Traveling through the panhandle of Texas, proved to be the most rewarding part of my trip. One of my stops previously mentioned was in Canadian. There I stopped at a very quaint old time soda parlor adjoining a very special antique store. Everything was vintage and pristine.
It was too early to have my own custom malt, so I opted instead to have a latte. I sat at the counter and just took in all the details of memories gone by. I was in a good place. Although I had not grown up here, I recall going to my hometown malt shop back in Connecticut. I remember how I was no longer in a hurry. It didn't matter where I was going or when. I just enjoyed the slower pace of a small town
About that time, I met and saw a very interesting lady. She brought in a kettle of homemade soup. I struck a conversation with her and we didn't remain strangers for long. I introduced myself and she told me her name was Stefanie. She held three degrees including one in English she told me. I asked her what her true passion was. She smiled and told me that her real passion was making soups and cooking. How interesting I thought as I became more curious about her passion. More questions followed.
She explained further how she ran across her passion. Her son has special needs and also suffers from seizures. They spent six months away from home at the Mayo Clinic. During that time she read over two hundred cook books to pass the time. I smiled as she related her story. She found her passion during what could have been a personal crisis.
We talked for what appeared to be forever. Two strangers talking about personal passions and journeys. Since she had given me a rich story; I gave her some soup ideas like crema de dos colores (cream of two colors) and my white tequila "paloma" recipe. Perhaps it was purely coincidental to have met her that day, but I can tell you that for the rest of my life, when I eat a bowl of soup, I will wonder about the "soup lady" from Canadian, TX. She blessed me that day with both a smile and her story. I never would have guessed that at the beginning of my hesitant journey, I would have found so many stories and images.
Some of us find our passion and joy when we least expect it. It may be even late in life. We need to be receptive that it will come to us at any time. Our ability to capture it is limited by the measure of our willingness to open up both heart and mind. Stefanie turned a trying time into a new passion, in as much, she found recipes for a good life.