search instagram arrow-down

Recent Posts


Top Posts & Pages

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,630 other subscribers


Thanks for Freshly Pressing me again!!

Freshly Pressed

Blog Stats

Blogs I Follow

Blog Stats

And again! Thank you to all who follow and support me!!

So a Lebanese man walks into the store… No, to be honest, his wife came in.  She and I struck up a conversation as she repeatedly muttered, “I’ve got to get Jim in here.” She and Jim came in the next day and the three of us spent most of our time together over the spices. The Za’atar, which I have now learned to pronounce somewhat correctly as “Zaa the” is not authentic to his taste. He is as American as you or I; growing up in Massachusetts. The difference was his embrace of his  immigrant parents’ culture, most impressively the food.  He suggested there were as many different recipes for Za’atar as there were villages and families, but ours includes oregano and he said it should be thyme for his taste.

He had spent years in Hong Kong so our conversation veered off to Eastern spice blends and favorite dishes of Southeast Asian cuisine. By the time they left I had an invitation to their home for their regular Saturday night gathering of food and folks. Francestown New Hampshire is only slightly, (minutely so) less rural than Temple. This gathering of “fun people you will really enjoy!” sounded intriguing. They insisted I consider coming to dinner, the wife wrote out their address, phone numbers and email. I put it out of my mind until late in the day, then remembered he had loved the Persian Lime Infused Olive Oil. For whatever reason, he had bought everything but that.

The next day was Saturday and I told myself I would just see how the day went. My list of “want to do” and “have to do” was long and I slept in past Alice’s idea of breakfast. A lovely walk through the crispy leaves with 8 others on horseback, a stinky trip to the dump with all the recent mouse coffins, the obligatory grocery run, an afternoon spent cleaning every drawer and cabinet in the kitchen (mouse poop central)  and time to experiment with a new recipe occupied me before I  had to face the decision. In the end, I showered off my sweat and insecurities, polished up my boots and mood, and headed out the door.

The house was well lit and cars lined the side of the road. Someone arrived as I crept my car to the side, confirming the address.  I noted that the doors were flung open; it appeared to be a “dive right in like you live here” party. Grabbing the bag of Persian Lime Oil from the passenger seat,  I gave my shoulders a good shake and walked in. The ‘mud room’ was inviting and  beyond I could see a knot of people gathered in the kitchen. Even if this was the wrong house, someone I didn’t know was smiling and nodding welcome to me. Plates of food covered every surface, wine and spirits were laid out with glassware on the center island, and stools were pulled up around the feast. My host saw me hesitating and swooped over genuinely surprised and pleased. “I was just telling them I hoped you would make it! Here, let me introduce you around. No, wait! I promised you a taste of my humus and kibbe.”

Suddenly,  a spot where no one knew anything about me went from niggling self-doubt and anxiety, to a warm blanket of comfortable conversation.  I teetered on the edge of a flashback, walking into so many wall street boondoggle conferences alone and unsure, it suddenly didn’t matter what or who I knew. In finding connections, there is a certain balancing act, as a new-comer to a well-heeled group. I focused on being both interested and interesting. Self-consciousness slipped away.

The house was a lovingly restored Cape-style home built in the 1700s. The wide floors were uneven from many feet and the ceilings were low. Such a contrast to my home. The colors chosen, the abundance of greenery cascading before the windows and the openness of the space was inviting. I settled at a round table with several others. A platter of raw kibbe, olives, cheese, fresh bread and onions spilled over the center. I watched as my host scooped up some of the meat with the bread, dressed it with onion then rolled it into a perfect bite, extending it to me with a smile. Melt in your mouth delicious!

Nepalese Necklace

One couple had met while teaching in Kathmandu, married and spent the next 30 years traveling the world  before landing here. I was wearing my Nepalese necklace bartered for with two Izod polo shirts in 1982 on the streets of Kathmandu. We marveled at our recollections of the ancient culture.  Another woman had four horses.  My ride earlier in the day brought her memories of crisp, Fall trail rides.  We discussed small-town politics and avoided the presidential primary looming over us. We ate exotic treats and talked about our kids, ex-spouses, hobbies and joys. No one complained of pains or infirmities, no one ranted on about social issues or injustices.

