Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Neighborly: The Kindness Overwhelmed Me

I have been wrestling with how exactly to tell this story. We experienced a gesture so sweet, it simply has to go in the chronicles of "moving to Seattle."

We haven't lived in an apartment in 23 years. We are used to our wonderful cul-de-sac, where we've been neighbors with almost exactly the same people for ages. We had years of chatting at the mailbox, waving as we drove in, planning activities kind of neighborhood and now we find ourselves living where people in their 20's come and go at all hours with almost no connection or acknowledgement of each other. Ants in an ant farm. Everyone that we speak to is friendly, but we probably won't run into each other again on the property. The number of tenants is large and everyone is on their own schedule.

Which brings me to this story. We had a medical emergency very early one Saturday morning and I needed help. I ran to the apartment where I knew a young couple lived - I had occasionally chatted with the girl when we were both getting out of our cars. All I had to say was "I need help" and this darling couple in pajamas ran out of their apartment after me. Long story short, they were a tremendous help to me and we were grateful. 

The young wife stopped by the next day with cookies to ask how things were. So nice! Then we snuck a thank you note with a restaurant gift card under their door. I wrote that I knew it was unnecessary to send them out to dinner, but that was part of the fun. That night, they texted us a selfie from the restaurant. A millennial thank you of the cutest proportion.

Two days later, we came home to find this wreath on our door. The girl we hardly knew had jazzed up our temporary home with a wreath she made - including an "R" for Reeves. Her note said that she tried to match the colors in our doormat. If that isn't the epitome of neighborly and wonderful, I don't know what is.

Their help and kindness is another reason I feel great about this epic move across the country. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Meeting Ina Garten: Cooking for Jeffrey

Would you believe it? I accidentally met Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa! I say accidentally because I had no idea that Costco was hosting her for a book signing at the Issaquah location. I walked into the store on a Friday afternoon and there she was signing her new cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey. I had the chance to tell her that we had a mutual friend, Patricia Wells. I had taken Patricia's week long cooking class in Paris and after finding we had so much in common (she called us Midwestern Girls), Patricia wrote an excerpt for my book on Paris.

I have been a fan for years (love her shortbread and roasted shrimp recipes) and I have had her show on in the background in my kitchen for hours as a cooking companion. We weren't making different meals, but we were kindred spirits just the same.

Thank you, Costco, for bringing Ina to the Pacific Northwest. Just next time, could you give a girl the heads up? I would've been crushed if I had missed her!