“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Maya Angelou (American Poet, b.1928)
Of all the places people would want to linger the radiology office is not likely to be high on anyones list. Coffee, tea, television, art work, magazines, newspapers, even free chocolates candies do not erase the stress on peoples faces. We wait before the actual screening then we wait again for our results. I was among those who waited yesterday.
After being greeted at the front desk I was given a form to complete and a gadget that would light up informing me when to report to the next desk. This is the type of buzzer I've carried while waiting to be seated at a restaurant, somehow, this time knowing what was going to happen soon I was not enthusiastic for mine to light up.
Waiting gives me an opportunity to doodle in my sketch book, write a daily journal entry, compose a new to do list, more doodles and time for my favorite past time people watching...
Women of all sizes and ages are in this waiting area. It was easy to spot the ones who are on break from work dressed in professional attire or uniforms. Two young "mommy type" women are together giving each other moral support. Going with a friend, "buddy system" always looks like a good idea. As for me, I have always traveled this path alone for my mammograms during the past 23 years.
A strong, very tall, older woman wearing white socks with her sandals kept conspicuously to herself. A few women sprinkled around the room wore brightly colored, thin strap, high heeled sandals that accentuated their brightly painted toenails. These women all seemed to have selected an over sized handbag that matched perfectly to their sandals. They put in a lot of effort to look good just to get a mammogram.
I wondered what they thought of me. My usual Golden Halo, neutral look, nail lacquer on neatly trimmed toenails. I was clean, neat, barefoot in Birkenstock sandals carrying my notorious blessing basket. Clearly I was dressed to be on the move...
One thin older woman stood out from the crowd as she was wearing a winter weight, water resistant jacket, heavy weave long black slacks, winter black closed toe oxford shoes and what appeared to be an ill fitting wig. I had the distinct feeling she had been here before.
I did something that was unusual among this group. I SMILED !!! Into each face that dared to lock eyes with me, I smiled ;~) The kind of knowing, understanding smile that reaches across age, nationality, language barriers right into the heart.
You know what happened ? They smiled back at me.
I have a habit of doing this quite frequently. I smile at people everywhere I go. A smile has a wonderful, disarming, way of making a connection with anyone open to receive positive energy from me.
After what seemed like an eternity of doing small yoga poses, stretches, deep breathing, praying for myself and the other women this day to get good news I finally had my "pictures" taken, got dressed and moved to the final waiting room. One of the young, buddy system, mommy type woman was detained.
Over ten women had entered this room and gone while she was still waiting...
She inquired, yes indeed, they had her screens she would be called when they were ready.
"Go back to the room and wait." she was instructed. The other young mommy type returned to be with her in the final waiting room. In disbelief she rationalized, " There must be something wrong with the woman in front of me, in the room where they have my screens."
I smiled and assured her they liked her so much they did not want her to leave.
I had been in her seat before; waiting... while the other women were permitted to leave. Fortunately, after extra "pictures" they allowed me to leave then also.
This young woman really needed a knowing, loving smile today.
She smiled back at me too. I hope she got to leave soon also.
Just then they called my name. I jumped up, quickly following my doctor to my pictures.
The doctor assured me " All Clear". I shook her hand saying thank you and ran out of the door with a light feeling in my heart knowing I had done something good for myself.
Prevention and early diagnosis is the best cure.
Odd story how bad things can be a blessing in disguise.
I feel like celebrating with Eggplant
Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
2 medium eggplants
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
Freshly ground black pepper
Italian Herbs - oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, and crushed rosemary.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1 large egg beaten
1 1/2 lbs of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 cup grated high quality Parmesan cheese
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
1 Cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. I leave the peal on for extra fiber and color. Arrange one layer in the bottom of a large colander and sprinkle evenly with salt. Repeat with remaining eggplant, salting, until all eggplant is in the colander. Weigh down the slices with a couple of plates and let drain for 2 hours. The purpose of this step is to have the eggplant release some of its moisture before cooking.
2 While the eggplant is draining, prepare tomato sauce.
In large sauce pan heat olive oil, saute garlic, add squeezed can tomato, season with salt, pepper Italian herbs to taste, continue to heat while you prepare the eggplant.
3 When eggplant has drained, press down on it to remove excess water, wipe off the excess salt, and lay the slices out on paper towels to remove all the moisture. In a wide, shallow bowl, combine flour and breadcrumbs. Mix well. Pour beaten eggs into another wide shallow bowl. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and pour in a a half inch of olive oil. When oil is shimmering, dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour mixture, then in the beaten egg. Working in batches, slide coated eggplant into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels.
4 Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bottom of a 10x15 inch glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top with one third of the eggplant slices. Top eggplant with half of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with one third of the Parmesan and half of the basil leaves.
5 Make a second layer of eggplant slices, topped by 1 cup of sauce, remaining mozzarella, half the remaining Parmesan, and all of the remaining basil. Add remaining eggplant, and top with the remaining tomato sauce and Parmesan.
6 Bake until cheese has melted and the top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.