I've been back from my vacation for a week now. Aside from missing Cara, probably the thing that I miss the most is that there in New Orleans, it was warm and sunny, and we spent most of our time outside. There were birds and blooming jasmine. They were well in the throes of spring there. Here? It's snowing. It's cold.
There are signs of spring everywhere. It's even supposed to get into the fifties this week, and I am looking very forward to that. The grackles are back, and the redwing blackbirds and the robins. You can see buds on the trees, buds waiting for their moment to open. The snow is certainly melting off - there's a lot less of it, and there are patches of grass peaking through. The promise of spring is everywhere, but the promise is not realized yet.
Tim and I went out to buy our meats for the week yesterday. There's a store which has good meat prices, and so we generally go there on Sunday afternoon or evening. We see what is on sale, and that determines what we eat for the week. This week I saw packages of catfish. I saw packages of crawdads. I got an idea. I bought some andouille sausage (not such a bargain, but a necessity). I'll pick up the shrimp at another store today.
I'm making the base for a gumbo.William helped me shuck the crawdads (he played with them, and cried when I 'ope'd' the last one. He was having a good time.) I cut up the sausage, and dumped it in with the catfish, crawdads, onions and celery. I added a can of tomatoes and chiles and let it simmer over night in the crock pot.
I've shut down the crockpot now (I had a cup of broth for breakfast and it was good!) In a few minutes, I'll put the base into the fridge. Tomorrow, I'll skim off the grease, and then I'll spend the day putting together gumbo. Invites issued, and I'm looking very forward to it.
I know that the blog has been quiet. It's been a 'withdrawing' time for me. My life has been dreadfully unbalanced. Too much focus on work. I've also lost some friends. Two have died, another dear friend has withdrawn after making it clear that in her mind, I have 'called Jesus a liar', news that came as a dreadful shock to me. After examining my own conscience, I realized that she was hearing a different message. She feels that we have been charged to tell people that without Jesus, they are going to hell. In my thinking, I would never tell anyone that they are going to hell. Judgement is God's job, and it says THAT in the Bible too. I'm not sure why she views it so very differently from me, why it is such an issue in her heart, but I know her. She is my oldest friend, and it is a shock to lose the comfort of that friendship after all these years, but I have spent much of the winter pondering my thoughts on the subject, and I cannot change what I feel (and feel strongly). At the same time, I know that my friend has a good heart. Whatever is happening here is not happening because my friend is a bad person. She says that she cannot talk to me about the things that are most important to her.
There's also been the concern about Tim's shoulder, and the worry about Cara, and concern for William and his safety. Yeah. It's been a long winter.
But, like I said, the promise of spring is everywhere. Yesterday at work, I realized that I was truly enjoying myself, enjoying the interaction with my customers, the busyness of the job. A coworker asked if I'd always lived in Warren, because it seemed like I knew everybody, and that everyone knew me.
I thought of that last night as William and I worked together. The crawdads weren't the only thing coming out of their shell. The season is changing, and I'm looking forward to what comes next.