Christmas 2013 has come and gone and the New Year is poised to enter our reality. Every year people ask, “Are you ready for the holidays?” I ponder that question and the things we do to “get ready.” Why do we do them, and what are their consequences? What is the meaning behind our actions?
I want to emphasize, at the outset, that no one has ever told me I should write a cook-book.
People have asked me for recipes, though, and that is where I get into trouble, because I don’t work from or towards recipes. If I open a cookbook, I use the formula more as a “suggestion” than as a mapped-out procedure. I often add or subtract, based upon what I have at hand. Things usually work out.
Patricia Jones’ doctors told her “There is nothing you can do.” They continued to prescribe medications and watch her diabetes worsen until, finally, they told her there was nothing more they could do except put her on insulin. “There is no cure for diabetes,” they said.
On the second Sunday, most every month, a few cars make the long trek down our gravel driveway at 2:30 in the afternoon.
In one of my favorite scenes in an old-favorite Clyde Edgerton book, the elderly Mattie Rigsbee makes her lunch and attempts to settle in and eat while watching one of her favorite “stories” on TV.
As the daughter of one photographer and the mother of another, I am steeped in the language of cameras, with words like “aperture” and concepts such as “depth of field.” These days most of my pictures are taken with my smart phone, but I own an old Minolta 101 Single Lens Reflex (SLR) and know the basics of how to use it.
I remember when I was quite new to this column, just a month or so in, and someone asked me what it was like to be a columnist. I literally turned around to see who they were talking to before realizing it was me…a columnist!
As a kid I took swimming lessons, and for the rest of my life have been considering myself a swimmer. We spent long summer days at the pool and water-skied on the lake, and I never thought much about what it took to propel myself through the liquid.
Many years ago, I went on a vacation with our two young girls and another mother-daughter duo. It was a lively excursion and a long drive during which all three girls told family stories.
A new group of Johnson Interns will arrive this week to spend a year of service in our area. They will live together in a monastic model of community life that will require some adjustments, especially around food.
Even when my mother’s brain was tangled with the plaque of Alzheimer’s, she always remembered the stairs.
Most afternoons when the sun dips behind the tree tops, I head to the garden. Usually I carry a bucket of scraps out from the kitchen and bring back a few handfuls of plants for dinner. In between, I’ll kneel here and there to poke some seeds into the soft dirt, or pull some stubborn weeds from where they do not belong.
Last week I watched a short video designed by social scientists and brought to life by professional actors. Scene one was a guy in his 20s trying to cut a lock off a bicycle in a public park. Dozens of people passed by, but few paid him any attention. A couple asked “Is that your bike?” and each time he said, “No.” They kept going,
I’ve been grumpy lately, and have blamed it on the weather.
Until this week, it has been too cold, too gray, too windy and too wet. The weather has also been too unreliable … with promised sunny days that were obliterated by clouds before the coffee was done.
I am not alone in this grousing. I have heard others moan about doused plans, soggy grass and frostbitten plants. I’ve heard exasperated sighs when we pull on wool socks yet again and curses when cold rain rolled in on yet another weekend.
The end of this column holds an invitation for you - an opportunity for a good time that benefits a good cause.
But here at the beginning I want to talk about something called Praxis, because that is where this all began. The term “praxis” refers to applying a lesson or a skill. It is about action – doing something that you’ve learned how to do.
Every fall eight young adults come to Chapel Hill-Carrboro to live and serve for a year. Every spring these “Johnson Interns” are challenged to find or create a project to which to apply the lessons they’ve learned from the work and study they’ve done since their arrival.