El albergue

El albergue

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The tale of a young food lover

Let me tell you a tale, a tale of a young girl named Laura. Laura was a sensible girl, as young girls go, and although she liked all sorts of food and enjoyed her three meals a day immensely, I like to think that she usually kept herself more or less in hand, seldom over-indulging at the table.

One Christmas though, Laura received the gift of an invitation to a Crab Cake Cookoff – and quite a fun and festive feast it so pleasantly promised to be. Being the refined delighter in food that she was, Laura of course accepted, marking the day in her schedule with joy.

Time passed, the day approached, and soon our foodie female hero was walking with her friends through the entrance to the community Crab Cake Cookoff. The walls were lined with booths from restaurants and private chefs alike, each with an offering of freshly crafted cakes of crab unique to their own special preparation. Not only that, there was winery after winery as well, with bottles laid out in attractive display. And all, ALL were vying for the favor of the crowd of milling tasters, with colors, speech, smells, and smiles to highlight the flavors of their product.

The tasters’ task (which was Laura’s too) was to sample each cake and sip each wine and then vote on which was the best. It was a weighty task, but our doughty young girl set to it with quiet determination.

A little view of the fun and madness

She nibbled, she sipped, she nibbled and sipped some more. And what things she did nibble! What things she did sip! Crab cakes fragrant with garlic or fennel, dressed with tropical salsa or creamy béchamel, presented with garnish or by themselves. Pinot Gris, Champagne, Zinfandel… the list went on and on!

Soon, Laura’s stomach felt quite full. Yet still she nibbled, still she sipped, and still she so joyfully and gleefully savored. …very soon, her stomach felt a good deal more than just filled; it felt quite positively bursting! There were still a few more booths to visit, a few more cakes and a few more wines just begging to be tasted. Alas, she quite simply didn’t have the space to fit a single bit more in. So she called it quits and waddled over to cast her vote as best she could.

Her duties done, she stepped aside to chat and rest her tummy. And as the warmth of that bright blue day brought out a drowsy yawn, she vowed she couldn’t possibly eat anything ever again.

…At which point of course, a friend called her up to invite her over to have Hawaiian BBQ that night.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

This new year

Life seems to always be about adjustments, about figuring out how to function and succeed in the midst of new situations, new jobs, new seasons of living. There’s a part of me that this frustrates immensely, as just about every time I start to settle comfortably into a routine and feel like I’m finally getting the hang of things, something has to go and change it all up on me. Gone is all the stability I’ve been working so hard to create. The outline of my days is completely different, and new guidelines for living in this new place have to be set up and understood.

Of course, if life was always the same and never changing, it would be…. stagnant. It would inevitably grow old and boring. Change is what keeps me on my toes, growing, learning.


Even though I know this obvious truth and more often than not welcome the exciting new adventures that change brings my way, there are times when I just wish I didn’t have to go through all the struggle of readjusting all the time.

This new season of life especially seems to be more difficult for me to figure out than many in the past for some reason. Funny thing is, it hasn’t really hit me until recently. I have been trundling along, single-mindedly focusing all my energy into a few key points of existence, and only now am I realizing how many things have really actually changed in my life of late and how many things from before are missing. Sometimes, when I sit and think about everything this entails, it starts to overwhelm me.

So this year, as I seek to readjust myself to the place and time in which I find myself, I have to remember that God brought me here for a reason, and that because he wants me here, he will take care of me in every area of my life, inward and outward. I know that he’ll give me the grace to figure out how to fit all the activities I WANT to do around all the new responsibilities I HAVE to take care of. Friends, writing, music, exercise, and the like are the things he has placed in me as a part of who I am, so I KNOW that he’ll help me fit them all back into my life.

How that will happen, how it will all work out, I’m still not sure, but one thing I do know for sure – 2015 lies before me like a giant question mark, leading I don’t know where, but tinted with the colors of expectation and encouragement.