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Happy-Gourmand

An old-fashioned good time

Life presents us with opportunities, and, if we are on the ball, we manage to take advantage of them.

Earlier this summer, I had a chance encounter with an old friend. It was one of those moments where we had a chance to say we were both thrilled to see each other, and to catch up a bit. It could have ended there, but, thankfully, it didn’t.

Through the wonders of Facebook, she got in touch with me and invited my hubby and me for appies and a glass of wine. We invited them over to our place next, and then we had a habit.

This week, we met again and decided that since we’re in the heat of summer, we should have a picnic at the lake. We made it a potluck effort, everyone bringing chairs and something to nibble.

My girlfriend set things up in style, with a vintage card table and floral tablecloth, quaint, mismatched china plates and vintage cutlery from a collector’s cookie tin.

We ate caprese skewers with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, patty pan and bocconcini marinated in balsamic and basil; and hummus and egg salad with grainy crackers and vegetable sticks.

We sat back in our chairs under the branches of a huge tree, with the breeze from the lake to cool us off. I remember thinking, “Life doesn’t get any better than this."

Our simple picnic reminded me of the exquisite joy that can come from living in the moment. Our efforts were made with the goal of sharing time, not so much because it needed to be perfect.

We could have had fast food on the grass and it would have been just as lovely. All we need to do is take the time to stop and enjoy the moment.

Instead of sitting in the car with our coffee and watching the view out the window, why not get out and breathe the air?

Instead of picking up take out and having it in front of the TV, how about taking it to the park or the beach?

Even during the day, we can enjoy these old-fashioned moments. It just takes looking around to see the opportunities. We have passed kids with lemonade stands five times this summer, and we have stopped each time to sample their wares.

The prices have varied, the taste has varied, but the fun of stopping and chatting with all these budding entrepreneurs has always been a highlight of our day.

There are opportunities in the dark too. Last week was the Blood Moon, the full moon of July. Nearby in the sky was Mars, at the closest point it’s been in over a decade.

These glowing red orbs in the sky were worth a good look. We stood out on the deck in the dark in our pyjamas and watched as the moon crept through the clouds and cast shadows on the garden. We laid down and watched for satellites crossing the sky.

I felt like a kid at camp again, without a care in the world.

I’m keeping this short and sweet this week, so you can use the time to catch one of those opportunities.

  • Have a picnic.
  • Go for ice cream. 
  • Stop at a lemonade stand.


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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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