With Roots In Norway: Fish and Farming in Western Wisconsin, a COVID-19 Reflection

I’ve been thinking a lot about my mother-in-law Ethel these days, wondering what she would make of the COVID-19 virus, the isolation, the uncertainty. She grew up on a farm in western Wisconsin. And she survived the flu epidemic of 1918, although her father caught it and lost all his hair while still in his … More With Roots In Norway: Fish and Farming in Western Wisconsin, a COVID-19 Reflection

Traveling Back in Time: Memories of Wet Markets – COVID-19 Isolation, Day 52

Like most of you, I am getting a bit off kilter here. I mean, after all it is Day 52 for me in COVID-19 lockdown. But I broke that run of strict isolation today. I didn’t want to. But I had to. This morning I dashed out to visit my spine doctor, due to ongoing … More Traveling Back in Time: Memories of Wet Markets – COVID-19 Isolation, Day 52

Fishing for Meaning: Fate, Destiny, and Heimarmene

A New York Times columnist, Roger Cohen, wrote about getting lost while hiking in Spain’s Sierra de Guadarrama, his gripping story filled with an underlying and somewhat disturbing meaning. On the surface, it seemed like a story about luck. But I chose to see “Lost and Found in Hemingway’s Spain”  as a treatise on Fate. … More Fishing for Meaning: Fate, Destiny, and Heimarmene

The Food of Florida: A Grand and Ongoing Experiment

I didn’t know it then, but when I was much – heck, I’ll be really honest here and say a lot –  younger, I began participating in a grand social experiment, one that I understand more with each passing year. Given my nature, the experiment naturally involved food. And that experiment began with a road … More The Food of Florida: A Grand and Ongoing Experiment

From Mother Russia with Love: A Fish in Every Pie

The kulebyaka should be appetizing, shameless in its nakedness, a temptation to sin. ~~ Anton Chekov, “The Siren” Fish dishes abound in Russian cuisine, in large part because of the Russian Orthodox Church’s strict rules on fasting during Lent other times of the year. But we cannot ignore the simple fact that fish thrive in … More From Mother Russia with Love: A Fish in Every Pie

Exploring the Delicacies of Indonesia, in the Shadows of the Volcanoes

CYNTHIA D. BERTELSEN | Special to The Roanoke Times Sunday, September 29, 2013   At the fish market, the man in black hoisted a bucket of fish to his well-muscled shoulders and strained to keep from slipping on the algae-covered steps. Picking his way out of the churning water, he plunked the bucket down and grabbed … More Exploring the Delicacies of Indonesia, in the Shadows of the Volcanoes

Journeys versus Destinations: Initial Comments on a Sojourn in Indonesia

I too for years have been stirred by the sight of a solitary cloud drifting with the wind to ceaseless thoughts of roaming. ~ Matsuo Basho, The Narrow Road to Oku I cannot forget his face. Soaked with sea water and sweat, grimacing with the physical effort of his daily labor, the lines telling of … More Journeys versus Destinations: Initial Comments on a Sojourn in Indonesia