Jay Warmke, Chris Lofromento, Deb LoFromento, Annie Warmke, Chris Luers, Karrissa Hahn enjoying a Chinese New Year feast 2012

THANKS FOR NOTHING MONTH                      January 22, 2012                      7:30 AM

27F outdoors                           65F indoors


If food is the heart of sustainable living, then friendship is the soul…

The table was all dressed up in red for the Chinese New Year luncheon. 

Our small gathering of friends braved the icy road to bring fruit and avocados (for later), a chicken dish, a noodle dish (for a long life), freshly made bread, and lots of good moods.  Jay and I had prepared shrimp spring rolls, and a rice dish.  The teapot was steeping with a Jasmine blooming tea flower.

There were decorations of Yen (Chinese play money), tissues (in Chinese packaging), paper cuts (beautiful little designs delicately cut out by hand), chopsticks (cheaters for Chris Luers, who is a novice at eating this way), and a big red sash in gold letters that ran down the red and gold table covering.  I have no idea what the letters say, but since my friend, Ginger Swank sent it to me last year from China, I’m pretending that it wishes us all a happy and prosperous year to come.


Carolyn joining in as part of the Chinese New Year decorations

The conversation was wild and intelligent.  After about two hours we might have solved many of the world’s problems, but it didn’t matter because we were laughing and agreeing with each other at almost every idea.

After we finished our broth (the official signal of the end of the food) Jay read us our Chinese horoscopes.  Karissa Hahn and I are rabbits.  There is nothing in the definition of a “rabbit” that fits either of us, which only added to the delight of the horoscopes.  When Jay said we are submissive we couldn’t stop laughing and protesting at the same time.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Chris Luers and Deb Lofromento think there might be some truth in their horoscopes.  But Chris Lofromento was full of jokes about his reading.  Strangely Jay’s was relatively accurate so we were all sure he wrote his own just to be “smart”.  He vehemently denied any responsibility.

By the end of our time together the dogs were jumping at me to get my Carharts on so the evening chores could commence.  They can tell time, even when they can’t see the clock. 

After everyone left and I was alone with the critters doing my routine at the barn I was thinking about the energy of friendship.  Friends, at least in Jay’s and my life, are people who have taught us things.  They bring hugs, and love, and their opinions to share.  They create souvenirs – memories, and these souvenirs sustain us when they are not around, or in times of trouble or need.

My best friend since my childhood is still connected to my life.  We’ve taken to having a bit of a holiday together annually.  To have time with her goodness is like a drink of fresh cool water.  Our history carries us through things – when I’m at my saddest and have no words, she is at the other end of the phone telling me the truth, or giving me nourishment.  How could I live my life without her – just knowing she is my friend gives me energy.

And at last, there are friends here in this place we love so much.  They are like a cool breeze that floats into the room and leaves nothing untouched.  Their friendship lends courage and goodness to my life.  We hold birthday swaps (one this Saturday), and share food, politics, and life.

Beyond them there are friends around the US that have been in our lives for a long time.  They have been through good times and hard times with us.  They show up in times of trouble or to celebrate life with us, and we miss them every day. 

And beyond them are our friends in far off places.  We stay in touch, and sometimes we even get to work on projects together, or actually see each other face-to-face.

A while ago I read that people who have long-term friendships live happier, longer lives.  If that is true, then my wish to live to be at least, I repeat, at least, 94 years old will come true. 

In spite of being opinionated, loud, passionate, and not normally knowing my place in this world (not like a rabbit at all), I’ve managed to achieve one of the big goals of my life – friends.  For sure I am going to live a long healthy life even though I did not eat any of those delicious-looking Chinese noodles.




Cinnamon Raisin Toast

Scrambled Eggs



Potato Cakes




Shrimp and Rice leftovers