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*
Serves 6

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.


  1. I'm so glad to hear Angie is okay. I hope she soon recovers though from her fall.
    Lovely fish dish Marie! I like that sauce and your photos are excellent!

  2. That fish looks delish! hehehe. I also must agree that your photos are great - any tips on food photography?

  3. Poor Angie...oh, I hope she's ok! Wonderful you were able to get in touch with her...Hope all will be well. Prayers flying her way! :o) This fish dish looks excellent--me & Hubby would love this! Speaking of Hubby, TJ's been drooling over your holiday photos now, as well as your recipe photos, Marie--LOL! Hope to get to chat this weekend--can't wait. Happy weekend to you & Todd --LOVE YOU!! ((BIG HUGS))

  4. This story is just so true about every aspect of our lives Marie. Tahnks for sharing...also the fish too:D

  5. The town story is so true! I think the same thing applies to life. Those who have a wonderful life are usually quite happy, even when they have several reasons not to be. And those who are unhappy usually have several reasons to be happy!

    The fish looks wonderful....think halibut would work?

  6. I really love your blog, anad want to put a link on my blog to it.... hope thats okay. I would love to also use this story.
    Your recipes look wonderful .. love this fish one

  7. I agree that your attitude colors your whole world! Glad to hear Angie is OK, I was getting worried about her! Fish looks wonderful, definitely will try that one! Much love - Raquel XO

  8. Dear Marie, Really I hope Angie is Ok dear. And a good new Marie........The pictures arrive finally!!!!!! Im so happy yesterday when we are going to let home (we are at Beach at weekend) Gerardo Dad give a envelope and I cannot believe!!!!! Im SO HAPPY MARIE, MANY THANKS are so beautiful!!!! Thanks dear I mgoing to place beside my bed, I will send you a picture when I make.So yah well know the mail is late here but arrive, Thanks by your lovely letter.
    I write you know because I dont have connection (internet) at the apartement, I m with the Gerardo Notebook in the Building Hall (have WF) dear Im so happy and thanksfull, I hope all go well with Angie, and you have a nice weekend with Todd, I will connect tomorrow again!!! We have to share the notebook with M.Esperanza! big hugs and many thanks!!! xxxxxxxxxxxGloria

  9. Yummo! Always looking for a new recipe for cooking halibut! Thank you for posting!!
    That grandfather was a wise old man...YES attitude is everything!
    Great message to remember!

  10. I love your that really your house? Your fish looks wonderful.
    Have a happy day.

  11. Cookie, what's emmenthaler cheese, and what might I substitute for it? I loved your story - v interesting. And I didn't realize you were growing your own corn - when DO you find the time for all your projects? Mine are laying half done all over the house. Glad you are back. xo

    p.s. Did you see someone tried (and loved) your delicious blueberry cake on my site?

  12. Thanks so much Marie for letting everyone know of my predicament. I was starting to feel really bad about that. Just trying to catch up a little but after I finish this note I'll have to call it a day again I think. Am a bit more agile this morning (sunday), though I hardly dare to say so in case it doesn't last. That's me being realistic, not defeatist!

    I think that. between us, Keith and I could manage to make this lovely fish dish. Poor bloke has had to learn such a lot this past few weeks.

  13. That fish sounds so tasty!


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