The journey behind this decision brings me back to vacation days as a little girl at my paternal grandparents in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. My grandparents lived on the outskirts of this small, slightly touristy town in a two-bedroom log cabin at the base of a mountain. Every morning, I would drive with Grandma into town for her part-time job as a librarian in the sleepy library. Some days I would hang out with her surrounded by paper and curled up in the basement reading a mystery of some sort like Nancy Drew or Encyclopedia Brown. I would often take a break and walk to the local pharmacy for a chocolate malt. And then some days she would drop me off at the Olympic-size pool on the edge of town.
Not only was the pool expansive, but in addition to normal diving boards, they had diving platforms from Olympic-lore. Three levels of platforms hung over the water, each level given you more street cred than the others. I remember my shaky legs ascending the steep, narrow stairs past the first platform, then the second platform, and on to the third. On that platform I was surrounded by giggly teenage girls, pubescent boys and muscled, hairless men in Speedo's. I stood out with my arms crossed over my one-piece which covered my pillowy stomach and flat chest. I tried to quiet my wildly beating heart and my shivering goose-pimply legs. I watched as the men in Speedo's jumped quickly and nimbly off the platform. The teenagers seemed like jumping off was the last thing on their minds. My turn seemed to be now or never. I shuffled slowly and looked down to the awaiting water to make sure no bodies remained in my path below. I walked a few steps backwards and ran over the edge, my arms and legs waving like they were made of jello as my body descended to the sun-reflecting water. And then it was over...the cold water met my feet with a loud clap and water soon greeted my nose and mouth with a whoosh. I journeyed back up to the surface with my kicking legs. My lungs gasped for air as they also fought with the water that I swallowed so swiftly. Minutes of fear that seemed like hours and days were ended with exhilaration and an unsureness if I would do it again but so very glad that I at least tried it once.
My recent life decision has been, for me, like my jump off that top platform. Many visits to that pool I promised myself I would take that chance but I never did. But the day came finally when I could not hold myself back any longer. Fear would hold my hand and leap with me. Fear would become my friend. Lately, I'd forgotten how good a friend fear can be. I needed the reminder that fear is the catalyst for growth and self-discovery. I'm ready to embark on a new discovery, Ala Christopher Columbus. Fear will be my shipmate and not the storm that forces me to turn around to calmer waters. I am ready. In the meantime, kitchen adventures await and I cannot wait to spend more time slicing, dicing and writing.
With the beginning of this new path, I thought I'd redesign the look of this blog. Like me, I felt like it needed a fresh start. I'm not sure I'm done with it yet but for now I am enjoying the brighter design. What do you think? I also plan on adding a couple of weekly features (you'll have to wait and see!) along with the storytelling that I enjoy so much.
Although I have been absent from my blog, I am still doing a fare bit of cooking and baking. I actually had a cupcake recipe I wanted to include in this entry, but I have yet to find the recipe that I scribbled down. Time to start a recipe notebook so that I don't mistake my torn pages as trash. :)
Until then, I hope some pictures of recent food ventures will suffice. See you soon, with recipes.