KIDLANDIA: Six Degrees of Separation

It always amazes me when I meet someone who I think is a stranger and it ends up we are related in some way. I’m sure this has happened to you too. Well as weird as it sounds, it keeps happening to me. But not just with people—with situations, and even with food! Let me explain. I’ve been living with the belief that everything happens for a reason—whether that reason is divine intervention, or merely the choices one has made—one thing definitely leads to another. So, with that said, for the last month or so I have been having very powerful bouts of déjà vu. This déjà vu seems to be strongest with food, but situations in which I am meeting people are also strong. I wonder: am I really experiencing this again, or am I so focused on what I want to happen that everything is just falling into place? Let me make clear that things can’t just fall into place if you haven’t already created a place for things to land—usually through hard work and preparation. I know sounds like a philosophical ramble, but bear with me–you’ll see how it all falls into place.

For the last year, my incredibly talented husband, Curtis Cruz, has been attending the Riverside Community College Culinary Arts Academy. He left his teaching position at Redlands High School in order to pursue his passion, first he saved a year’s worth of wages  in order to go without working. He recently graduated, with medals in Hot and Cold Food competitions, and the Outstanding Baking and Pastry Award. To say the least, I am very proud. So what is he doing now? That’s where I get that strange feeling about how I fit into the whole plan. You see, over the summer, I met a distant cousin, Mitzi, and she and I formed a fast connection. During a visit to her home and business in Redlands she introduced me to a friend, who sells olive oil at a shop in Redlands, and like I said before, things started falling into place. Energy just keeps flowing in the right direction—it’s amazing, and a little scary.

Curtis and I will be sharing her booth at the Redlands Farmers’ Market next Thursday night. Look for My Goodness, Artisan Breads together with Stone Wheel Olive Oil Co. next Thursday night. What a natural pairing of two great flavors! I hope that when you let that olive oil soaked sourdough touch your tongue that your eyes close involuntarily and you let out a little sigh of pleasure. Then, and only then, will you know that feeling that I’ve been having.

Hoping to see you all again.

Julianna M. Cruz is a teacher, an author, and an Inlandian.