Sunday, October 16, 2011

b is for bowl...

Yesterday I had dinner in the basement of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Viroqua. They were hosting an annual event to feed the hungry called Empty Bowls. Local potters donated hand thrown bowls which were then used for a soup and bread dinner. The entry fee of $20 bought you the bowl of your choice and two servings of soups, many donated by local restaurants, others made and donated by residents.

I went by myself thinking I'd probably see someone I knew, and if not, would just sit and talk with whomever was sitting near me. I walked in from the parking lot with a very sweet lady who was also alone. Once we were given the instructions as to how to proceed we went our separate ways trying to choose a bowl. Not easy! The room was very full already and it was a joy to see so many young families as well as seniors. And it was fun just watching people choosing bowls. I finally did find THE bowl, shown above. After paying my fee and rinsing my bowl in the tubs made available for the purpose, I then had to choose a first soup. Not an easy task! The bread table was overflowing with homemade breads, including some my friend Jeff had baked. (I had taken a bread baking class with him last April.) Once I had my food in hand I looked about and found my neighbors Kathy and Kelvin. We sat together for a bit and then a young fellow joined us who was one of the contributing potters (50 bowls!!) He lives in Bangor, Wisconsin, north of us about a half hour's drive. He said he wanted to contribute to the cause in a personal way. It was fun for him to find his bowls, as he had thrown them and turned them over to Viterbo University students to glaze and fire and he hadn't seen the final results. He had chosen Borscht, a beautiful deep claret color, then garlic potato, and had not chosen one of his own bowls.
After chatting a while he left and his seat was taken by a woman I had learned about that morning at the farmers' market, but had not as yet met. Well, we had a lovely conversation. Her name is Philothea and she has a spot on our local radio station WDRT every Saturday morning at 10:00 called Who's in the Kitchen.
Her program yesterday was interviews with some of the participants in this Friday's high school cooking competition, the Harvest Challenge, which I hope to attend with my friend Barb who will be visiting this weekend. There will be a showing of a new documentary created about the competition and the efforts of our local schools to be involved in better food choices. Can't think of a better area of the country to develop this idea with all the interest in eating local, organic, in season, etc.
I would have loved to stay longer, as there are so many good people to get to know. But I had to arrive home in time to tuck in the chicks and ducks. All the way home there was the most incredible sunset which cheered me to my very center. It's not easy being here alone and going places by myself. But every time I do I am so very glad I did. Not once have I been sorry that I pushed myself. Many many of the folks I've been meeting are transplants like myself and have arrived here in much the same way I did... fell in love with the land and then the people. And the beauty that is everywhere serves to underscore the rightness of the decision to be here.


  1. First off, I love the bowl you chose!! Just lovely and it will now carry good memories every time you use it!
    So glad you are meeting people - I know how hard it is to push yourself out the door, but it sounds like it is worth the effort. What a great idea for a feed-the-hungry fund raising event!
    And so glad your ride home was accompanied by a magnificent sunset!
    Perfect ending to a good day!

  2. The empty bowls event sounds like such a good cause and you get to keep a beautiful bowl too! I am glad that you met some nice people. I am sure that your roots will grow stronger the more you connect with the land and you will grow to love your little piece of nature.