Digesting a Good Book and a Good Meal

It’s Sunday and depending on how you are marking your week it is either the end of the week or the beginning. Really, for us, it makes no difference. I no longer suffer from those Sunday night feelings of sadness that the weekend is done and a slight sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I will have to be on top of things as far as lessons, and energy for students goes come Monday morning. It is funny how once you leave that behind you hardly can remember the end of the weekend feeling. But I do remember it a bit and I am grateful for this great relaxing time I am having.

Today the big plan is having Robert and Arlene over for supper. We have the whole day to prep for that. But knowing how doing nothing eats up the time we start on the lasagna making right away in the morning. The supper menu is Rudy’s idea so I say that I will be his sous chef. Rudy says he already had a Sue chef but that I can be his Naomi chef. (I write this only to give an indication of what kind of low level humour I have to put up with.) Anyway, we continue on some about 10 minutes until I get a phone call from one of my offspring and Rudy is left to finish the lasagna by himself.

After this I dig into the new David Bergen book, Away From The Dead. I really do not surface at all the whole afternoon. I basically lie on the bed with my kindle propped in front of me. At first the book seems slow, but as I continue I am drawn in by the characters. The book has lots to say but a person needs to let it sit for a while and ruminate about the times and the people caught in them. Each character tries to find a path within their given culture (both individual family and community), beliefs (religious and political), and unique personal ways of viewing the world. If there are fingers pointed by Bergen, it is not specifically at any one group or individual. Of course there is the fact that Mennonites play a central role in the book and so much of the lens is focused on that group. But, of course, there are individual decisions made and lives lived within any given cultural group. In the end I was struck by how the time that we live in and the issues and our understanding of them affect our understanding of the present and also of the past. Not a new thought but one worth unpacking. How does a person find their way amidst so many conflicting ideas and values in a given situation?

Well after I reemerge late afternoon I have only a couple of choices to make about my life and none of them earth shattering. Should I make the garlic bread or the caesar salad first? There is no wrong choice! Thank goodness!

Dinner with Robert and Arlene is great. We talk about how we don’t get together at all in Steinbach. Each of us is busy with the daily expectations of family mostly, work for some, and close friends. But here in Palm Desert the four of us have time to sit and ask each other questions and develop our friendship. It is lovely to do.