It’s Kind of Like Rennet

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Certain places ooze home and comfort. After not heading up 580 across the Richmond San Rafael Bridge for over a year, we took that route to Stinson Beach yesterday. It was a specific section of highway we travelled at least twice per day for many years, and often while living at camp. It felt so familiar and yet it had been long enough that I saw obvious things that had changed.

With some extra time on our hands we drove out to Point Reyes Station after dropping off our dog with Matt’s Aunt. Point Reyes Station is a slice of heaven. One of the main reasons is the fact that Cowgirl Creamery finds its home there. Home to some phenomenal cheese. Serious yum. I have many special memories forged there with various people and find them flooding back when we arrived.

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It’s not a complicated town. Organic, grass fed goodness seems to be there motto, but truly, Marin County and Sonoma County house some of the best cheese, meat, wine and produce in the country. We had fun poking around Toby’s Feed Barn and the awesome, nearby playground.

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One of my favorite memories in Pt Reyes Station was over Matt’s 40th Birthday weekend when his best friends came for 4 days of fun. We went to many spots, but one of my favorite days included a tour of Cowgirl Cremery. Matt, being the birthday boy, was chosen to make a sample of cheese. The tour guide had Matt put in huge amount of rennet, the ingredient added that gives cheese its firmness. He want to show quickly and obviously how rennet works. It was cool, like culinary science, to see the magic happen.

What is like “rennet” for you, day to day? We’re here in Stinson celebrating Matt’s dad’s 75th Birthday. Matt’s dad, Kerry, is like rennet for me and in our family. His presence, humor, wit and “endearingness” (I’m sure that’s a word somehow, somewhere) hold everything together, firm things up.

My boys and time spent together, are “rennet”. I need time alone too, and often take MANY DEEP BREATHS to survive their onslaughts, but I LOVE spending time with them and find that relationships with them firm up my understandings of myself and remind me of what matters.

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What firms things up for you? What or who is that “non-negotiable” ingredient that brings divergent thoughts, people and priorities together? Maybe it’s even the sunset, evidence of deep beauty and creativity that God gifts us with, a visual reminder of God’s love for us. Or maybe it’s a late night tapas and wine fest with friends, absent of young children demanding attention and needing their needs met. Connecting and remembering that friendships run deep and relationships reign supreme. Whatever or whomever it is, add that ingredient, sometimes in big, surprising doses, and cling to gratitude for the clarity and focus it provides—the firmness this “rennet” gives.

Treasure your relationships, not your possessions.
— Anthony J. D’Angelo

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