Sunday, January 20, 2008

"Build Bridges, Not Fences"

I have always been fond of Pennsylvania. An old friend was from Boyertown, and I made a couple of trips to visit his family during our time together. The thing I remember best was white peaches - my friend's sister had an orchard and a little store, and those trips set the standard by which I still judge all peaches.

This morning I read an article in Cooking Light about Dinner Day. Pennsylvania passed a resolution in 2002 that encourages you to invite your neighbor to dinner on the second Saturday in January. How cool is that? I wish I'd known sooner, I would have liked to plan a party around it and include a few of my neighbors. I am going to do this next year, and it should be even more enjoyable because Valentino will be able to eat with us by then. He's just starting solids, and eating in his high chair for the first time.

Truthfully, I don't need the excuse of Dinner Day - last weekend (on Saturday, coincidentally!), Alex made a huge pot of braised beef and vegetables, and polenta (yummmmm), and we had so much food that we felt guilty eating by ourselves. We called up 3 of our neighbors and invited them all over. They were a little surprised at the last-minute nature of the invite, but I think that they really liked the fact that we thought of them and had them over just because. It's hard for me to do dinner parties like I used to, because we live so far from town and the road to our house can be treacherous in the winter. It's a little too intimidating for most of our friends in town. The only way I can get them up here is by planning well in advance and luring them with a special wine or meal. Or, maybe the promise of some lush white peaches....

Friday, January 18, 2008


Slow food. Slow year. Slow lane. Slow down.

Everywhere I turn, the signs tell me to slow down. Some of that is already happening, even without my really intending to make changes. Having a baby does that to you, I guess. One of the first things I learned when I met Valentino is that I can't rush him into anything. Late for an appointment? Too bad, he needs to nurse. Gotta get to work on time? Oh well, you can only stuff the baby into his jacket so fast before you piss him off.

Understanding that this was absolutely beyond my control (and not in a creepy John Malkovich kind of way) was actually a relief. An entire adult life spent being early for appointments and never keeping anyone waiting is not without value, but now I have a reason to take my time. The best possible reason. So I do. And I treasure those little stolen moments with my boy, when he is ready to go but is looking up at me with a smile, and so I pause for a few extra moments just to smile back at him.