour through almost constant interruptions. Somehow, he managed to get all of the vital information he needed. We were in such shock, that it was almost a comfort to answer his questions.
After he had ascertained that we’d be staying with friends as opposed to going to a hotel, he announced that he was done.
He handed us a debit card from the Red Cross worth $500.
Before I could thank him properly or even get his name, he had vanished.
Talk about your everyday heroes! Who was that unmasked man?

That debit card was a life saver. When you have lost 98% of all your material possessions, it is a remarkable thing to be able to buy food for your pets, a pen, a notebook , shoes, (I had left the house barefoot), and much more.
When you have lost all of your stuff, it is a great gift of dignity to be able to buy your own underwear.
I urge you to make a donation to The Red Cross. You never know when you will be on the receiving end of their amazing services.

P.S. Here is a way to directly help a fellow-blogger who recently lost her home to fire.

* Thanks Liz for sending this my way !

Permalink 6 Comments

Everyday Heroes

February 5, 2009 at 11:03 pm (Inspiration) (, , , , )

Everyday Heroes

Before the fire department

Before the police

Before Fox 5 landed with lights on my lawn

The heroes showed up

I ran out of a burning house with my dog, a birdcage, and my keys.

The heroes were already there waiting to help.

Somebody moved the car out of the driveway, got me some water, called my husband, took my animals to their house, and held my hand.

I am filled with awe and eternal gratitude by the simple kind acts of these folks.

I’m pretty sure that these amazing people were not sitting around at home thinking, “How can I be a hero today?”

Some of these people I know and some I will never know.

I am filled with awe and eternal gratitude for their actions.

I know for sure that there is part of each and every one of us that is heroic.

A heroic act can be very small. You don’t have to leap tall buildings in a single bound or stop a moving train in order to be a hero.

You are probably a hero every day without even realizing it.

When you encourage a child to learn, smile at a stranger, adopt a pet from a shelter, recycle, buy locally-grown produce, or take an elderly neighbor to the super market, you are a hero.

John Lennon sang, “A working class hero is something to be.”

I sing, “An everyday hero is something to be”.

Permalink 4 Comments