Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Living In a Cheese Bell

We are a cheese loving family. We go through a hunk of cheese like it's the last thing we do. Cheese on sandwiches, grated on soup, in casseroles, for snacks. Cheese melted, fried, raw, baked - we are not picky. It can be strong, mild, flavored, spiced, herbal. The only thing I don't care for is blue cheese. Why should I eat molded food?

I wanted my children to learn about different flavored cheeses at an early age. Living in Lausanne, Switzerland, we visited small villages famous for their cheese, like medieval Gruyères. The yummy pale yellow treat with small holes and nutty flavor is worth while the visit, but also the fabulous scenery and nature of the region.

Our first morning in Lausanne my husband handed me a map of the city and pointed to where I could find a grocery store. No problem. I did my errands, three little ones in tow, but could not locate our street on the way back. A hidden cross-road between other streets, it was not easy to find. Often I would walk to the store. I would have one child in a stroller, pull the second on a tricycle and watch the third on her little bicycle riding next to me. My goal was to bring home a different cheese every time I went grocery shopping. Bread and cheese became our favorite snack.

I have had a slice of Jarlsberg today, Hector and Arnfinn, too. In fact, it's Hector's favorite treat and he will do just about anything for a piece of yellow cheese. I like to hide small pieces around the living room and make him search for them. He is no bloodhound, the kind of dog with 300 million scent receptors. No, he needs a little coaching and guiding to find his cheese, but he loves playing that game.

Why am I thinking about cheese today? It has nothing to do with enjoying the flavor of St. Paulin, Brie, or Gouda. It's more the fact that there are times in my life when I feel like I am living in a cheese bell,
Storms, rain, and scorching heat can surround me, but I am safe within. The signs of disasters are there, I hear them, see them raging outside the bell, but I feel I am not really there.

Time out within a cheese bell seems to work for me now and then. Sometimes we just need a break from everyday struggles. Sometimes we need to cut something out of our life, without feeling guilty about it.

There are enough problems, trials, and challenges to keep me busy searchig for solutions and answers for a long, long time. Now and then I have to jump out in the middle of the hurricane.
In the meantime, I will work them out one at a time within my bell.

Today's water color is called Stormy Night.

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