As I mentioned on my Facebook page, I am working on several recipes but wanted to share this story with you in the meantime.
This morning I had the pleasure of meeting Jan. Driving back home (around 9 am) from the fish market, my eyes caught a glimpse of an old man sitting at a bus stop, eating heartily from two boxes of pizza. I drove past him, but quickly turned my car around to meet this person whose attention was so focused on his FOOD--and so much of it. When I pulled up along side him, he excitedly brought over a box to offer me a slice. "Hi, my name is Jan, they named January after me", he said amongst other things. I asked him for permission to talk to him and take his picture and he gladly obliged when he saw me reaching into my pocket.
He was happy to have someone to talk to. He told me that he lives in the "adult houses" a few streets away. He told me about his brother who is a computer programmer, how well he can sing and how good some people have been to him. He said with pride that a lady gave him 5 dollars one day. He told me he found the pizzas in a garbage can one block away and he is going to take it every where with him, even though it's heavy. That will be his "meals" today and for as long as it lasts. "What do you like to eat Jan"? "You!", he responded with a smile. I chuckled and quickly changed the question around. "No kidding Jan, what is your favorite food"? He responded, "diet coke and I am going to buy a lot", looking happily at the money I gave him, "and beer". "I said FOOD Jan, what do you like to EAT?", I said smiling at him. His eyes lit up and I finally got a response, "oh, lobster and clams!"
At that moment, I didn't care whether Jan used the money to buy "UN-organic" twinkies or his diet coke or beer. Let Jan continue to do whatever makes himself happy(except eat me of course). There are people with so many possessions who are downright miserable and here is Jan with not a possession(except his pizzas), so happy and carefree. After chatting for about 20 mins, I said goodbye to this happy person who touched my heart in many ways. As I was leaving he asked, "are you my cousin, are you SURE you are not my cousin...you REALLY are not my cousin?". "No, Jan, I am not your cousin, but I hope I see you around again."
Today I was reminded that despite our circumstances, we are about as happy as we make up our minds to be. We must also remember the less fortunate and give of ourselves, our love, our caring, our time, our money, our smiles and laughter--freely and happily. Let's make this world a better place, one day, one person at a time.
I plan to call the homeless shelter where Jan resides to see how I can help. I would love to cook a wonderful meal for all the folks there.