Small Reunion

I started to reach for a book to read, then I thought of the SOS invitation today

What can you stop doing in order to make time and space to write?

Go stop it.


So I walked away from my book stack, opened my computer to write.

The pandemic has caused a lengthy separation in our family. Some of that ended this week. All parties (some in their 60’s, 80’s, and 90’s) were finally vaccinated. It was good to see the whole person, rather than just a head via zoom. It was good to put arms around a body and hug rather than wave farewell via zoom. It was good to have face-to-face conversations rather than garbled sound via zooms with unstable connections.

A year of family togetherness has been lost. Time is precious and we need to take advantage of every opportunity to be reunited. I know we will make the nine hour drive to be together again and again.

Merry Christmas in April

“You are getting an email for your Christmas present,” my son said, followed by, “you will either love it or you may hate me for it.” Those words piqued our interest. How could anything he selected for us make us hate him? He went on to explain that we had a gift certificate to a virtual cooking class. All we had to do was decide on what kind of international cuisine we wanted, check out the menu offered, then sign up for a date. This week we used our gift certificate to prepare Lomo Saltado &Β Arroz Con Leche with Chef Luis from Lima, Peru.

On Wednesday a box arrived with a few of the ingredients needed to make Lomo Saltado and Arroz Con Leche.

Lots of filler to keep everything safe.
This made me laugh. πŸ™‚
Here is everything unpacked.

Of course there were perishable items I needed to get before the class. Here is the list detailing the types of pans and utensils needed to create our meal.

The usual, sharp knife and cutting board, measuring spoons and cups, mixing bowls, and pots and skillets, plus:

  • 3 medium pots
  • 1 wok or large skillet
  • 1 heavy bottom skillet for potatoes
  • Metal tongs
  • Wooden spoon

As I read this list, I began to wonder if I had enough of the right sized pans. Turns out I did. πŸ™‚

There were about nine zoom boxes of others cooking along with Chef Luis. Several of the couples were also the result of Christmas and birthday gifts from children.

Here the chef is showing how to check the rice.
I have to say, these potatoes were tasty. I will make them again.
Even my husband was enjoying the experience. (Normally, he does not enjoy cooking.)
Here is our version of Lomo Saltado and Arroz Con Leche. Unfortunately, I forgot to add the cilantro/green onion garnish that you will see in the picture below.
This is the official recipe card photo, but I don’t see the yellow pepper in the photo. I think the chef made a few alterations to the printed recipe.

It was a good time and a great meal. We were stuffed by the end of our dinner. Merry Christmas to us! No, we don’t hate our son. πŸ™‚

Where Is Home?

Home can be defined as the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. I like the idea of living permanently in a place, but that was not in the cards for me.

My earliest memories are living in a Chicago suburb. I didn’t know it was a suburb, if anyone asked me where I lived, I proudly said, “Chicago!” I thought I would live there forever.

After sixth grade we moved because my father found a job that could better support a family of five children. We lived a few months near Washington, D. C. as he completed training for his job. When that was over we drove to Houston, Texas (seventh grade) to live for a year. Houston was never home. It was a place to reside, but nothing felt right in that city. I was considered a northern girl. I didn’t talk like a Texan. I didn’t think the sun rose and set only in Texas or that Texas was the center of the universe. I was relieved when our time in Texas was up.

Next assignment was Kansas City, Missouri (we lived in Overland Park, Kansas; eighth grade). I thought this was going to be home, I was wrong. There was an opening in a field office in Springfield, Missouri, my father got the assignment. Pack up and move again.

I entered high school hoping this would be a place we could stay. We did stay. I tried to leave. I wanted to attend college anywhere else. I went to college in Springfield and lived at home. It was not the college experience I had dreamed about for several years. However, I did meet my husband at that college during my last semester before graduating. πŸ™‚

After getting married, we created a place of residence in another town, but home was back in Springfield where my parents were. I don’t think we ever considered our houses a home until we had our son. Now we were a family and we created a home. I thought this is where we will live until we die. I was wrong.

Another job was offered to my husband and me, so we left the place we called home for twenty years to build a home back in Springfield. It has been home for the past twenty-four years. That’s almost permanent, but someday we will move again. We will move closer to our son. That move will be permanent.

I marvel at the families who have lived in one house for their entire life. I thought that would be my life, but I was wrong. I moved and moved and moved, but even though not all places could qualify as a home by the definition above, I was always a member of a family. That’s what makes a home, the people who surround you.