The most remarkable observation I made was there were no “selfies” no cameras at all, no social media posts – Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook. Not a single text or call was made. No one felt the need to share beyond the immediate moment.

The hours flew by and I departed with spice blends, recipes and enough food for a splendid lunch of leftovers. The world is a funny place – a Lebanese man walks into the store…

14 comments on “Worldly

  1. julieallyn says:

    There are moments when place, time, happenstance and even the weather (!) conspire to throw us into the most wonderful situations. I’m envious. Sounds like the perfect evening. Life is good. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, Julie! Life is good!! Thank you.


  2. jaknisell says:

    I love it and I am so glad you went! Everything sounds like a great evening meeting new friends and tasting great food!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really glad I went Annie. It was fun and delicious! Good to step out of my comfort zone for a change.


  3. One thing I miss about my old days as a gardener on that side of the mountain is all the interesting, friendly people I used to meet. I heard stories about places I didn’t even know existed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m constantly amazed at who settles here and why. Such an eclectic group!


  4. Jim Gann says:

    Thank you for wonderful recounting of Saturday night. Our friends will enjoy the compliments as we have. We love you too much!

    Jim and Sue

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for a wonderful evening and inviting me into your circle!!


  5. Touring NH says:

    What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday evening. Some folks just have a way of making you feel like “part of the family”.


  6. Evenings like this are impossible to plan Martha, which makes them all the more special when they’re happenstance. Sometimes people just click and it’s a wonderful feeling. ~James


  7. Marie Keates says:

    What a wonderful evening it sounds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Marie. Interesting group of people and a fun evening finding connections.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Honored! Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

Love to know what you are thinking! And thank you for commenting.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Pragma Synesi - interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Putnam, in the studio and beyond

Reflections and ruminations in Education, Beauty, Art and Philosophy

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world

The city of adventure

From there to back again (usually on a bike)

Nolsie Notes

My stories, observations, and art.

Shellie Troy Anderson


Oh, the Places We See . . .

Never too old to travel!

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

Going to Seed in Zones 5b-6a

The Adventures of Southern Gardeners Starting Over in New England

I Walk Alone

The World One Step At A Time

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Susan's Musings

Whimsical Stuff from a Writer's Mind

Travels with Choppy

A dog and cat in clothing. Puns. Travel. Bacon. Not necessarily in that order. News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

A Sawyer's Daughter

The Life & Times of a Sawmill Man's Eldest Child

On The Heath

where would-be writer works with words

The adventures of timbertwig in the forest of Burnley and the Rossendale Valley

crafts, permaculture, forest management, self employment, cycling


Time to change, live, encourage and reflect.


Bring new life to your garden!

The Grey Enigma

Help is not coming. Neither is permisson. -

Ethereal Nature

The interface of the metaphysical, the physical, and the cultural

UP!::urban po'E.Tree(s)

by po'E.T. and the colors of pi

Kindness Blog

Kindness Changes Everything

Crazy Green Thumbs

Chronicling a delusional gardening experience.

New Hampsha' Bees

Raising bees holistically in New Hampshire

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Therapeutic Misadventures

Daily musings on life after 60 & recreating oneself

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Writing Out Loud

A Place of Observation

cancer killing recipe

Inspiration for meeting life's challenges.

Archon's Den

The Rants & Rambles of A Grumpy Old Dude


Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. Kurt Vonnegut

Once upon a time... I began to write

My journey in writing a novel

Not a Day Over 45

A View from Mid-Life

Sharon Hewitt Rawlette, PhD


Diana Tibert

~ I write -

White Shadows

Story of a white pearl that turned to ashes while waiting for a pheonix to be born inside her !

At Home in New Hampshire

Living and Writing in the North East


Two rare, life-threatening diseases that led to a bone marrow transplant and a snappy Buttkick List



International Cowgirl Blog

%d bloggers like this: