We had a birthday party? Well, I actually think that Lila held a party. I think she invited us. I think I paid. Of course, I always sit at the head and the bill arrives on my plate. Anyway, we were in a restaurant and I uploaded pictures to Shutterfly to share. And naturally they forwarded the images again seven years later. I’m impressed. They have some big assed servers holding onto my data. Thanks. Meanwhile my data is on redundant isolated hard drives. Is yours? I wish I could say that I’m organized. But to the extent that I am, I am more organized than most folks. I also hoard. Laughingly, I can hoard on a portable hard drive. That has at least helped the clutter in my house.
It was an excuse for a themed pot luck supper. Barb won a raffle. It was “fixed?” it’s not her first (win) rodeo. Ha! My contribution was the cut tomato, lettuce, and onion. Really? That was what I was asked to do. How much? My tendency is to always cut way too much. I prepare with the idea that everyone would eat an entire meal out of my preparation. In reality, one eats a small amount or not at all. So, you need way less than you imagine. With that in mind I cut judiciously. And, there were still leftovers… just not so much as usual. Barb? She teaches ESL to immigrants too. Laudable. And no, this dinner theme was not some sort of ethnic aspersion.
I get melancholy looking at this image. I’m thinking about what lasts in life. Fran was a “good person.” There are few who qualify for this designation in my world. I know a few and am blessed. She was a quiet dependable friend. What can you say? She was just there for me on so many occasions. I never ask/asked for help. It’s just me, how I operate (pun). I miss her… both Ginny and me and a lot of others.
Don’t laugh. I don’t fit into this tux any more. The occasion? It was a formal dinner for a hospital fund raiser. I do believe it was the infamous dinner where Richard left after the soup. Yeah, he was a weird guy. … just left without even a “good-bye.”
We tried a novel approach to Valentine’s Day this year. We stayed in and cooked. Butternut ginger squash soup; Roast butternut squash rings; Marinated asparagus; Gnocchi with mushrooms and asparagus; Sparkling cider. Dessert was deferred.
Part II: The main meal was generously portioned. We were too full to contemplate the chocolate fondue. That course occurred a couple days later. Yes, even a candle. Chocolate! Sublime!
I am reminded of the twin lions in front of the New York Public library on Fifth Avenue. Disregard the messy table. Every mealtime – without a word – the girls gather on the table to eat with us. The other cats were trained not to climb upon the table. The girls are ten percenters (they claim 10% of everything I eat). They are shameless but not pushy. They patiently await and will even go away if I don’t offer anything. It’s just that swishing tails are distracting when you are trying to eat.
There is a style here. Dinner. It’s traditional. Which is to say that after the first several times I attended, it has a recognizable pattern. This typical dinner in my compound was attended by men. Females, even physician colleagues are not invited. A lamb is prepared – grilled – and then served over rice. Picking at the meat with your bare fingers to get to the succulent parts is an accepted norm. Eating with your fingers is common. Forks are provided. No knives. The usual dessert is a sweet semolina cake that has cream or mozzarella cheese in between the layers. In Mexico it’s called arepa. My friend Nasser – we call him Kideida – dressed in traditional formal garb in celebration of the occasion. I wore my golf shirt. Ha! I don’t golf.
I attended a welcome dinner. Two physicians joined our department. I live modestly in hospital housing. This was an opportunity to see how the other half lives. It’s a separation of sexes. No females were in attendance. Someone brought their son. Otherwise it was a banquet of males. Lamb is roasted on a skewer. Standard fare. The sides included lots of rice, salad, and fruit, followed by dessert. Afterward our host played traditional music accompanied by his son. From the outside, the walls are high and drab. Inside, the accommodations are quite the opposite. Elaborate and ornate, it reflected a long life of collecting the trappings of wealth and success. Me? I’m living in two suitcases, ready to go if it’s imperative. The bulk of it will be my dive gear. I’m of the opinion that you can’t take it with you…but…. you can sure store it somewhere else. To be fair, I’ve got a lot of junk sitting around somewhere else… Please don’t laugh too hard.