Friday, July 17, 2009


I went to dinner last night with a beautiful (inside and out) lady originally from Cambodia. She was pregnant with 4 children when the Khmer Rouge took over and sent them all to work in the rice paddies. She gave birth without medical assistance and survived on starvation rations - one bowl of rice per a day - "I lived on coconuts." After the Vietnamese overthrew the Khmer Rouge, she lived for six months in a Red Cross refugee camp. She made it to Oregon but there her Cambodian husband left her. But she survived it all. She remarried and she and her husband produce some of the most beautiful vegetables and herbs you will ever see. She works very hard even though she is in her sixties. She is as tough as my own mother, maybe tougher, and that is saying something. And she does it all so gracefully. The walls of her home are adorned with gorgeous Hawaiian quilts that she makes at night.

When we were driving to dinner she said, "They should only make one kind of car, one color." I think she's right.

We don't need shiny cars to make us feel good. We need more people like she and her husband - they are practical people who work fiercely hard and smart but they are also extremely creative. They have very high standards in what they do. They are willing to do new things, test the boundaries, take chances. They are, above all, tenacious.

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