Today I opened a fresh bottle of a new spice blend. I was transported back...about 17 years as I remember. Daughter #3 was a small baby.
One of the civilians my husband worked with was having a party and invited us. He was a pleasant fellow, and going out was a big treat for us, as a Private's salary was meager...and we had three children!
We arrived at the party to find that we knew no one. Well, I knew no one. My husband did know another guest, a young officer, who was there. Everyone else seemed to be college instructors or students.
To say that I felt like a fish out of water was putting it mildly. Because I had brought the baby, I was treated a bit like a leper. She was quiet, and even when she was awake, she was relatively immobile, so it was not going to pose a problem. Besides, I did not leave my babies at home! This was a group of people who did not have babies...or never did. I often felt like ALL I did was babies. Not exactly one of the 'beautiful people'.
After a while, one of the young students commented to me on how 'innocuous' the baby was. To this day I'm sure he meant "inconspicuous". I hope he did!
We found ourselves sitting more or less in a circle and people were telling their travel stories as magazines were being circulated. Now, we had absolutely nothing to say. We had been nowhere further than Portland, Oregon, and for a religious event at that!
I will forever ask blessings for the woman who sat beside me. I do not recall her name. She obviously picked up on my discomfort. She leaned into me and asked "If you could go anywhere, where would you go?" Can I tell you how much I learned from that question?
Making people at ease is a gift worth cultivating. That I still remember this incident after all that has happened in the intervening years shows what an impact it had! I pray that I may be so accomodating to 'fish' that I come across!
So, where does the spice fit in? It's really not a big deal. Later that evening, for reasons I do not recall, our host passed around a spice blend he particularly liked and asked opinions as to what was in it. This was an area where I had some competance, but ultimately, no one, including myself remembers what I thought about the spice.
But I will never forget the woman who sat beside me.