One night when we were in Kyoto Japan with our friends Rudy and Sue we went to a local market and bought fruit, vegetables, cold meats, bread, cheese and wine so we could have a meal in the dining area of the traditional Japanese house where we were staying. We arrived at our lodgings and dumped out our shopping bags onto the table. We were tired and hungry and began nibbling away silently at the things we’d bought when Sue said, “Wait a minute.” She gathered up our purchases and went into the kitchen, returning a short while later with all our foodstuffs cut up and arranged and presented beautifully on a tray she had found. Suddenly our meal took on a whole new tone. The lovely presentation of our food made us take time to savor what we were eating and really enjoy it and each other’s company. Even though it was the end of a long day of walking and sight-seeing we had a great time visiting, eating, sipping our wine and talking about our new experiences.
We all know appearances aren’t everything but my friend Sue taught me that the look of things makes a difference. Whether it was the artistic way she served the delicious meals she cooked, the comfortable way she designed the interior of her home, the creative way she could organize a vase of flowers or the classic way she often dressed, Sue had a flair for presentation. It made food taste better, rooms seem more inviting, flowers look even lovelier and simple outfits appear perfect for the occasion. Sue had a talent for arranging things so their innate beauty shone through.
My friend Sue died on Monday night. She was a successful businesswoman, adventuresome world traveler, supportive wife, caring mother, loving grandmother, wonderful cook, avid reader, wine aficionado, first class social coordinator, experienced cyclist, hardy hiker, brisk walker, talented bridge player, serious golfer, easy conversationalist, empathetic listener and many, many other things to her family and to her wide, wide circle of friends. I count myself blessed indeed to have been one of those friends. I will miss her greatly.