25 August, 2011

Rarely photographed??

The thing about doughnuts is that they have to be fresh. Super fresh. Obviously, I am fond of the brown butter version. I can resist the berry version most days. But the nutella filled doughnut is my Waterloo. Difficult to share, I was tempted to go back and buy them out. Instead, I just added Kingfield Farmer's market to my ical. Most doughnuts are not fresh enough for me, I have been blessed with Fat Tuesdays rose filled doughnuts in Krakow, hot from the fryer with a thin glaze dripping down my fingers. I wandered from bakery to bakery with my 2 children eating the amazing puffs of fluffy sweetness. At the time, 1987,  certain meats and chocolate were still rationed. The shock of martial law had eased, but the economic situation had not improved significantly. Living with my kids grandparents was a window into a lifestyle I could not have imagined. Yet, there was something so seductive about the slower pace of their difficult lifestyle. And there were the paczki, fresh everyday except Sunday. The first time I ate them my daughter was 18 months and it was our first trip to Krakow. We had flown to Frankfurt and then taken the train across West Germany, through East Germany and then into Wojciech Jaruzelski's Poland.  Jet lagged, relaxing in the the garden with her Polish relatives we sipped tea and ate hot paczki as she splashed in a basin on water.  I felt I had been transported to another planet. A place where my American dollars opened a world of endless treasure in the midst of common scarcity. What a relief that on Sunday mornings I can, again, simply walk down the street, to the Bogart Loves Bakery stand, and eat my fill of warm, sweet doughnuts. And without carrying my passport, or struggling with my embarrassingly unimpressive Polish language skills. And there is no homeland security, no customs declaration. My mantra: go early, buy as many as you can afford. 

21 August, 2011

Get out of the way!

There are days I wonder if it is worth it to get out of bed. I lay there listening to the birds and looking at the sunlight coming through the lace curtains, forming lovely patterns on my wall. I have a copy of Nadine Gordimer's "None to Accompany Me" and a cup of hot Jasmine tea within reaching distance. These are the moments it is easy to stretch out, yawn, turn over and return to my dreams. So, I guess that makes me normal. However, yesterday, I did get out of bed at 6 am, with the intention of walking a 5k race. Appropriate clothing waited on a chair near my bed, a cup of tea and a hot shower. My son registered for the Naked Foot 5k invited me to participate. I had trained for a total of 4 days and felt unprepared but willing to go along with it up to the point the announcement: runners to the starting line. At that point I realized I wasn't ready and stepped back to catch my son on video. Am I a quitter? Is that a bad thing? Is it important to know when to quit and when to push harder? As I stepped back there was a shift in my attention and the focus changed to my son and the other runners. Suddenly I wasn't worried about myself, my performance and I was more in tune with the emotions of the others who had really come to race, to place, to win. And I was okay with myself. I felt okay about letting myself off the hook. If I been more diligent in my training, I would feel differently. But there will be other 5ks and perhaps I will cross those starting lines. Until then I rejoice in the enthusiasm of my son, who finished 3rd and under 20 minutes. He has trained hard and will continue to train with devotion for all the upcoming events he can afford. I will be there to cheer him across the finish line and take him to brunch at Lowbrow!

09 August, 2011

Lost in Cyberspace

Yesterday I wrote a lovely piece about the good old days (1974) when I lived in Calistoga, California and drank a lot of Sauza tequila. I described my divorce recovery program which included significant amounts of Sauza, Stolichnaya, and Glenlivit. Of course they were,  used moderately, responsibly and not all on the same day. I shared how I eventually moved back to Minneapolis, became pregnant and started to eliminated anything that might compromise my health. Those 300 words were probably the best thing I have ever written anywhere, or ever will produce. It was such an incredibly sweet piece, and I reread it with more than a little satisfaction, eager to hit "post". Then it disappeared somewhere into cyberspace and I could not recover it. I was too shocked to cry and too tired to remember the exact words I had typed. I decided to just give you all the photo and forget about the narrative. There was a bit about my ectopic pregnancy, which turned into a near death experience with lights and an angel and waking up on the cold bathroom floor in a pool of blood. I included a poignant part about eschewing all alcoholic and caffinated beverages due to chronic killer migraines which eventually disappeared with my beloved, violent husband. The piece finished with friends sitting around my gorgeous kitchen, laughing, eating amazing multi-grain bread from Patisserie 46 and homegrown heirloom tomatoes from the Kingfield Farmer's Market while sipping grapefruit margaritas, wishing they were watermelon or cantaloupe. And then the screen was blank, except for the photo and the half full blender container in my freezer waiting to console me. Oh, and the part about the time I jumped out of a birthday cake, that was in there someplace, too.

08 August, 2011