A Life Worth Living

By Wednesday, June 29, 2016 Permalink 0

Herding the Sheep Down the Mountain in Villars-sur-Ollon

by Jonell Galloway

A tapestry-covered armchair worn thin from hours of sitting book in hand; a rickety wooden table with chipped red paint that matched your first kitchen; a yellow cat, plump with age, sits in your lap, All the Pretty Horses balanced over its head so you can continue reading: these are the things that make up a life worth living, not frantically running in your Jimmy Choo high heels to catch an airplane and dining in restaurants with spotless white tablecloths and silver so shiny you see a reflection of your red lipstick in it. Unfeigned life is simple joys: counting your babies’ toes after they come out of the womb, or feeling warm tears of love when you walk up the mountain behind your dearlings, or listening to cowbells and watching the shepherds drive their flocks over the pass and down, or discovering the first gentle rosebud of the year. It’s when your mother takes your hand and squeezes it with every ounce of energy she has left, no words necessary. It’s when you serve breakfast in bed to your husband, with a kiss thrown in. You’ll never forget that kiss, how his dark eyes, weak and tired, looked tenderly into yours, saying everything you ever needed to know. But even more, much more, the time he hired the little boy down the street to deliver a single red rose to you on your birthday because he didn’t have enough money to pay for a dozen roses to be delivered. That was the most special rose ever. When it’s all over, these moments will have been your life, transparent and whole: The roses at the weddings and baptisms and communions and bar mitzvahs and funerals, the red and the yellow and the pink, the rosebuds and the dried blooms and the fresh, all come together to form mountains and valleys of flowers that make a life worth living.

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Switzerland: Watermelon and Fennel Salad Recipe

By Thursday, September 8, 2011 Permalink 0

Switzerland: Watermelon and Fennel Salad Recipe

by Jenn Oliver

Until recently, I didn’t know anyone did anything with a watermelon besides just cut it up and eat it. I mean, it’s already completely sweet, juicy, the pure essence of summer. Why mess with the perfection embodied in this pink fruit? The mere sight of a ripe watermelon evokes memories of childhoods past. For me, it evokes images of weeks at girl scout camp, running around outside, carefree, swimming in the lake, making new friends, riding horses…you get the idea.

But why not play, and see just where the flavor of this fruit can go? Have you ever thought about the flavors of this king of summertime snacks and how they would meld with other foods? I certainly hadn’t until Meeta challenged us Plate to Page alumni to photograph watermelon as a fun photography assignment — two photos — one raw, and one in a dish. Yes, a dish. Who puts watermelon in things? Ha, maybe it was time to change my perspective and open my eyes to other possibilities.

Perspective is a funny thing. Sometimes our first impressions have such a profound effect on us that we forget to look for other possibilities right in front of our noses. I think that’s why I like to go for walks and hikes, because all that time away from everything gives my mind space to think and breathe. And sometimes, I even get to get lost and freak out after sitting at a train station for 30 minutes until I figure out that the train only passes through on weekdays…

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