Taking a Risk

img716 3Forget curiosity killed the cat – think curiosity discovered new wonders!


Risky living.


Embrace the fullness of life and just DO that something you have always wanted to do.


Each of us reading that last line might envision vastly different scenes.

Friends have zip-lined, jumped out of a plane, gone bat hunting (on purpose!) and other adventSS07100ures that have zero appeal for me.


I considered a foodie risk (smile).



If it worked, it would be the first time for my lifelong love-affair with Greek food.


BaklavaBaklava, Spanakopita (Spinach and Cheese Pies), and stuffed grape leaves with lemon sauce – oh my. They all made my heart beat faster. I set out on a quest to discover the secrets so I could make them at home.

Sadly, I was rejected by a local Greek chef when I asked for a job in his kitchen. He said he knew what I was up to – I’d work till I learned the recipes and then I’d be gone – likely along with all of his lemon sauce!

Driving by upcoming Greek Fest signage brought mental images of prior years –people streaming into the church and its outbuildings days before the festival. Of course, they would have to be preparing for all their food fans for days before the festival.

Apron ready and armed with notebook and pen, I headed for the hall behind the Greek church. What is the worst that could happen? They could call the cops, I supposed, or toss me out.

But what is the best that could happen?

I wanted to find out!

GrapeleavesI walked into their hall waving my apron and cheerfully called out, “Room for one more?”

“Of course!” “Come on in!” “Grab a chair…” — instant welcome!

Women of all ages were seated in rows along long tables. Some were filling and rolling stuffed grape leaves, others created desserts. The first table had already made room for me, so stuffed grape leaves it was!

The International sound of laughter set the tone for Greek and English conversations all around me. It was a big happy family preparing for holiday! My teensy bit of Spanish knowledge was no help with the Greek, though I watched expressions and listened carefully, trying to catch any nuance of discussion. Thankfully, a woman named Penny leaned toward me confidingly. “I bet you are wondering what the Greek chat is about, hmmm?”

“Yes, I’d love to know.”

“Well the older women are talking about the scandalous clean shaved younger pastors, (in the past they all were required to grow beards) and the younger women are sighing over how handsome they think they are.”

 We laughed together.

3oldmenIt was age-old and worldwide I assumed, recalling el Centro – outdoor park-like community centers in Spain, where daytime I watched old men gather while the women did their marketing. Later asking the father of the home what the men talked about, his first answer was, “You women and the weather.”   When we laughed he tried to correct it to business and literary ideas, and everyone laughed more, because they’d talked about us, and as we’d walked from shop to shop we’d talked about the men!

The Greek lady, Penny, chuckled when I recounted the story, and shared Randy Travis’ lyrics from Forever and Ever, Amen “As long as old men sit n’ talk about the weather…As long as old women sit n’ talk about old men”


“For sure,” she laughed. “The same the world over.” She leaned in again asking about me and I confessed I’d come for their secret recipes. A take-care-of-business kind of person, she called over some ladies to dictate recipes for “our new friend.” After half-a-dozen

Fruit and Nut Bars Recipe
Fruit and Nut Bars Recipe

secrets filled the little notebook in my apron pocket (always come prepared), a younger woman leaned over from the other side and said it might be faster – and more legible – if I just bought their recipe book.


A new cookbook was not the only thing gained from my experience. Hugs all around and a love for the joy and camaraderie of another culture in my own community warmed my heart. It also led to another friendship when I brought the Greek treat Baklava for my next birthday at work. A sweet lady, Kay, came into the office inquiring who made one of her favorite treats, and left astonished that it was my first time using her recipe!


Co-incidence means it takes more than one for it to happen. The risk taker, and the welcomer.


IMG_22451Pet. 5:14 Give holy embraces all around! Peace to you—to all who walk in Christ’s ways.

What welcomers might be waiting to embrace you and your dream?

What was a first time or favorite risk taking for you?

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