What A Wonderful World

My wife, Susan, and I find great joy in being Bridges Volunteers at Coburn Elementary School here in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Bridges Vision: “Every child and older adult will experience the richness of intergenerational relationships and interdependence.”

Below is a poem I wrote about our experience as volunteers, along with a few photos.

 

This is an account of children, third grade students, of Coburn Elementary School

Located in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Children who are 8-10 years old

Interacting with senior citizens—building bridges together by talking, reading,

Listening, creating art, laughing, sharing pieces of ourselves.

Many children of refugees and immigrants. Children of dreamers

Of a better way of life. Children of parents and grandparents

From Nepal, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Russia, Puerto Rico,

Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Latvia, Belarus, Germany,

Poland, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Moldova.

Children who speak two, three, four languages.

Children named Maimuna, Luis, Jayden, Ivy, Haydia, Nabaa,

Evan, Luca, Layla, Bogdan, Isabella, Victoria, Mohamed,

Prashna, Prashik, Prateemna, Prabesh, Jaylin, Tisha, Milana,

Emily, Jordan, Miyana, Joseph, Yuliya, Matilda, Lilly, Emil,

Michael, Kimberly, Yariana, Elijah, Hailey, David, Caleb,

Matthew, Emil, Yariana, Mykle, Jade, Mihaela.

Children who dream of being firefighters, lawyers, baseball players,

Basketball and soccer players, doctors, nurses, scientists, teachers.

Children who say, “You are the best Bridges friends ever.”

“Thank You for listening and talking with me.”

“Thank you for doing the Macarena with me.”

“Thank You for playing cards with me.”

“Thank You for making me laugh.”

“Thank You for helping me. You were funny, helpful and supportive.”

“Thank You for your company and helping us with our art projects.”

“I am grateful you spent time with us.”

“Thank You for your time. Remember when we made the banks?

That was so much fun! Hope we can do it again.”

“Thank you for being here when I am down. You get me

Up and going. You make me happy.”

“Thank you for helping us with the fun stuff we made.”

“I love you. You will always be in my heart.”

Our Bridges friends: Children who believe the world is wonderful

“Because Nature is a painting by life;”

“Because there are lots of beautiful things and happy families;”

“Because there are computers, cats, people, food, pets,

Family, friends, water, emogees, sunflowers, rainbows,

Waterfalls, forests, and cookies;”

“Because we have families, food, and trees;”

“Because we see different people every day and they are beautiful;”

“Because of family, friends, cousins, aunts, uncles,

Grandparents and food and drinks;”

“Because of many beautiful faces;”

“Because everyone loves each other. We all are family;”

“Because of flowers, grass, trees, animals, people, religions;”

“Because of friends and family and my teachers;”

“Because of every person in the world smiling and laughing;”

“Because the roses are red, the clouds white, the sky blue.

They are there for me and you.

What a wonderful world.”

“Mr. Bruce and Miss Susan………

When will we see you again?

I love you.”

 

If you are looking for beautiful portrait, wedding, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.  Photography and Prints meant to last a lifetime! For more details about having an amazing and fun photo experience, please contact me.

 

Sweet Potato and Rice Casserole

Another recipe my wife asked me to make.

Hearty and Delicious!

Spicy Shrimp with Mint

My wife asked me to make a spicy shrimp salad for dinner a few nights ago. And I did.

Delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds shrimp in the 15-to-30-a-pound range, peeled (deveined, if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 30 to 40 mint leaves (I used chocolate mint as this grows in my garden.)
  • 6 cups arugula and other greens

Preparation

  1. Preheat broiler; adjust the rack, moving it as close to the heat source as possible. Place a large ovenproof skillet or thick-bottomed roasting pan on the stove over low heat.
  2. Combine the shrimp with garlic, salt, cayenne, paprika, half the olive oil and the 2 teaspoons of lemon juice; stir to blend. Turn heat under the skillet to high.
  3. When skillet smokes, toss in shrimp. Shake the pan once or twice to distribute them evenly, then immediately place skillet in the broiler.
  4. Mince about one-third of the mint, and set aside. Tear remaining leaves, and toss them with the arugula. Stir remaining olive oil and lemon juice together in a bowl.
  5. The shrimp are done when opaque, usually 3 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a plate; it is fine if they cool for a moment. Add shrimp juices to olive oil-lemon juice mixture, and stir. Dress the greens with this mixture, and toss; if the greens seem dry, add a little more olive oil or lemon juice, or both. Place greens on a platter, and arrange shrimp on top or around them; garnish shrimp with the remaining minced mint.

Based on a recipe from Mark Bittman.

If you are looking for beautiful portrait, wedding, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.  Photography and Prints meant to last a lifetime! For more details about having an amazing and fun photo experience, please contact me.

Korean Beef — Bulgogi

Easy to prepare and delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef (I used 1/2 pound leftover steak, sliced into matchsticks.)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks (My addition.)
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into matchsticks (My addition.)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and ginger.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrot and red pepper and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. And steak to heat through.
  3. Stir in soy sauce mixture and green onions until well combined, allowing to simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately, garnished with green onion and sesame seeds, if desired.

If you are looking for beautiful portrait, wedding, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.  Photography and Prints meant to last a lifetime! For more details about having an amazing and fun photo experience, please contact me.