Take a Little Time

Archived | September 25, 2014 | By

Listed to the show Saturday and it was not bad.   I was in Decorah and had a bookstore to visit so I missed the tail end of the show, which I caught later, online, and it was lovely.  Felt like home away from home, and later that evening a friend of mine called, a dear woman in her early sixties named Elaine, and reported a big thumbs up on the Meatloaf Supper and Street Dance, where she and her new friend Larry had what she described as a “magical” night under the end-of-summer sky, lights overhead, music playing, lots of people mingling.  They danced much of the evening, and Mr. Keillor walked among the dancing people, as he does, and sang, “Let It Be Me”, and that was the moment she’s talked about several times since.  Hmm, I say.

Elaine is always meeting new people.  She’s a people person through and through, and I admire her ways at gatherings and functions.  She breezes in and it feels as if something was plugged in, and there’s suddenly more light in the room.  She loves grocery shopping and knows everyone who works in the store, and she belongs to an outdoors club and a writing group and she takes pictures wherever she goes.  She met Larry at a dinner party, both friends of friends, and they hit it off, and now they are “friends.”  Good friends.

I love meeting new people.  And I love meeting familiar people, and friends, and family, too.  Good conversations are few and far between in a world that is too much with us (with a nod to Wordsworth, who hit the nail on the head and I wonder what he might say these days).  My thought, now, as autumn is here and winter approaching, is to take a little time to be with people.

Say “yes” to that party invite, or host one yourself.   Join a book club for the winter, take a road trip to see the leaves and seek out people along the way.  Go to an art fair, to church, to the grocery store and notice the people you encounter, look them in the eye, and open up a conversation or two.   Never know.  Do what you love, and you’ll come across good people who may one day become your friends.  Good friends.  You might end up calling each other long distance each Sunday, spending a weekend each fall at a lodge somewhere, attending each other’s children’s weddings, building a house together, meeting every Tuesday for breakfast at dawn, or dancing together at summer’s end on a twilit street in St. Paul.

Here’s something delightful with which to fill a bowl and set out with a plate of gingersnaps, or molasses cookies, or shortbread even, or bread.

Pumpkin Dip

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 cups pumpkin pie filling
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ to ½ teaspoon ground ginger

Beat cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in pumpkin pie filling. Add the sugar, cinnamon and ginger and mix well. Serve with cookies. Store leftover dip in the refrigerator. Makes about three cups of dip.