When my mom and I set out for California the first time we had few goals for our trip besides get to California. Since I’d never taken the road trip there before, we had no idea what the real time of the miles would be — so we put aside a week and figured we’d probably make it by then. We had books on CD, we had “books” on CD (I don’t count it as a real book if its some guy thats not Dave Ramsey teaching you about finances while you’re going through the incredible red stones of an Arizona Desert… but I digress) and we took turns with music. We decided to just make it to Memphis our first night, and take some time on Beal St. It was at one of our first stops along the way where the natural discussion over what we were going to eat on all of these very long roads when Mom came up with an idea. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, she thought, if we only ate what was local in every town we stopped in. The Slow Food Movement was just beginning to spread in our lives and we thought we’d give it a travelers try. The slow food methodology is very much in line with how we love to live, learn, and enjoy our lives. So this is my Mom’s and my Mason Lifestyle and Travel-Style. I’m working on a book to encompass this whole experience so for now, lets skip to Winslow Arizona. You might know the place as one where people like to stand on corners and view girls in flatbed Fords. It really is a good place to stand, they make sure of it by giving you a flatbed ford to look into and see the pretty blonde, the view is especially excellent if you stand right beside the bronze monument of the man who made this little town “really something.” But the natives to Winslow have made the best of the tourist attraction and started many a wonderful restaurant. My mom and I, however, were dead set that the food we ate had to be grown locally and sustainably. So we were pretty sure we were in for something interesting in the middle of this hot desert-land. The only plant we could identify in the wilderness around Winslow were tumbleweeds and thistles. If we passed any farms they were for oil, or sand, or something just as appetizing. When we drove up the the Turquoise Room, we found a beautiful old building painted mud red in typical western fashion. Inside we found a resort, there was stained glass and from our table we could look out on a beautiful garden.
If we were expecting burgers, or tumbleweeds we were wrong on all counts. We started with a soup bowl filled with half a cup of corn (?) soup and half a cup of bean soup which split beautifully down the middle, some sort of red sauce painted a big “TR” right on top. It was a delight to the palate.
To be honest, I can’t remember what we each had for lunch itself, because dessert took the cake. hah. When we ordered the desert pear dessert, we were blind to the fruit in our lives. In my lifetime I have had my fair share of trying to pick the desert pear. It is a beautiful, delightful looking fruit that just begs you to sink your teeth into its soft flesh. But I have tried and failed too many times and been left with painful fingertips to tell the tale. The beautiful plate was set in front of us to share — there was puff pastry and some custard and a beautiful sauce that went over the perfectly built dessert.
It was life by prickly pear. Mom and I had a cup of coffee and ate the treat too quickly. but enjoyed every bite.
When we left, we talked about it — in fact we still talk about it.
A slow food lifestyle is like the prickly pear dessert. If you don’t know what you’re missing, and you see the prices or bruises on local food, or you don’t want to take the time to put the gloves that it takes to reach out and find what is locally grown, where it is sold, who your farmers are, and the restaurants that use it exclusively, it’s only you missing out. But should you peel back all of that difficult, sometimes painful exterior, you will find the most delightful fruit with the most delightful opportunities to make something truly unique and wonderful.
(I can’t say I’m 100% slow food, I shop where you shop most of the time, so we’re in this boat to climb out of it together if you wanna join)
A Mason lifestyle is similar, but more like the double bowl of soup. The corn and beans intermingled with a bright red stripe. Learning doesn’t ever have to be just one thing, lay out all of the options find a flavor that complements them all (for me, its my faith) use the flavor as a vessel to highlight, sweeten, or spice up every lesson and you’ll create a learner so passionate about simply learning — nothing life could throw at them could change their need to know more.
Both of these ideas were given to me by my parents and have each been an every day miracle in my life. They change the way I look at the world, change the way I plan my life, changed me completely. My mom is another every day miracle. First she set off across the country with me in a tiny car and optimistically said it would be the best ever. We had such a good time in the car, we ate the home-soul-food of most towns we stopped in (with the occasional subway — eat fresh.) She taught me all I need to know and helped me live in a way that complemented my choices.
I am so thankful,