Watching the news and reading stories about the devastation in tornado-ravaged Oklahoma has been both heart-breaking and sobering. Events like this put life into perspective in only a way tragedy can – unfortunately. Seemingly important things all of a sudden don’t seem very important anymore when images of homes, entire neighborhoods, are flattened or parents in tears over their missing children come on our screens. It is all so very sad.
As I’ve been reflecting about this the last couple days one thing is certain. People are resilient especially when united for the greater good of mankind. What this world needs more of are caring, compassionate people who give a damn about other people. [click to continue…]
Just over 2 weeks ago I was one of over 25,000 people walking along Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki enjoying SPAM Jam, one of Hawaii’s largest and most popular food festivals. This year’s 11th annual SPAM Jam included 15 popular local restaurants dishing out their most creative bites that featured SPAM, and with the proceeds benefiting the Hawaii Food Bank.
I am not new to the food festival circuit, but I must admit I think SPAM Jam is like no other festival I’ve experienced. It’s like going to a sporting event where everyone wears the jersey of their favorite players and teams, except at SPAM Jam thousands of people wear their SPAM branded shirts and other clothing. Talk about local pride. Hawaiians definitely love their SPAM and proudly congregate to express this for six hours. [click to continue…]
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“We are moving to Japan in a few months.” With those words a little piece of my heart broke. My sister Janice and her family had been waiting for her husband’s work to approve an international move so they can pastor a church in Tokyo. On one hand I support them and their decision to follow their hearts, but on the other hand I selfishly and secretly hoped they would remain here in Seattle. I mean why ruin a good thing after 30 plus years?
Janice and I have always lived very close to one another and we see each other several times a week. Our sons know each other first as best-friends and second as cousins. The impact of their pending move hasn’t quite hit us yet but I know that day is coming. When they announced their move a couple weeks ago, Janice went into turbo-mode purging their belongings and getting their house ready to either rent or sell. Between language lessons and the normal busyness of life for parents of young kids, my sister and brother-in-law have done a remarkable job doing what they need to do before they set out for their new adventure. For me, I feel the need to do what I can do to help them in as many ways as possible.
Since cooking for crowds is my strength, one of the most helpful ways I can support Janice is by inviting her and her family over for dinner to feed them so they can focus on their long list of items they need to get done before they’re gone. There is no formal invitation I extend to them. Instead, dinner invites usually are communicated over an exchange of last minute texts.
“Hey, hungry? Want to come over for dinner?”
“Yes, what time?”
“OK, see you later.”
This is a very typical conversation between Janice and I. And tonight was no different. I realized tonight that after they move there will be no more text conversations like this. [click to continue…]