A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? – Ecclesiastes 2:24-25
Another week has passed and it’s time for #5PhotoFriday. Valentine’s day, great food, flowers and grandchildren. A very photo-friendly week to be sure.
I have written before about my general disdain for the culture that has grown around Valentine’s Day; but I love, love, love Rebekah so why not make it a great excuse for a wonderful date-night?
One of our local eateries, Leli’s Diner, offers a reservation-only Valentine’s dinner that I was fortunate enough to nail down early. So we were able to enjoy a very relaxed gourmet feast where we could indulge in the luxury of a long, uninterrupted, beautifully prepared meal.
The appetizer – Black Truffle Burrata with Speck, Tomato and Crostini – was beyond amazing. Then we both had Caesar Salad. My entree was Veal Chop with Wild Mushroom Ragu served with Basil Part Smashed Potato and Grilled Asparagus; Rebekah had the Pan Seared Sea Bass with Foie Gras Truffle Butter, also with Basil Smashed Potato. Then for dessert, we enjoyed possibly the best cheesecake I have had in many years. The coffee was excellent, the wine perfectly complimented my veal, and the service could not have been better.
Rebekah and I enjoy – in the Italian tradition – a dinner that is unhurried and where the evening’s entertainment is the meal itself along with great conversation with the people we are with. Now, with forty-two years of dating experience behind us, we still have so much to talk about and enjoy each other’s company more than ever. “Caio! Cena meravigliosa.”
Roses may be beautiful and traditional for Valentine’s Day, but I absolutely love Sunflowers and – to my way of thinking – they represent the dramatic light and the wide-open joy and sunshine Rebekah brings into my life.
So, when I can find them, I am a Sunflower guy because I love what they say.
Philly on a cold day…
The fourth photograph was taken by our son-in-law Craig recently when he took the children up to Philadelphia for a Flyers game! Not only did they win, in overtime, but they stayed overnight and looked around the city the next morning.
I love this picture because – especially in the middle of all this power-grabbing demagoguery that’s going on in Washington today – we have to see this kind of image, the juxtaposition of Independence Hall with young, enthusiastic, children whose spirit is the future of this nation. We have to pay attention to this interplay of power and our responsibility to the coming generations if we are to have the courage to lead.
“This is a republic,” Benjamin Franklin said, “if you can keep it!”
Heart-Healthy and More:
Finally, to round out the five, it seems that as a sixty-something man now my doctor wants to look more closely at my heart. She doesn’t like my cholesterol for some reason – even though it’s hands-down my favorite food-group.
So she sent me down to Raleigh for a trip through this portal into another dimension. At least I think that’s what it was because it started spinning around and I believe I was sucked into this disturbing parallel universe where all a sudden butter is bad for you and they don’t like heavy cream and there’s something suspicious about too much red meat. Seriously? Well I don’t know, I really wasn’t paying attention so I’m glad to get back to actual life with my Paula Dean cookbook.
Well it’s going to be a great weekend because we’re getting the grandchildren tomorrow. Peace, blessings, love and hope – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.