Saturday, September 30, 2006

Saturday Lunch with Olivia

I've been thinking a lot about words, and the meaning behind them, and the ability to express them. In University, I read a lot, and wrote a lot, and writing analyses on other things came very easy to me. Writing about myself....not so easy. I measure my words, and carefully construct what I want to say. Both the effect and affect are carefully controlled. To be able to write freely is a gift, and to be able to share it with others is very special.

I read something once that what is important are not the Big Things in life. That life is truly lived in the small moments. The little pieces of ordinary, where, on the surface may be inconsequential, but belie the true meaning of living well.

Not too far from where we live, is the little town of Snohomish.It's one of those picture-perfect representations of small-town America. American flags hang from the antique lightposts. First Street, which is the main street of the town, is lined with antique shops, boutiques, and restaurants. It's the kind of place where you look up and down the street, and you smile, and something silly, like the theme song from Dawson's Creek pops into your head. Olivia loves tea parties, and I've always told her that I would take her to one of the tea rooms there, and we would have our own tea party. After browsing a bit through some of the shops, we made our way to Mrs. Pennycooke's Tea Room. It's an interesting place. The decor is very British, with its antique silver place settings and fine china, but the music playing softly was decidedly North African-sounding. A pair of little old ladies, with their perfectly-set hair, and meticulously groomed outfits sipped tea at a table next to a pair of high school-aged girls, with their dyed black hair, and safety-pin-adorned black ensembles.

Olivia is a study in contrasts too. She carefully dabs the crumbs from the sides of her mouth with her napkin, which otherwise lies neatly on her lap, as she describes to me the 'very scary' plastic triceratops that she chose to bring with her. At that moment, it really struck home the idea that real life occurs in the little moments....usually when you're not paying attention.

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