June 24, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever

I have mentioned before that I would like to overcome the adage, "eating is for pleasure". I wanted to put myself, my mind, my body through an eating bootcamp with my war cry or cadence being:


But I'm beginning to understand something: eating IS pleasurable. Why in the world would God have created such things as the sweetness of strawberries, the juicy, thirst quench of a watermelon, the raw simplicity of a carrot, the perfect purple of a plum, the fulfillment of a potato, the spiciness of a jalepeno? I am 100% positive that God created those things, with their specific attributes, for OUR pleasure.

It's the way we manipulate those perfect creations - preserve them, fry them, freeze dry them - that creates this "oh that's bad for me; I can't have that" mentality. I'll be the first to admit that I have fallen into that way of thinking.

Because I am dieting, I must not enjoy food. SO NOT TRUE PEOPLE!!

I brought a baggie of fresh strawberries and blackberries to work this morning for breakfast. I picked up a strawberry. I smelled it - it smelled of earth, of unadulerated sweetness. I bit into it - juicy, fruity, perfect explosion in my mouth. As for the blackberries, I still have seeds stuck in my teeth. What a wonderful, albeit annoying, thing!

So my new quest, instead of only eating for sustanance, is to eat the perfect food I know God created and intended for me to eat.

(Disclaimer: I am sure the occasional french fry might slip into my mouth. Just being honest.)

June 22, 2009

I am my father's daughter

I noticed my dad's eyes for the first time yesterday.

For Father's Day, I invited him to go to breakfast with me. Nothing fancy of course; just his regular haunt, Waffle House. (I have grown accustomed to hearing my friends say over the years, "hey, I saw your dad at Waffle House this morning." If I had a nickle...)

My dad is very much a creature of habit. For as long as I can remember, the following things have been constants in my dad's life: coffee, cigarettes, a somber smile, creativity, and silence. I have never known much about who my dad was and is. He's never offered much, and well, I've never really asked...or made the effort to simply listen. But over breakfast, as we shared a pot of what I am pretty sure is the love of my dad's life, I listened. He spoke.

I learned about his early business dealings; what a schmoozer Ricky Baker was! Taking businessmen out to lunch, talking shop, doing deals, buying in, getting his cut of the share, traveling, deals gone awry.

I heard about the hilarious this-could-only-happen-to-Ricky-Baker type scenarios. These stories got my dad (and me) cackling. It was so good to see him laugh.

I heard about his regrets. Hearing him voice his regrets was difficult. I have never thought about his regrets from his side; only the effect they have had on me.

He was transparent with me for the second time in my life. (The only other time was at my college graduation when he gave me a very prolonged, firm hug and whispered in my ear, "I am so proud of you, Peyton." I will remember that forever, I am sure.)

The provisions that my dad has offered his family, me in particular, have not been great. I have been paying my way for quite some time; looking to my older brother for advice and support; finding spiritual guidance in church leaders. God has always provided a multitude of provision in the areas my dad was lacking. But I am beginning to see what my dad has provided for me: bits and pieces of himself.

So much of him is in me: creativity, a little (ok, a lot of) rebellion, sometimes finding it hard to move past regret, his coloring (thank goodness!), his nose...and his eyes.

I noticed my dad's eyes for the first time, sitting across from him at breakfast. They are brown, yes, just like mine. But there is a small sliver of gray-blue that encircles the brown. Something I have never, ever noticed before. I never looked; never paid attention long enough to discover a detail like that.

As I was kissing Mark goodbye last night, after having told him about breakfast with my dad and noticing his eyes, Mark looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Peyton, you have that thin grayish blue circle too!"

I am my father's daughter.

June 4, 2009


I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

I am becoming a bit obsessed with handmade items. The thought of buying something from someone who uses their own creative ingenuity to make, greatly appeals to me. Oh sure, there's a lot of Crap with a capital C out there. (i.e. - Crochet tissue box covers. Who, who in the world? Why? Where did they? Items like this generally render me speechless when trying to figure out their need and their place in our already junked-up galaxy.) But creative ingenuity is all around us, people! I know people who make their living from selling their photographs, art, food, etc. I'm sure you can see how, for a creative, joy-filled and animated gal who makes her living from sitting behind a creativity-draining, lifeless, plastic box everyday, this idea is extremely appealing.

I long, I mean long, to live this way. There is nothing I want to be doing more than working in my garden right now; or making some salsa to sell on Saturdays at the market; or making more of an effort to become a better (amateur) photographer; or finding old scraps of, well, scraps, and turning them into a fun kitschy piece of...something.

I was in the produce section of the grocery store last week watching an employee unload crates of fresh corn into a bin. I watched him for a few minutes; studied the crates a bit, then I asked him, "what do you do with those crates after you unload the corn?" He said, "nothing. You want them?" Well, yeah! There's no telling what I could do with them! A rustic, wood and wire crate that has a big ole', faded, red corn stamp on it? Heck yes I want that thing! So I took a few home. I still haven't figured out what to do with them. But I will.

But that's the thing. Here I am, stuck behind this thing all day. Stuck. With no real time to do the things I know I was creatively created to create. One day. I hope.