Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lonely, Sushi, a new Friend

Here I sit at the Charlotte airport, away from my wife, away from my son :(

I am such a home body. I hate traveling for business, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. This past weekend I've spent four days in San Antonio and have learned something quite poignant: you can miss two people in completely different ways at the same time.

The conference I attended was on San Antonio's Riverwalk. If you've not been to San Antonio then the only way to describe the riverwalk is to imagine your favorite romantic walk and then stretch it out for 6+ miles. Gently flowing water, lush vegetation, gurgling waterfalls, soft background music, and picturesque dining tables everywhere you look just begging you to sit down with your sweetheart and hold her hand... but I'm in Texas... and my sweetheart is in Ohio :(

And then the phone rings, and I answer and hear: "I rode a horse and touched a snake!!!!" The wrenching feeling in the pit of my stomach when I hear my son's precious little high-pitched voice is about enough to make me tear up through my smile.

Two different relationships; both so different; both absences felt full force... simultaneously. Will I ever get home?

On Sushi:
The millions of sushi lovers couldn't be wrong, could they? Turns out... yes.

I've eaten California rolls in the past. Once or twice at different functions they've been served as hor d'oevres and I figured I'd try them and, to my frustration, they've always tasted just as nasty as they've looked. So anyway, a business colleague had a hankering for sushi and after filet mignon two nights in a row I figured "why not?" I like fish, I like rice, I even like soy sauce a little. How bad can it be? Besides, all those nasty California rolls were served at hotels and, like many other foods with which I'm more familiar, the hotel versions probably don't do justice to the real thing.

Things I've learned:
  1. There is a very good reason we cook and season our fish. That would be because it's gross when consumed raw.
  2. The salmon colored, thinly sliced food on your plate between the... er... salmon colored salmon and the... er... salmon colored yellowtail is actually ginger. Just because it is more thinly sliced and easier to pick up for the novice chop-stick user, and just because it's on your plate, doesn't mean you should eat it. If you do your mouth will taste like you just ate an entire flower shop... and a Bath and Body Works store.
  3. The little blob of avocado colored gunk on you plate is actually wasabi. Just because it looks like guacamole, and just because everything in San Antonio is served with guacamole, and just because it's on your plate doesn't mean you should eat it. If you do, your head will feel like you ate a volcano.
  4. You can ruin perfectly good smoked salmon by smooshing it together with cream cheese, bland rice, and wasabi colored avocado and then wrapping the whole mess in seaweed.
  5. Just because a place can't pull off the main course doesn't mean you should rule out dessert and coffee. This was quite good and pulled the experience from F- to a solid F.
A new friend:
I boarded the flight from San Antonio to Charlotte feeling very lonely and ready to be home. God arranged for me to be in a seat next to the sweetest little lady; she was reading her one-year Bible and her name is Vivian. Vivian was widowed 20 months ago and is still working through her grieving process. She was visiting San Antonio for a 45 year college class reunion -- her first time out in 20 months. We chatted from take-off to landing. Over two and a half hours. I didn't feel lonely once. Thank you, God, for a friend. Anyone reading this, please say a quick prayer for Vivian and ask God that he would comfort her.

Time to board for CAK. This blogger needs to go home.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you get to see your family soon!
    Praying for Vivian as I can not imagine living a moment without my hubby.