Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hostas

... new hosta additions to the shade of the east part of Bonnie Wyora's house ...
Grant Vogeli told me that his sabbatical had been the best 100 days of his life. He and his wife travelled a bit, tried to stay fit a bit and paid attention to each other.

One hundred best days, I thought. Does a person have to have a sabbatical for that? Could I just do it on my own, and think absolutely about the joy of each day wherever I am? I tried the experiment last year -- for 100 days. I had such fun, I am going to try to do it again – starting with April 25th. I marked that day on the calendar I keep in my room – my health calendar. Each day I record my weight, the exercise I have done for the day, and if there is a special moment of happiness, I write that in the small box as well.

Day I

The opera should have been all that a person needs to start another series in the best 100 days of my life. But there was more in the day. One was breakfast at the house next door. The crepes were warm and piled high with toppings. Michael and Alice were in their pyjamas, spreading the butter and icing sugar, then rolling their crepes. Miranda uses her crepe as a vehicle for peanut butter.

And while we ate, Miranda told me stories about the kids: Michael had blurted out the socially incorrect phrase when he at a care centre. He picked up a patch of the fuzzy fur that the play centre has for kids to touch. He remarked, “Someone killed this.” The workers were horrified. They stumble for explanations but in that instant, they had no way around the problem. Yes, it was skin from an animal … who was now dead.

An animal’s skin is nothing new to Michael. In their family it is common knowledge that his dad kills elk so that they can have meat for the winter. The antlers from one of the hunting expeditions sit on the corner of the raised garden bed. Richard has taken his hand at tanning a hide, not a successful experiment, by the way -– but we have all seen the fur taken off and the hide stretched. At the play-care, not everyone lives in a family where the children know that fur comes from an animal that has been killed.

I learned all of this over warm crepes in the morning.

More food arrived from next door in the evening: a bowl of Vietnamese noodles, chicken and vegetables. Having Miranda next door is just like having my own catering service. Or more, like a deli where I can drop in anytime … like the night before. She whips up a whole wheat pizza crust and then adds an extra leaf to their dinning room table so that her folks and Richard’s can gather around, enjoy the kids, and chat over shared food.

“Miranda, this is getting to be a habit. Your family loves a slaw,” I said to her, for a salad was on the table as well as the 3 pizzas: cheese, veggie and salami.

“It is not my family, that loves slaw. Just me. A lemon and oil vinaigrette and I can’t get enough of it.

As she speaks, I think about my own predilection for a pan of warm brownies and take more slaw on my plate, in hopes that I can lower the bar on sweets and raise it on cabbage salad.

Arta

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