Journey 35: Dinner with Cate

Dinner with Cate taco bar

Getting to hang out with a dear friend and share a meal is a special part of the journey. Tonight I enjoyed a home cooked meal with Cate at her home. Even with the threat of winter weather and slick roads, I wanted to spend a couple of hours in the company of this cheerful, encouraging woman.

Cate prepared a wonderful dinner featuring a taco bar, Spanish rice and black beans. The spicy aroma greeted me as I entered Cate’s cozy home. She’s always been gracious in allowing me to take pics to document my firsts last year and my journeys this year. I love this picture of Cate filling her plate, her face lit up with a huge smile. What you can’t hear is the laughter ringing out as well. We laugh a lot when we are together, and chat non-stop. Because this was a celebratory dinner, for my birthday last month, Cate baked cookies for dessert. They were delicious, and also gluten free and made with coconut sugar instead of regular sugar. We both love hot tea, and had a cup with our cookies. What a perfect end to the meal.

Dinner with Cate

Cate is one of those friends that I can talk about any topic with, and we generally cover a wide range of subjects! Even though I was originally keeping an eye on the weather, I soon forgot about that as we finished dinner and carried our hot tea and the conversation into the living room. I really appreciate Cate. She has an amazing perspective on the journey, living as she does in awareness while fully engaging life. She brings a rich knowledge of so many subjects into the conversations along with a quick wit. And she is one of the most compassionate people I know. I am privileged to call her friend and to have her as a traveling companion on the journey.

dinner with Cate dessert and tea

And speaking of journey, she presented me with a hoodie tonight, that is perfect for this time of year AND has my word on it! “It’s the Journey” is proclaimed boldly across the front. Beneath those words, it says Kansas Explorers Club. I love that…an explorer’s club! Yes, I’m all in. After a delightful evening I opened the front door to head for home and discovered that it had snowed lightly. All was well, however. I made it safely home. It was a perfect evening, spent with a wonderful friend, and I left at the perfect time. That’s how the journey flows…beautifully.

dinner with Cate Journey hoodie

Day 108: Dinner with a New Friend

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One of the most amazing things about this year of firsts has been meeting new people. It is so easy to get too comfortable with hanging out with the same group of people or worse, not getting out at all socially. I have done both. Some evenings, after busy days working with clients, delightful as they can be, I just want alone time. Nothing wrong with that except I can get into isolation mode and even begin to avoid people. And while I enjoy the great friends that I have, it is always good to make new connections.

Tonight, I had the pleasure of meeting my new friend, Catherine, for dinner at Ichiban Sushi Restaurant. We met a couple of months ago, via our mutual friend, Garen. We hit it off right away, finding it easy to chat. Recently we met again to take a watercolor class at Local Color Art Gallery and had a fun afternoon dabbling in paint. It was during that creative afternoon that we made plans to meet for dinner and a leisurely chat.

The first thing I discovered about my new friend this evening is that she would prefer to be called Cate! I loved that she shared that with me. I think names are so important, and it is equally as important to call people by the name that they prefer. So Cate she is, and henceforth will be! We both decided to try something new for dinner. So not only did I get to have dinner with Cate, as a first, but we also moved away from what each of us always orders in a sushi restaurant and tried something different! I had the High Roller and Cate had the House Roll. Both were excellent!

Cate moved to Joplin after the May 22, 2011 tornado. She is the co-creator of Greensburg Green Town, a charitable nonprofit organization working in Greensburg, Kansas to rebuild the town following the devastating tornado in May of 2007. The town has since made a remarkable comeback, reinventing itself as a model for sustainable building and green living, now recognized around the world. GreenTown works to make green building and living easily understood, appealing and accessible to all. Bringing her incredible knowledge and compassion for community and green living to Joplin, Cate now operates Green Town Joplin as a non-profit. Its vision is to help Joplin recover as sustainably as possible and serve as a model to other communities. This is one remarkable, brilliant woman, and I am so glad to have met her!

Cate and I had a pleasant, long dinner, chatting, sharing our stories, laughing and getting to know each other better. We have much in common, including similar views on life and the world we inhabit, and we see some collaborative projects in our future. She has been so encouraging to me while I am on this adventure of moving Beyond. And she offered to teach me how to make paper! That will be a wonderful and fun first. I am grateful to have Cate as a traveling companion on this journey called Life and I look forward to a long and happy friendship!