Signposts on the Road -Another Kind of foodbeautifulfood.

International Recycling Symbol 32px|alt=W3C|li...

Salvation Army Thrift Store, Santa Monica, Cal...

I digress, change paths or simple interject a present moment onto the chronological Food Memoir I have been supplying to you and offer you another kind of foodbeautifulfood- Soul Food. Signposts on the Road -Circumstance or synchronicity? I believe if you pay attention life offers teaching/learning opportunities in every moment. An example I would like to share from my own life. My husband and I recently “retired” from a line of work, “career” or passion of many years and are making some deliberate choices about our lifestyle. We as many of our generation were raised with the three “R”s as a foundation- Reading, writing and arithmetic. Check. We, with the assistants of parents, family, teachers and others involved in those educational systems we belonged to helped us achieve these basics. My husband had an extra little push with the physical support of his father (driving him every week) to attend an “Upward Bound” program in upstate New York at Fieldston. My extracurricular activity involved being exposed to different people, places and cultures for an extended period of my young life, or so I think. Then another set of “R”s were developed that didn’t take quite the hold we wished they would have. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. In the early 70’s we started using cloth napkins, sorting our waste, acquiring canvas bags for toting our groceries and being conscious of our consumption of electricity, car fuel and water. We adopted the values but I can’t say we were as successful as I would like to be in having integrated these values into my everyday life. That doesn’t mean you stop trying. Since “retiring” I am now a composter, I have great aspirations for my garden this year and I receive the “Zero Waste Home” blog to keep me inspired to “keep on Trucking”. My son and his family are vegans, my husband and daughter in law practice yoga regularly; we are making inroads for our selves and humanity. I am volunteering my time with a restorative justice program to effect change within our public school system in California. Now the instructive “R”s are: • Reading, • Writing, • Arithmetic • Restore • Refuse • Reduce • Reuse • Recycle Is there redundancy we can address among these dictates of conscience? Maybe. That will be for another piece of writing. On with this story. In our efforts to conserve, out of the economic necessity of learning how to live on a fixed income and to live our values more completely my husband was introducing me to a new Thrift Store in our neighborhood, his friend had recently shared with him. As we entered, he went his way and I went mine. As I was searching through women’s tops for boat neck, three quarter length sleeve cotton t-shirts marveling at the prices and the quality, I notice a petite Asian woman next to me browsing through the tops as well. She was wearing a cream colored, turtleneck cotton sweater and as I looked back to the t-shirts my handed had rested on a brown cotton turtleneck sweater, similar to the one she was wearing. I pulled the sweater from the rack and she proceeded to look at the sweater, the condition, at the neck and the sleeve and then at the price tag. It was $1.99. She looked at me shyly and said I never buy anything over $3.00 dollars so this is good. , Thank you, Thank you; my grandchildren need my help, so I save money, by not buying too expensive for myself. She was a shining example. Sacrifice for the sake of others is really no sacrifice at all, she looked great, was neat, stylish and her clothes fit her well. She was not deprived by this conscious choice. She was enriched, as was I. As she and I finished our exchange my husband came by to see if I was finished shopping. I said no, I just want to look at a few more racks and then we can go, he wandered off and I found him and he was waving a book. What do you think of this, he asked. I was not enthused as I am downloading most of my reading materials as I can, but it was recycled so I asked, what is it it’s called “The Invisible Presence- How a Man’s relationship with his mother affects all his relationships with women” by Michael Guran. Well, after 35 years my husband does know me. If ever there was a hot button issue that permeated ever nook and cranny of our relationship, this was it. Of course from my perspective it was his relationship with his mother that was having the greatest negative affect. Don’t worry he thought was the exact opposite. I said, still not convinced read a bit of the back cover- “both the positive and negative effects of the mother son bond. Music to my ears, who’s the publisher? Let me remind you hear we are talking about a $1.50 purchase and I forge on. He says Shambala Press; well that’s almost the gold seal of approval. “Ok”, I still say reluctantly. We were looking for exactly what we found. An Asian women who show me that rummaging through someone else”s clothes was Recycling with a purpose. She had more to share with those she loved if she conserved in this manner. The excitement and intensity with which my sweet husband shared the book by a man who understood a secret of life we were still perplexed about made for an incredible journey. Sitting and writing this on a quiet Sunday afternoon adds another level of gratitude and appreciation to the recent memory. I have been fed and nurtured by simple experiences available to all of us.


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