Making a Difference

There is something I want to share. I need to give a little background to get there, but honestly it is worth it.

I know I have mentioned our “Village” in the past. It is comprised of all the wonderful people who become part of our lives in a very special way; part of the village. We have a group of boys (now referred to as the guys) who became part of the village through the wild child. She went to high school with them, and one-by-one brought them home. We adopted them all, and they call us Mama and Papa to this day. One of them came by last night with his new girlfriend. We gave our stamp of approval, which was a very easy thing to do. For his birthday she arranged for his best friend (also one of the boys) to fly in from Oregon to surprise him. I think she is a keeper. During the conversation we reminisced about shared experiences over the years. I pulled up some pictures and we swapped stories. One thing he said was that the best meals he has ever had were eaten here. It reminded me of another conversation with one of the guys.

Pizza Night – a house full of hungry people and loads of homemade pizza!

One of the wild child’s guys had a dream of being a chef. He would often come over early to watch Hubby and I cook and ask questions. For his birthday one year I gave him an abbreviated version of our cookbook. I selected recipes which I had hoped would help him grow. According to the wild child he attempted to ‘tweak’ my macaroni and cheese recipe. The rest of the guys smiled and said it was good. She told him the truth. Then she explained that first you follow the recipe and get it right. Then you can tweak it to make it yours. It is nice to know your child listens 😊

A few weeks later she invited him over to help him make the macaroni and cheese the ‘right’ way. While sitting on the couch in my office I could hear them talking. She was so good at instructing him, and he was eager to learn. As they were cleaning up he thanked her for allowing him to experience cooking in a gourmet kitchen. Yes, he called our kitchen “gourmet!” Later that evening I walked into my kitchen and looked around. Humm, ok, I see his point. I hadn’t really thought about it, but Hubby and I have managed to collect quite the assortment of appliances and gadgets. We have spent a lot of time reading and watching shows like Alton Brown’s “Good Eats” and pay attention to having multi-taskers and not things with just one use. Which brings me to what I said at the beginning of this post.

On November 12, 2012 I made a post “Guts and Glory”. Hubby treated me to tickets to see Anthony Bourdain. Friday he took his own life. Not quite four years ago Robin Williams did the same (In Memory, Aug 14, 2014). Two such different people, both ending their own lives. Both leaving this world a lesser place without them.

On a personal note these two men added so much to my life. Also, in very different ways. Robin was joy, laughter, and what talent he had. We could easily express the loss. Anthony, well he was such a very different man. He was thought provoking, he made you ask questions, look for answers, and not just settle. I grew through having his words in my life. I didn’t always agree with him, but he made me think.

I look around my kitchen, at how much both Hubby and I have learned and grown. So much through the influence of people like Anthony Bourdain. We both love to cook. For me it is the entertainment, for Hubby it is giving people he cares about something wonderful to eat. Bourdain made me want to learn more, experience more, eat different foods, and explore different cultures. His words helped me have the courage to go to Iceland with just the youngest, and I will be forever grateful for that.

Poutine made with Hubby’s smoked meat. So yummy!

When the wild child texted me about Anthony Bourdain’s death she expressed the need to do something. Oddly enough I was in the process of editing a brochure for a Suicide Support Group. When I told her what I was doing, her response was, “There you go, making a difference.”

Sitting here I am reflecting on the lives of these two men. Then on my own life. They both made a difference in my life. In turn inspiring me to make a difference. They are gone, but their inspiration to me and others is something that will continue on. It was a very convoluted road to get to my point, but I hope it was worth it.