Friday, February 22, 2013

it's nothing to sniff at

A good personal trainer can be hard to come by. Especially one who works for free and really doesn't give a fig if you have muffin tops or love handles. I've learned beau coups about well-being from my canine coach. Ruffy (nee Rutherford) could care less about pedigree, yours or hers, and has never met a stranger. Friendly, trusting, energetic and dear - totally off the EQ scale - she has enough joi de vivre to light up the Eiffel Tower. She soaks up Vitamin D sunshine and knows the power of a good cat nap. She's taught me that food is something to celebrate, that water should be lapped up with abandon, and few things are better than a good walk, a long stretch, a wet kiss. Also, getting a little age on you isn't a bad thing. And that sometimes you have to wiggle out of your leash and run like the wind toward what you really want in life.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

the best time

Some cold, wet days beg the question: what's there to love about winter? Here's an answer in a beautiful poem.

Winter Is the Best Time 

Winter is the best time
to find out who you are.

Quiet, contemplation time,
away from the rushing world,

cold time, dark time, holed-up
pulled-in time and space

to see that inner landscape,
that place hidden and within.

- David Budbill

Saturday, February 16, 2013

devoted

I like this introspective, wilderness time of the church calendar. For the second year in a row, Arkon and I have produced a Lenten Devotional booklet for Christ Church which can be downloaded here. Forty days, forty meditations. Leading us into spring and the promise of Easter.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

love unlimited

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work, Thomas Edison said, and I wonder if something similar isn't true about love? For every red dress and diamond necklace, I give you a robe and slipper-clad figure schlepping out to warm up the car on a dark winter morning. For every chocolate-dipped strawberry and flute of champagne, I give you a casserole bubbling in the oven on a weary weeknight, a forgotten lunch dropped off at school, a corner booth at Jason's deli where two best friends can have a good cry and a good Reuben. Love says here's a book I knew you'd like and this song makes me think of you and I have two tickets, can you go? Love asks did you get your project done and have you made that follow-up appointment? It's dressed up as the dog that does backflips when you get home, a sweet text popping up, a crocus poking through, the sun peeking out. Love is many-splendored master of disguise. All you have to do is open your heart and you'll see it everywhere. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

frosty days

Ever have one of those moments when your life circles back around on itself? That's how I felt today when I saw this Wendy's poster. It's a StewartMarr special we recently did for a new item they're featuring. I'm sure that the corporate office has no idea that the person who came up with the headline also worked there at 16. That was me in the turquoise and white-striped tunic, trying to keep up with the orders a la I Love Lucy and cringing when my boyfriend came as I mopped the 'dining room.' The menu back then consisted of just three items: hamburgers (Single, Double or Triple . . . and no one ever ordered a Triple during my tenure), fries and the ubiquitous Frosty. It was hard hot labor and, to this day, my hat is off to anyone who works in food service. My best Wendy's moment happened years later, when my kids were little and asked to go through the drive-thru for a Frosty. The awe and admiration in their eyes when I told them I had once worked there is something I may never see again. Truly a classic.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

love letter

Just when you think you are going to have to break up with the U.S. Post Office (the perpetual rate hikes, the long lines, the sullen service), something comes along to revive the relationship. It usually happens about mid-winter, usually early February, usually involving the color red, a heart shape, some beauty. The 2013 love stamp once again brings the elegance of legendary designer Louise Fili to the top righthand corner of an envelope near you. A miniature work of art available to the masses for a measly forty-six cents. They say you can't buy love, but the Post Office does have some for sale. For a limited time only.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

residual happiness

Another nice thing about having friends over for dinner is that the next morning there is tiramisu for breakfast. Amid orange tulips.

Friday, February 1, 2013

looking for love

February deserves its very own valentine, a glittery profusion of pinks and reds, wobbly symmetrical and showy enough for passersby to glimpse it hanging on the kitchen door and know that love lives here. No need to wait until the 14th or look in the mailbox. Valentines are all around. A cardinal caught out of the corner of your eye amid bare winter branches and camellias that just keep on blooming in my beloved old neighbor's yard so long after he's been gone. Lush strawberries on special at the grocery store, grown a few Florida towns over from where I grew up. And a bright pink scarf covered in sequins, little flag of joy on this cold, cold day.
(Cy Twombly, Wilder Shores of Love, Bassano in Teverina, 1985)