Today is just one of those days that make you want to find a good movie, brew a pot of tea, and put your sweatpants back on for the remainder of the afternoon. That's not exactly how my day is going, but I am trying to follow the line of best fit. Went to the bank this morning--we're in the process to get me on Andrew's bank account, finally. I'm chomping at the bit to get my license and social security card in the mail. Come onnn America, move it!
I know I've been writing a lot lately, but I just have to tell this story. On Monday night we went out to dinner with a friend of Andrew's from home and toward the end of our meal, a sharply dressed elderly lady came up to our table trying to peek out the window at the rain starting to fall and immediately struck up a conversation with us. We talked so long that eventually she sat down at our table, introducing herself as Donna Parker. Of course, the weather was the conversation opener, but by the end, we had a snapshot of her life from Binghamton, NY to Miami Beach, FL where she was a model during her younger years. I'm telling you, this lady, I'm sure, had a crazy life. If the word "whipper-snapper" doesn't cover it, I don't know what will. She imparted her wisdom on marriage to Andrew and me, imploring us to wait a few years to have children (no problem, there). She told us she loved to "rock", meaning she loved dancing and rock n' roll music, (before heavy metal, she specified). Eventually, she left to get her food and eat her supper, but as we were walking out, she caught us and asked for a ride (her apartment was just up the street, but it was raining) so of course we gave her one. Before we left, however, Tim asked her if we could pray for her--we did, and she said that it was the nicest thing that anyone has asked her in a long time. She noted that sometimes you have to be careful talking religion to people because some people get offended easily. But she was not offended. She was blessed. And I'm pretty sure she was an angel. I would not be surprised. Her pink lipstick, pearl earrings and twinkling amber eyes spoke of a lifetime of experiences and wisdom. I'm really hoping we run into her again sometime.
Something struck me about Donna Parker. She was alone, but she didn't feel the quintessential American pull to remain independent and self-sufficient. She struck up a conversation with strangers, telling her story--telling the world that "I, Donna Parker, was here and I have something of worth to say". I hope I can be like her when I'm older. This is not the first time I've been blown away by an elderly stranger. One of my first patients as a student nurse was a woman who worked in a grenade factory in North Charleston during one of the World Wars. The second was another patient of mine, a Holocaust survivor from Poland. She was in one of the concentration camps with the Nazis and showed me her number tattooed on her arm. She barely spoke English yet she conveyed to me the horror of living through something like that and then growing old in a modern America-- such a different life. In a world filled with "get some and then get some more", it's important to be brought back to the reality that it's people that matter, not things. Here's to you, Donna Parker.
A few side notes...that have nothing to do with old people...I just saw the trailer for Disney's A Christmas Carol annnd I'm really excited. Not only is this movie a Christmas classic, but it's going to be 3D! Oh my eggnog, Santa! It's coming out on November 6th, just in time for my 23rd birthday. I just can't wait to haul out the holly and deck the halls! Not to mention donning my gayest apparel!
I made pumpkin soup yesterday--yuuu-u-uum! Different taste--probably because I'm not used to eating pumpkin, really--but it was quite delectable. Here's the recipe...the skeleton of this recipe is from Martha Stewart Living, but I added quite a few other things to make it especially scrumptious. What can I say...I am my father's daughter!
2 cans pumpkin
1 1/2 cans vegetable stock
1 can cream of chicken and mushroom soup
1 pint heavy cream
1 onion, sliced and diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
dash ground cloves
big dash cinnamon
dash cayenne pepper*
salt and pepper to taste
First, in the bottom of a big pot cook olive oil, onion and garlic until soft and aromatic. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until mixed well. It's a good idea to wait to add the spices until you have a more soup like mixture, that way you can taste it as you go along and temper your amounts according to what your own sophisticated palate likes. :) Bring to a low boil, turn down to simmer and then remove from heat. Serve warm and breath deep. Mmmm.
*If you are cooking for kids or just don't like spicy, either go easy on the cayenne (a little goes a looong way) or just leave it out!
That's it and that's all. As Dances with Wolves would say, "tatonka".