Friday, January 28, 2011

Runnin’ on Dunkin’: Our love affair with comfort food

December 29, 2010  
By Susan G. Parcheta
  What is it with America and comfort food?
Holiday season brings it out of us more than usual — thinking of favorite treats, traditional family sweets or not-sweets. The mere fact that we’re nostalgic about certain foods slides them into the comfort category to me.

On a trip south to Florida in February we stopped for some comfort food and coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts. It was a long haul with our trailer, catching the tail end of the cross-country blizzard blitz. So we stopped for some quick nourishment, a little bit of warmth and comfort.

Coffee was being served in celebration cups, celebrating 60 years of Americans “runnin’ on Dunkin.’” Sixty years. 1950? America’s been runnin’ on dunkin’ for 60 years? I had no idea. How could it possibly be that Dunkin’ Donuts has been around almost as long as I have….uh…been around?

Wrapping my hands around that 60th Anniversary cup, I began wondering what America would have been like without runnin’ on Dunkin.’ Or what would we Americans be like without our comfort foods? Mean and grouchy, I suppose. The idea, of course, is to nudge yourself with your knowing self toward finding healthy comfort foods. And, so be it. Still, there are times when you just feel like “runnin’ on Dunkin.”

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Feeling of Christmas

December 2, 2010 (
By Susan G. Parcheta
“In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas…”

The song was playing Thanksgiving weekend on a radio station that seems to have a tradition of playing Christmas music for weeks ahead. I happened on the station accidentally one day, way before Thanksgiving. Then that weekend, this one captured my thoughts.

While the words kept playing in my head, I began also to wonder why they strike our imagination. What is the feeling of Christmas, anyway?

O Christmas Tree
What is the power in these words? Why do I STOP what I’m doing when I hear them? And why do I feel like dancing?!

Could be I grew up listening to Bing Crosby sing “Silver Bells”; could be all the Christmas memories traversing  down the years in that moment; or maybe it’s the warmth and love the music and lyrics express.

“Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile…”

When I stepped outside that day, I knew the feeling must be in the air, as carload after carload of folks heading to and from the neighborhood Christmas tree farm buzzed down the road. Just seeing a Christmas tree tied on the top of a car warms up the heart like a hot cup of Christmas cheer.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Life in the Facebook Pumpkin Patch

November 25, 2010 (
By Susan G. Parcheta
How’s the networking going in your personal life pumpkin patch? Are you engaging?

Thanksgiving brings thoughts of gathering in the cornstalks from the fields, pumpkins from the pumpkin patch and creating beautiful cornucopias with the harvest. The holiday season becomes our traditional time to be grateful for the abundance in our lives, as well as a time to gather in our families and friends in all aspects of our lives.

A recent video posting on my Facebook wall reminded me of a blog I once wrote about engaging in our personal networks. Watching it, I laughed when I realized how far I’ve come in that virtual community, since gingerly dipping my toes in the waters a couple of years ago.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Learning from Zenyatta, Secretariat and Seabiscuit

November 8, 2010 (
By Susan G. Parcheta
Racing greats inspire, educate, tug at heart strings
“He cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds…” – Job 39:24 NIV (from the movie, Secretariat)

Three horses, three different stories, three legends of all time. I could not have predicted even a month ago that I’d be enthralled with the tales of three horses and writing about it.