Synchronicity: the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.
I have long been fascinated with how events take place that seem to be, somehow, connected, even while there's no logical way they are. We've all experienced it, that feeling … that maybe things operate on a level that's different than what's visible. Much more than a coincidence.
One such event occurred many years ago. During the Christmas holidays, a friend, Randy, a former employee at Rosalie's in the very early days, called and asked if she and her boyfriend could spend a few days with us in Marblehead. We loved Randy and were anxious to meet her new love and to see her again.
One morning during their visit, we were sitting around the kitchen table chatting after breakfast when the delivery van from the local greenhouse pulled up to the house. A beautiful bouquet arrived from Hawaii sent by Tadea and Frank, another couple who were employees at the restaurant during the same period that Randy was there.
Well, we thought that was such a coincidence especially since the small store front that was Rosalie's first location only sat about thirty diners with a staff of maybe four in the dining room, and three of them were sitting right there around the kitchen table. More than two years had passed since we'd worked together.
A short-time later, the mailman arrived, delivering an invitation to a Christmas party from Jean, yet another person who worked with Randy, Tadea and Frank. Someone sang the music to the Twilight Zone. It was too delightfully weird, as if the moment was being orchestrated by invisible forces - more than a coincidence we all agreed. It felt so good that we were all together in some strange way.
This was remarkable, but often I am left with this feeling that wow, I can't believe you called. I was just thinking about you. Or I was just thinking about movie, I can't believe you mentioned it. That kind of thing, not as dramatic as what happened during Randy's visit but enough to wonder.
Here are some of the lyrics from Sting's song, "Synchronicity"
A connecting principle,
Linked to the invisible
Logic so inflexible
Yet nothing is invincible
A star fall,
a phone call
It joins all
It's so deep,
it's so wide
I recently picked up a used book than is simply a collection of Sting's lyrics. I remember the song, and it was fun to read the lyrics again.
I refuse to let this snow get me down. I have pushed it out of my mind. Just this morning I thought about how I cannot wait for the good weather.
My friend Suzie and I sometimes meet on a park bench in Rockport at the beach or in Marblehead overlooking Crocker Park positioned in the sun with a basket of goodies, a little wine maybe.
Last time we were picnicking it was on the rocks in Annisquam where we sketched the beautiful beach. This winter we meet often at the Willow Tree in Annisquam and enjoy a crab cake BLT, Suzie's favorite.
But sitting outside on a beautiful, comfortable day is the best. I can't wait for the warmer weather.
In the meantime I will collect all my picnicking paraphernalia: small quilts, baskets, especially with handles, pretty cloth napkins. I think I will make some pate, my favorite for picnics and freeze them so I will be ready when the warm days arrive. I will bring my new, old book written by Sting. His lyrics are beautiful, a collection of "dreams, fragments and fantasies, anger and romance'.
Shortly after Todd and I met he made me a cassette for the car with some of the songs that he liked, amongst them were some by Sting. I especially loved "Every Breath You Take." I thought it was a beautiful love song but in reading Sting's account I learned otherwise. His original intent was to make it so, but he ended up with something darker because everything seemed to have disintegrated, his marriage, his band, his sanity.
However it did become one of the songs that defined the 80's, even though it's lyrics are both seductive and sinister. I still love the song and it brings back memories that warm my heart.
In the meantime enjoy my recipe for meatloaf, serve it with gravy as an open faced sandwich now and later as picnic fare - with cornichons, a good baguette from Alexander's on Main Street in Gloucester, mustard and mayo on the side.
My meatloaf mixture is the same as when making meatballs, so feel free to make both at the same time.
— Soak three slices of Italian or any firm bread, crusts removed, in milk.
— After five minutes, squeeze the milk out of the bread.
— In a bowl, beat a large egg and add the squeezed out bread and a pound of ground beef (or a combination of a third ground veal, beef and pork), mix it to incorporate it without overworking it, as it will get tough if you do.
— In the meantime, chop a small onion in very tiny dice, soak a handful of raisins in water, chop a few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley and a clove of garlic and add to the bowl.
— Sprinkle a quarter cup of grated Parmesan cheese over the mixture and drain the raisins and add them, too. Mix gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
— Grease a flat baking pan and pour the meat mixture onto it and shape into a loaf about 2 inches by 10 inches — or 2-inch balls for meatballs.
Bake in a 350-degree oven until golden brown, or for meatballs, bake for 15 minutes then turn and bake another 15, then simmer in sauce for 45 minutes.
Gravy for meatloaf
— Heat three tbsp. of olive oil in a small pan and add a half cup each of chopped carrot, onion and celery or fennel and gently sauté.
— Add three tbsp. of flour and cook for a few minutes.
Add two cups of chicken broth and three tbsp. soy sauce and simmer for five to 10 minutes on low heat.
— Serve a nice baguette to make an open faced sandwich with a slice of meatloaf covered in gravy. I made a green salad with fresh strawberries and for dessert I made rocky road ice cream, which was our treat during the Oscars. After popcorn, of course.