Sunday, January 6, 2008

Random thoughts for a Sunday

In September, we decided to make the switch to attend church in town rather than drive across 3 towns to the church that had been our home for nearly 12 years. I don't regret it at all because I am at peace about the decision, my family is happy about it too. We've been welcomed over and over again, each week greeted with a genuine smile. I tell you we are blessed! But... sometimes whole weeks can go by without me laying eyes on some of my best friends. 4 out of 5 of us live in completely different towns, me being the furthest away. Everybody is busy and we usually communicate by email, texting and phone.

Just the other day my friend Nijaza, who lives in Bosnia, reminded me of how very different things are in America. In Bosnia, unemployment is high so there is loads of time to do this but traditions are strong. On a daily basis it is customary to just drop in on your friends and neighbors to visit over a pot of Coffee and Pitas because there simply isn't anything else to do. By the way, a pita in Bosnia is completely different than what we are used to in America. Nijza tells me that she serves Pita's like this.. sometimes greasy pastry made of filo dough and stuffed with meat (Burek), cheese (Sirnica), spinach (Zeljanica), potatoes (Krompirusa) or apple (Jabukovaca).

Last week I talked to my friend Erin on the phone for 2 hours and I could easily text for 2 hours with my friend Suzanne! Nijaza shakes her head in confusion and asks me for that amount of time, why don't we just go to our friends house and visit? And honestly I don't have a good answer. It is just the way it is today in our part of California. The one committment we do have is to get together once a month and catch up but even those few hours go by quickly!

Not so very long ago, this situation was solved by the announcing of "Afternoon Tea"- a couple of hours one afternoon a week when ladies could be sure that their friends were both at home and perfectly willing to have visitors. In 1922 Emily Post wrote that servants should not enter the room during afternoon tea except if summoned to bring fresh hot water or remove soiled dishes, so as not to interrupt the intimate nature of the gathering and its conversation. Oh how I'd love to have a servant! And while they are not interrupting us, they can surely be kept busy by cleaning my home! Anyway, invitations would be issued and scrumptious calling cards left (yes I have my own calling card!), and nobody ever worried that their hostess would rather be doing chores! While the pace of life has changed since the days of calling cards, there is something deliciously civilized about inviting our friends to afternoon tea, my absolute favorite way to spend time with my girlfriends, serving my famous scones with cream and lemon curd (by the way Trader Joe's has the best premade lemon curd!) fresh sandwiches, hot savorys and treats that will make your head spin! I love it when the table setting is eye candy to my imagination!

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