soup tuesday

I’ve never met a bowl of soup I didn’t like.  In fact, I’d go so far to say that soup, homemade cookies, good coffee, and good books constitute a large portion of my personal religion.  I’d go even further and say that there are few ailments a bowl of soup can’t cure.  Busyness, illness, loneliness: homemade soup is the panacea.

Orlis and I have created a weekly ritual for ourselves this fall — to deliver a quart of homemade soup once a week to someone who could use it.  Now, so far, I’m not talking about deep charity here — we aren’t lugging our quarts of soup into the streets and offering them to the homeless..though it’s only October, who knows?  We are simply delivering to friends.  Friends who could use a dinner delivery for one reason or another — a sick neighbor, a buried law school student, a beloved friend who has a bit too much in her proverbial soup bowl this fall — that kind of thing.

Having grown up in a smaller town, I retain the quaint memories of neighborliness that imbued my childhood with a sense of community and ease.  I don’t mean idyllic Norman Rockefeller scenes — but rather borrowing an egg here, a cup of sugar there, and the general sense that a little help is just around the corner if you need it.  At this time, last year, when Orlis was just a few weeks old, we received 27, count them, 27!, meal deliveries at our tucked-away Brooklyn neighborhood, and each and every one of them completely saved our lives, not to mention trumped any other kind of baby gift we received.  A little community-mindedness goes such a long way.

What has struck me about our soup delivery ritual these last few weeks is how darn easy it is.  Soup is magical.  We plan for a big pot of something on Monday nights and guess what we do?  We double it.  That’s it.  A few extra carrots, one more onion, and another cup of beans, and a few hours later we not only have dinner for ourselves for the night (and a few lunches to follow) but one or two extra quarts to give away.  We pack it up and make our delivery on Tuesday, in some cases getting the containers from last week’s delivery back again with an effusive thank-you note.  And that’s it.  We’ve saved someone’s evening and all it took was a few extra cups of water. (Okay, sometimes we make cookies too.)

Mathematically, it hardly works out — a little effort on our part (Orlis’ curiosity about tupperware being central to the delivery fun) and so much gratitude in return.  But isn’t that just the way of giving?  So much more in it for the giver, right?  So, it’s small town NYC for the coming weeks, and aren’t we lucky.  Soup Tuesday, thank you.




nature table

This was easy enough — a nature table!  I got the idea from a good friend, and went to work immediately — and by work, I mean I gathered a few gourds at the farmer’s market and brought them home.  Lo and behold, they are among the most favorite toys — fun to hold and that pimply flesh!  Such a delicious texture, indeed.

I love the idea of a nature table and will definitely continue it going forward — gathering a little of the outdoors to bring indoors symbolizing the season, and adding to it some other symbolic objects that also bring a bit of seasonal flair.  Fall is easy enough — a few gourds and pumpkins, and later this week I think Orlis and I will do some leaf gathering, as they are just beginning to turn.  I’m already turning my thoughts to winter…pinecones and needles?  A few bare branches?  A stuffed polar bear?

Still being a relatively new mom, I am both delighted and astounded at how the natural world, or the elements, if you will — water, sand, mud, wind, anything-that-grows, and anything-that-breathes — so easily trumps every other kind of plaything.  My child is endlessly interested in the variant textures nature offers; the smells, the movement of the ants and each and every leaf.  Ok, let’s be fair — I probably should put the word “Elements” in quotes — as we are talking New York City here.  So, it’s not beach, it’s sandbox.  It’s not wild nature, it’s the Botanic Gardens….but still.  Our days here are numbered and we are soaking it in, urban jungle that it is, and finding those little spots where the earth still shows herself, ready to be explored with all five senses.  

We are loving it, this most tactile world of discovery.  And, at the end of the day, a little bit of nature indoors, cozy and well-lit with a cup of tea, a cookie, and a tame kitty is really nice too.   Indeed.


in this, and every other universe, I do.

I do love late summer and early fall and will ALWAYS enter September in best-month-of-the-year contests, my birthday and baby boy’s birthday notwithstanding.  It’s also a fabulous time of year to have a wedding, and the wedding that I officiated last weekend was no exception.

A few highlights, with commentary:

Who: two self-described and most endearing “geeks” who love fantasy, science and reason, Dragon Con, gaming, taekwondo, their cat kids, their friends, and each other

C and M were most wonderful to work with — organized to the minute, and articulate and easy to be with.  They brought their full selves and their love for each other to the center of every conversation we had, making it easy to filter out their values and create a ceremony that reflected their unique and most athiestic beliefs (or what they might describe as “non-beliefs”), the details of their journey together thus far,  as well as their fascination with fantasy world.

Where: semi-rural Connecticut at a lovely all-inclusive banquet house






I’m crazy about late summer-to-fall landscaping and the way it graces gardens with a cacophony of colors…some final, farewell glimpses of pinks and yellows and an ushering in of fall’s richer palette.  C and M adorned the space and their color-coded party with the same summer-to-fall juxtaposition and were, themselves, radiant in their excitement about the day, each other, and their posse of spirited folks there in support of a special day.

Setting the scene for party time: Before the ceremony, I noticed elements for the reception-to-follow come together that spoke to their personal and shared lives, such as Battleship-themed centerpieces.  Wouldn’t you be delighted to sit at Table Galactica?

Or the Millennium Falcon?

A unique ritual: Our intimate work together brought about a ceremony rich in details about the rhythms of their lives, accentuated by a sci-fi soundtrack, a bit of Shakespeare, and symbols of independence, trust, and a shared journey.

Feeling good: Moments before the ceremony, C enjoyed a coke with ice and some trail mix among her ladies-in-waiting, and reported to me she felt, “fabulous.”  I took this (a relaxed bride!) as a sign to loosen my grip on my prepared comments and let a few jokes fly.

And indeed…: as a group of witnesses and participants in this special ceremony, we laughed.  We smiled.  We processed in order.  It was a beautiful day and an honor to play a part.  And indeed, they did.