Friday, 1 August 2008
What kind of Town do you live in?
Every small town has one. You know . . . the little old man who sits out, every fine day, on a park bench close to the shops and the banks. He knows everyone and passes the time of day with all who pass his way. He's a town fixture . . . a town mascot . . . a part of the furniture and fabric of the town.
The other day I read a lovely story about an old and very wise man who used to sit outside the gas station in his home town, rocking away in a rocking chair and greeting everyone who stopped by for gasoline. On one particular day his grand-daughter came and sat down at the foot of his chair and slowly let the time pass with him. That's what good grand-daughter's do . . .
As they sat and watched the customers come and go, a very tall man, an obvious tourist, began looking around as if he were checking out the area for a nice place to settle down and live. He walked up to them, greeted them and asked, "What sort of town is this that we are in?" The old man thought for a moment and then replied, "Well, what sort of town are you from?" The tall man replied, "In the town I am from, everyone is very critical of one another. The neighbourhood is rife with gossip. It's a really negative place to live and I'm glad to be leaving it. It's not a very nice place to live at all." The old man looked up at the stranger and said, "You know what? This town is just like that too!"
A few hours later a family, that was also passing through, stopped for gasoline. As often happens when a family car stops at a service station, the mother and children got out and it wasn't long before she asked the old man where the rest rooms were. He pointed towards a small, bent up sign that hung on a nail by the doorway. The father stepped out of the car and asked the old man, "Is this a pretty good place to live in?" "Well," replied the old man, "What about the town you are from? What sort of place is that?" "Oh," the younger man softly laughed, "I'm from a lovely town. Everyone there is really close and always willing to help their neighbours out with whatever needs doing. There's always a cheery hello and thank-you everywhere you go. I really hate leaving it actually, it feels almost as if we are leaving a family." The old man looked up at him and warmly smiled. "You know," he said, "That's a whole lot like this town." The family returned to their car, waved a cheerful goodbye, said their thanks and drove away.
The little girl looked up at her grandfather with a quizzical look on her face. "Grandpa, " she asked, "How come when the first man asked you, you told him that our town was a terrible place to live . . . and when the second man asked you, you told him that our town was a wonderful place to live?"
The old man lovingly looked down at the little girl he cared so much for and said, "No matter where you live or move to, you take your own attitude with you and that's what makes the place you live either terrible or wonderful."
Now that . . . is real food for thought. Interestingly enough, I have loved every place I have ever lived, and I expect I always will!
I had a lovely conversation on the telephone last night with Angie of Can You All Hear Me At The Back . We must have been on the telephone for at least an hour. I had been very worried about her these past couple of weeks, as I had not heard from her, and I had written her telephone number down incorrectly when she had given it to me so was not able to contact her. The last time I had heard from her, she related to me that she'd taken a bit of a tumble. She fell on some cement a few weeks ago, and broke several of her toes and also injured her tail bone and so she's not been able to sit at the computer for any length of time at all and is in a great deal of pain while she recovers, which hopefully will be soon. In any case, she wanted me to let her online friends know that she was OK, and slowly recovering and will be back soon to entertain us with her lovely words. In the meantime, I ask that you would keep her in your prayers and thoughts. She's a truly wonderful lady and, despite this minor set-back, remains cheery and optimistic.
It's been so very warm and humid this past week. The garden is taking off like crazy and my sweet corn must be about 4 or 5 feet tall now! I noticed last night that little corn cobs are beginning to appear here and there on the stalks. I told Todd that he is in for a real treat when they finally mature. Most of the corn that you buy here fresh in the shops is not very good. It's just like what I would call cow corn back home! I grew these from some seed that my good friend Linda in Washington sent to me and I am really looking forward to having a tasty feed in a few more weeks!!! I can't wait to show Todd what "real" corn tastes like or should do!
Last night we feasted on fish and salad. Well, Todd had a baked potato as well . . .
*Saucy Baked Fish*
This dish is so easy and quick. It's so delicious, it's a great dinner to feed company when they come. They will think you slaved all day over it and will be most impressed!
butter for greasing the baking dish
6 thick white fish fillets (Cod, haddock or other mild flavoured fish)
the juice of 1 lemon
sea salt and black pepper to taste
200g grated emmenthaler cheese
1 TBS grainy mustard
1 cup cream
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1 knob of melted butter
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/375*F. Butter a shallow glass baking dish large enough to fit all the fish fillets. Place the fish fillets into the baking dish in a single layer. Season them well with salt and pepper and squeeze the lemon juice evenly over them all. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over top.
Whisk together the mustard and cream. Pour it evenly over top of the fish and cheese. Mix the knob of melted butter with the bread crumbs and sprinkle them evenly over top of the dish.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with the tines of a fork. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes or so before serving.