Matfield Green - Our first years

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Persian on the Prairie

Dorine is my Emporia Chamber of Commerce "Sponsor." She made sure I knew about the first After Hours event, and introduced me to fellow ECC members. Together we ate hors d'oeuvres and drank wine out of plastic cups, while dutifully admiring the new atrium at the Emporia State University Alumni Building.

That was a month ago.

Happily for me, Dorine did not let her responsibilities end there. Last night Bill and I were invited to an "end of sememster" party at her home. Dorine herself is an insurance agent, but her husband Jim is the director of the International Students office and many of their friends are also employed by the University. At the party we met the chair of the art department, a photography professor, a cultural geographer, and an archeologist named Susan who was able to answer questions about many of the rocks that Bill has found in his wanderings around our property. Susan from Career Services was there with her husband, Scott, who just retired from some enterprise having to do with beef. And Bill was especially pleased to meet Richard, who owns the local John Deere distributorship and will be happy to sell us our first tractor - when that highly anticipated moment arrives.

Dorine, I should note, is a lovely Assyrian woman from Iran whose mother was highly influenced by Christian missionaries. When it came time for Dorine to go to College in the late sixties they picked Wooster College for its Presbyterianism. Jim told the story last night that I'd heard from Dorine when we first met: her dad told young Dorine, don't come home for the summer because you'll lose all your English. Go to summer school instead. There being no summer school at Wooster, Dorine followed a friend home to Emporia where she met a charismatic professor in the business school who convinced her to stay. Not long after, Jim returned from Viet Nam, was introduced to Dorine and the rest is happy marital history.

Stuffed grape leaves, dill rice, kabobs, beans with tomotoes and prunes, salad with olives and red peppers and, of course, baklava and strong tea for dessert. Add the easy conversation with fellow travelers who welcomed us into their crowd - A wonderful evening.

Today is a rather dreary Sunday. Too wet to work in the garden and I'm feeling a bit queasy - like maybe there's a chest cold waiting in my wings. So I'm catching up on easy things at the office, hoping I'm wrong about the cold, and saving my energy for weeding and planting on a drier tomorrow.


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