So what am I thankful for?
The people who make me near piss myself in laughter.
The people who make me f-bomb storm angry.
The people who make my heart break a bit.
The people who make me feel like love can last.
The people who make my curiosity burn.
The people who indirectly make me step out of my box and just leap.
The people who make me care.
So from me to you, this is Kendall wishing you a happy Thanksgiving (or just a happy weekend for you outside the States) and offering virtual hugs to you all.
See you on Monday.
“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into without abandon or not at all.” – Harriet van Horne, American newspaper columnist
Allow me to state for the record that I love to cook which is ironic seeing as how I don’t eat nearly like I should. If you look on my 101 Things in 1,001 Days list you’ll see that #22 is to eat at least two meals a day every day for a month. Folks, that hasn’t happened since December 2006. And I wish I were making that up.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a not-so-secret dream to one day own my own restaurant.
Some of my fondest memories of my childhood are of learning how to cook. Me and Mil had little foot stools at our grandparent’s house so that we could reach the counter tops to help her. Grandma C always told us that when you cook for someone you love, whether it is in the familial, platonic, or romantic, you add a bit of your soul to the food. Hence why a home cooked meal always taste better than one made by hired hands.
A bit of your soul. I didn’t understand when she first said that when I was a preschooler. But having Daybreak sit in my lap as I show her how to make apple pie from scratch, I get it now.
I love seeing people enjoy a meal I’d prepared. For that bit of time that they spend eating and talking with one another, I can watch them forget about some of their troubles. Whether it is that test looming ever closer or vexing situations with work, during a good meal the world’s stresses aren’t so pressing. I enjoy taking care of people, this is just one of the ways I go about doing so. I have a slight ‘Mother Hen’ complex; I’m man enough to admit it.
Quite simply, cooking is cathartic for me.
So after a rather hellish visit to my parents, I came back to my home here and started making a good Sunday dinner for my friends here.
We laughed as I teased The Bait for his extraordinary ineptness in the kitchen. We laughed during the fencing match me and Eva had with the spoons and we all gave chase as Faith made off with one of them. In preparation of caroling, all ten of us (Faith got in on the act as well) sang “Joy To The World” and “Silent Night”. Seated around me and The Bait’s living room, I felt the emotional baggage of yesterday fall away.
There is no divorce looming here. There are no harsh silences or loud arguments. There are no alcohol-fueled tears.
This is my home.
These lunatics are my family.
By God, I love them.
I actually had a different blog post in mind for today but felt the events of this morning were more prevalent.
I was driving home after leaving Greenville, listening to whatever random song my iPod was playing. I had just gotten into the Chapel Hill city limits when I notice the jeep about 60 yards ahead has turned its hazard lights on and is pulling off to the side.
With memories of my Nana teaching me to always help someone in need at the forefront of my mind, I pull off a bit behind them. The driver is a rather harried-looking woman in her early 30’s. As she opens the door, I hear the sounds of a screaming baby.
I announce myself before asking if she needs help, I didn’t want to scare the poor woman. She looks at me and I could see her eyes widen a bit and she starts looking around for something. The more cynical part of me thinks it was something to defend herself with from the potential mugger coming at her.
I ask her what’s the problem and in heavily accented English, she tells me her tire has a flat and she was scared to drive on it with her son and daughter in the car. Around the word “drive” she slipped completely into Spanish. I tell her to hold on, in Spanish. It was like the fact I spoke the same language she did had a calming effect and she no longer visibly seemed intimidated by me. I go back to my car, pop the trunk, and come back with my spare tire.
We made small talk while I took off her old tire, there had been a tack in it, and replaced it. I found out she had been looking for a sign pointing towards UNC hospital as her sister was having a baby.
Once it’s finished, I tell her to follow me and we’ll take a way so as to avoid all the traffic. When we arrive at the main building 10 minutes later, she gets out and one hand is holding a cell phone to her ear while her other hand is holding that of a little boy, no older than 2, who is sucking his thumb. Holding his sleeve is a little girl of the same age clutching a Dora the Explorer doll. The woman ends her phone call and tells me that her sister would like to thank me.
Now I’m usually a pretty outgoing person but I do have moments of shyness. Especially if it’s someone thanking me for something, worse if it’s someone I do not actually know. Plus, I thought it would be awkward for me to meet a woman who had given birth in the wee hours of the morning and was now in recovery.
So it is with great trepidation that I follow her up to the recovery room. We get there and I let them go in ahead of me. Not even a minute had passed by when the woman poked her head out and told me her sister was asking about me.
I walked into her room and I see a woman who could not have been three years older than me lying in a bed. She seemed far too small to have just had a baby. She motions me over and takes my hand in both of hers. She thanks me for making sure her sister got here safely and quickly.
I tried to tell her that anyone would have done it.
She then gave me a disquieting piercing look and told me that not many would stop to help a stranger anymore. And many who would have ulterior motives for doing so. She then reached to her wrist and took off one of the rosary beads there.
I want you to have this. I want you to look at it and remember what you did today. Kindness to strangers isn’t dead and you stand here as prove of that. The Good Samaritan. God Bless You.
I spent another 30 minutes with them. I found out their names and where they were from. I gave them mine. The younger sister even asked that I go to their church next Sunday.
Take something from this folks. It doesn’t cost much if anything to do something for others. And often, it has its own rewards.