Friday, May 15, 2020

Support Your Local Business! Update!

and more...

On Friday, March 13, we had a nice busy morning. We cooked up a storm and prepared ourselves for a busy lunch rush, which never happened. We looked outside around noon and cars filled the street in front of the cafe, like it was the afternoon rush hour. That was the beginning. Everyone had been told to go home. We packed up the food and we, also, went home. Back at home, my son and my husband, both at different colleges, had also been sent home.

On Sunday, March 15, we came back to the cafe to give it a "final" cleaning. We figured we'd have to be closed for a couple of weeks, and we planned to keep cooking for take-out and delivery. Over the weekend, our wizard chef decided to come and live with us. He brought his 20 year old chihuahua, his pet fish  and his cooking skills. My nephew who was studying at McGill also moved in with us, and so our household started the long period of staying at home. 

We cooked - a lot! We ordered in groceries. My sons went out to get stuff we couldn't order in. We argued about safety measures. We cooked and ate, and made cocktails. I increased my weekly mileage, and kept up my 2020 run streak. One son started a new career project. The other tried to study film, without being able to attend class, or do group projects, or leave the house on public transit. Of the five of us, my husband was the only one who could continue working (prof). 

One thing I know for sure: Caffe della Pace will survive! But from riding high, being busy and having fun, we are now wondering how our cafe is going to adapt to the new world we are looking at. And we will adapt! We're good at it! Our cafe has grown organically since we opened - as our public grew and changed, so did we! 

And now, we need your support! We know that you miss hanging out with your friends, lovers, colleagues and family in our warm, welcoming space. We do too! But for the next little while, we will be accepting online orders, for pickup only, so that you can eat our lovely, loving food at home.

Check us out online, choose your meals, and come on down to the Peace Cafe where you will be welcomed with love; food ready; smiles ready ... until we can get back to our intimate, boisterous, warm, human way of cooking, serving and eating meals together.

We need you! And, come on, admit it, you need us! Share the news, check us out, get in touch! Stay safe, stay well, #spread love. 

Sunday, May 10, 2020

COVID19 in-house Day 56: The Corona Virus Blues

Like I said before, gratitude is a state of mind. But I'm not going to fall for the easy peasy lie-down-and-take-it bullshit that every cloud has a silver lining. So, no, I am not grateful for the Virus.

Today is "be grateful for V" day.

I'm not grateful for the Virus.

I'm grateful for the love that I have and share in abundance.

I'm not grateful that the Virus has killed tens and hundreds of thousands of people. Every single one of those people was born, and had a life and love.

I'm grateful for my health.

I'm not grateful that the Virus has appeared to reduce people's senses of compassion, love, and courtesy.

I'm grateful that I have a warm, comfortable house to hide in.

I'm not grateful that the Virus has put a huge strain on our health care systems, all over the world, and that our health care workers are suffering.

I'm grateful that I live in a country that has not taken advantage of the crisis for political maneuvers.

I'm not grateful that I haven't been able to visit two of my sons, and they can't visit me.

I'm grateful for the technology that allows us to "see" each other every day, if we want.

I'm not grateful that I have to close my cafe, which I love, for an unknown time.

I'm grateful I can survive financially.

I'm not grateful that I had to cancel my retreats ... and I paid back my deposits.

I'm grateful for the future, when I'll be back on my mountain.

Turn, turn, turn.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

COVID19 in-house Day 51: Grateful for W

I've been thinking about which "W" I should be grateful for. This has been one of my themes while I'm out running. I've been arguing with myself, not out loud I hope... Words? Women? Or Wine?

Back in 1991, when I was pregnant with my fourth son, we were looking for a farm to buy and live on. We were living in a medieval tower in a small village at the time ... yep, there it is. Long story, but anyway we moved into this tower with no anything except the ghost of the poor guy who had lived in the top floor and drank himself to death, and a lot of birds, and we fixed it up, got some electricity and running water, and made a bathroom and fixed the roof, and made friends with the village people and ... eventually sold it to an artist from LA... 

So, in March 1991 we found our farm and moved there. 7 acres, a vineyard, fields, a spring where I got our 18 litre jerry can of water every day, a pond for the ducks and geese and for the kids to almost drown in... and a big stone farmhouse, and all that.

What I am grateful for today is wine. Yes, we had a vineyard and we had all the fun connected to that: the vendemmia, the pruning in April, the days in the fall when we would go down and wander through and eat grapes, the hot smell of sulfur when it would be time to spray the vines to protect them against mold...

I am grateful for pleasure, and fun, and being together with friends and family, and good meals with a glass of wine, and I'm grateful for the earth, and for the vineyard that we had, and for grapes, those bundles of sunlight encased in skin and jelly, and I'm grateful for the smell of sulfur, and the smell of wormwood that rose up from the earth on long hot days in the summer.

I'm grateful for the smell of the grapes as they are being crushed, and then when they are being pressed ... the click, click of the press as it is turned ... I am grateful for the acrid sweet taste of the mosto ... and then the taste of the new wine in January.

And, mostly these days, I am grateful for the fleeting pleasures we are given. I've had so many, and uncountable, and undeserved I'm sure. Now, more than usual, I am conscious that we have to take pleasure in the "now", and fully open to the possibilities of the "now". I don't mean tumbling into hedonism. I mean living fully with what we have now. A small glass of wine with dinner. The smell of a freshly squeezed lemon, and the cold surprise of homemade lemonade. The crispness of an apple. The comfort of a piece of bread (coincidentally, I made an awful loaf yesterday ... it is now nourishing the compost bucket...). The warm goodness of soup. The taste of a frozen pizza, eaten while watching a cartoon.

Because? Everything passes. Our vineyard, just over an acre of mostly red San Giovese, and some white... well, that place got all bought up when we left and now it's swimming pools, fancy houses, summer terraces. No more chicken coop, pond, wheat fields... and the vineyard is getting covered by creeping forest.

So, today I am grateful for wine, friends, love, summertime, wintertime, dinner, breakfast ... I am grateful... and I'm hoping you are too.