Written by  ,     May 15, 2024     Posted in Uncategorized

Seems to me this spring, that in each week there’s one day nicer than all the others–the weathering of consistent inconsistency during the May-days in New England per usual. But the absolute gem presented last week Tuesday, inspiring my walk to a culinary advisory board meeting scheduled at Lowell High School and what was for me, the annual “Summer is coming” official announcement! Walking from my riverside mill building condo, towards downtown Lowell, bright sun bouncing off of the abundant red brick, the air nearing 80 degrees, the spring-smell in the air was different this day, heated. All kinds of birds were singing all kinds of songs, bright tulips reaching full height in fresh bark mulch and a flowering tree literally ‘abuzz’ with a thousand busy bees doing what bees do, one flower at a time, I stopped to watch and listen for a few moments. Resuming my short trek, past the Tsongas Arena-center with UMASS Lowell Riverhawk banners displayed for the upcoming graduation, upon my approach to the high school and then upon entering*, I was engulfed by “kids” in ripped pants with no knees, wild hair, throwing a ball, falling onto each other while walking, “He did NOT!”, playing ‘tag’ in the hall, taking selfies, shouting loudly to each other from across the room with no regard for volume and surrounding…I was loving it all while envisioning myself turning back the clock, and being able to once again enjoy excited conversations about teenage things rather than these days of regularly scheduled programming that includes knee replacement-sciatica-prostate and who just died issues!

* I experienced ‘all the feels’ upon entering the high school and being subject to way more security than I expected; Checking in, ID photographed, name tag, sign in, personal escort to the dining area…A good thing, objectionable, sad, secure, good for the kids….

Upon arriving to the “cellar” dining room, soon to be moved to brand new space in the “new building”, the advisory board breakfast proved a great visit, listening to admin discuss future plans and challenges and excitement, enjoying a terrific and delicious buffet created by the culinary class, fancy, intricately garnished passed smoked salmon hors d’oeuvres (don’t forget cocktail napkins my consultant-oriented brain said to myself) noting hair nets and gloves, the crustless (gluten free) quiche selections, fancy carved fruit and scones that were not at all dry! A proud mother in attendance beamed as teachers praised her son Alex’s “soft skills” and how he remembers everyone’s name, and what they eat in his role overseeing the dining room, another culinary student dropping by the table to discuss how diversity in our community has inspired food specials over the past couple of months–February was West African and Jamaican dishes, and the last month, a focus on Asian fare inspired by the Cambodian New Year….all of it a improvisational-jazz like soundtrack playing innocence and hope, friendship and possibilities filling the room with boundless energy and harmony, a beautiful day indeed.

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