8.28.2009

A blog on Cheese. Sorry.

Cheese is one of my favorite things. I mean that.

People always ask us what we miss the most. I answer, “Target® and cheese.” I am particularly fond of the Targets with grocery aisles because then, if I want, I can buy eyeshadow, Neosporin, wrapping paper, Converse, earrings, underwear for the entire family, a laundry basket, everything I need to redecorate my bedroom/kitchen/office/etc., a board game, an mp3 player, a garden hoe, and then, when I’ve had my fill of wandering the labyrinth of hipster knock offs in the latest colors, cuts, and styles, I can peruse the refrigerated section and pick up some cheese. I am not a cheese snob. I will eat Target cheese; SunnySide Farms, Crystal, Kraft, Sargento, Alpine Lace. I am happy with any decent cheese that does it’s job - is tangy, or mild, or melty, or salty, or pairs well with fruit/crackers/sourdough/soup/salami/burgers/pasta/rice/potatoes/broccoli/bacon/etc. Please don’t misunderstand; there is cheese in Costa Rica. Decently edible cheese. We can choose from Cheddar, Mozzarella, Gouda, and a variety of queso fresco-type cheeses. So problem numero uno is that we are obviously missing 90% of the cheese family, including all the Jacks: Colby, Pepper, and Monterey (which, coincidentally, will be the names of our next three children), and the whole line of Stinkies: Blue, Brie, Gorgonzola, Camembert…There are others, of course, but who has time to talk about all the cheeses they love? The real problem (since we do have fancy stores here where some of these items can be acquired) is the price. I simply cannot afford to spend $9.50 on an 8-ounce brick of mediocre mozzarella. It costs me $15 in cheese to make lasagna!

I know you had no idea that we lived with this level of personal sacrifice. Please do not ask me about ice cream! It is simply too painful to talk about…

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that while we were in CA, we ate cheese. Nearly every variety listed above. It was glorious. And we thank first God, for creating cheese and calling it good, and second our families, friends, Targets, and other grocers for supplying us with the beautiful and affordable array of mid-line cheeses in which we indulged. Amen.

8.27.2009

Derived from Latin 'communio' (sharing in common).

I hope to blog soon about our overall experience of being in California for almost the entire month of August. But there is one thing, one feeling - it was one night really - that I just need to get off my chest before I can delve into such topics as; Cheese:How I miss thee, La Quinta Inn Rancho, 23 Reason that tri-tip and pizza are the greatest foods on Earth, and Flat Tire vs. Getting to the Airport on Time. I know you can't wait. Now this:

Being with the people that know the most about your life (like who you really truly are and where you’re coming from) can be a deeply spiritual affair. Especially when it includes a late night dinner filled with hot curry, the occasional clinking together of bottlenecks to salted rims, the systematic destruction of a large bag of M&M’s, and that one kind of laughter that sucks your breath away and leaves you unable to do anything but squint and point a weak finger at so-and-so because they said such-and-such and it was so funny that you are actually crying and fearful that you may at any moment wet your pants but you don’t care because, on top of everything else, you share a love both of and by Jesus that is so mutual and so intrinsic to who you all are that it really doesn’t matter if you do or say the most rotten, ridiculous, or retarded things because this kind of love transcends all dumbassness… and when you get home you realize how much you needed a night just like that. A night to be stupid, grateful, joyous, nostalgic, and so utterly amazed at where life has brought you because things have changed so much, yet, here you are together again, laughing, remembering, anticipating the future…it’s like some long forgotten form of Communion.

When we broke the bread, and took the cup, and ate the M&M’s, we remembered You. When we laughed and laughed and laughed (so hard we might have peed a little), we remembered You. In the wee hours of the morning when we could barely keep our eyes open but we fought to hold onto those fleeting moments of community where we were filled up with Faith and Hope and Love…we remembered why, and it was You.