From the day we arrived here (and learned that our good neighbors had planned a welcome home party at our house) to today, it has been a fun-filled summer. As I reread this, I guess that fun and friends go together in any location but which sentence describes it best: “Home is where the heart is.” or “Love the one you’re with.”?
· We live on the most neighborly street in the best neighborhood in
– possibly the best neighborhood in the Lansing . People who live on our block enjoy making others feel welcome and appreciated. US
· We got to show Phil and Margaret (from Vaison la Romaine) some of the sites of
· We traveled through five states when Tish was with us and then returned to eastern PA for a reunion with my sisters. I had forgotten how beautiful
· We were invited to a “BFF” dinner at Brian’s and Ken’s house where alums of Patricia Wells’ cooking school met for a weekend in
and prepared an absolutely wonderful meal. Lansing
· We got to see Mark & Dan (more below) and Jeff & Lynn in
. We also enjoyed a wonderful dinner with Francophiles Susan and Alain in Portland . Ann Arbor
· Jim and Taffy stopped on their way to
. Karen stopped on her return to Beaver Island . Chicago
· We spent an afternoon with Nancy who was in
to attend a business meeting and confirmed that “it is we.” Lansing
· Linda invited me to speak at her training class for child care directors (more below).
· John and Arleen visited from CO and during their visit we had a wonderful meal with Sue & Jerry and Marge & Charlie.
· We saw Marge & Charlie numerous times here and in St. Joe as well as Olga & Blair at
. Gull Lake
· Denise (next door) gave me plants for my garden. As a result, we have enjoyed wonderful tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and herbs for the past two months.
· We haven’t yet seen MB (Embay) but laughed through most of the summer about the way that she “scored the slices of eggplants” (Patricia Wells’ recipe for baked eggplants and tomatoes). She sent a picture of a pan of eggplant slices with little flags on each slice and each flag had a score on it – “
7”, “9 ”, …
What is it about friends and food that make gatherings fun?
When we were in
, Mark & Dan invited their friends to a dinner made from locally-grown products (from backyard gardens). We got to attend a nine-course meal that included fresh-from-the-garden items complemented with good wines, local protein and desserts from local fruits and dairy products. Since Dan and Mark were extending the invitation, it was clear that everyone bringing a dish knew that s/he had to step up to the level of cuisine one expects at the “Schmapp” household and, to my enjoyment, everyone did! Portland
Since I volunteer at child care centers in both Vaison and Lansing, Linda had invited me to speak to her class about the similarities and differences between the
and US . In most categories the French are leading the way, though the child care directors were surprised at the adult/child ratios for Ecole Maternelle in France--one teacher to up to 25 kids! On the other hand, most of the teachers have degrees similar to our Masters degrees. France
All in all, it has been a wonderful summer here in
and parts east, west and south (no north yet). We are still harvesting and eating the vegetables and herbs from our garden but, better than the food, we have enjoyed time with friends, neighbors and siblings. So perhaps it’s true that home is where the heart is, and the heart is where there are friends. Lansing