New Friends for Christmas – 12 days of xmas #11

The year I lost my mind and decided to move from California to Florida was pretty weird to say the least. If you have any doubts, go back and read my post called Road Trip. To say it was manic was really putting it mildly and giving me way too much credit.I don’t know if some ancient LSD crystal popped loose or just the usual screws, nuts and bolts that live between my ears – but by God I was moving to Florida. So I did.By the time I unpacked the car and locked the front door I knew I had made a terrible mistake. But see I have this problem – I am really fricking stubborn. I kept telling myself I had moved to Florida for a reason. That it was the right thing to do. That there was something there for me.Well maybe there was. A new friend. Someone I’d never have known if not for the momentary flash of insanity – that crazy drive and much of the misery I experienced while there.Lana was an instant friend. I met her first when I showed up at my first day of work for a firm that – come to think of it I’m really not sure what they did or even why they hired me – but I digress. I walked into the office and there was this lovely, lithe woman with hair down to her waist and kind green eyes. “Oh, are you Annie?” she asked.“No, I’m Myrna,” I answered. I have no idea why I said that, but I really did.

She did one of those exagerated double takes and I started laughing and told her I was indeed Annie. Then she started laughing. And pretty much from there on we were best buds.

Now the job…oy my aching head. Let’s put it this way – the woman who hired me wanted me to take over her job so she could move on to a better position within the company. However, I was not allowed to ask any questions nor ask for supplies or pretty talk to her unless she wanted me to talk to her. She wanted me to devine whatever it was she wanted me to do. And she had this insane obsession with a tasking program. So every morning I was to write tasks and send them to her and that way she’d know what I was doing. And then of course she got to send me tasks and I would get these prompts and weird things that were almost as annoying as that dancing paperclip that Billy Gates invented. Long story short within a couple of weeks I felt like I was going insane.

I would constantly check with Lana to see if I really was insane or if this boss lady really was working hard to make me miserable and to feel absolutely and utterly incompetent. Sadly, Lana confirmed my suspicions. Not too surprisingly, I was gainfully unemployed shortly thereafter. Oh boy was I screwed. The job had paid well and when I hit the job market in general it really sucked. The wages being offered were frighteningly low. I took a job with a real nutjob of an orthodontist (he actually believed his work was greatly helping mankind by providing prettier smiles – I shit you not). But at least I had Lana.

We did everything together. It was fun to have a great fun girlfriend again and it made me even sort of like Florida. She invited me for Thanksgiving dinner and there I met her wonderful husband and adorable little boys. We had a great time – but it was more than that – it was like being home for the holidays. Like being among family. I marveled at this because I had really barely met them, yet it seemed I knew them for a million years. I love it when that happens, don’t you?

Since Thanksgiving was such a hit and Lana and I became closer and closer friends, Christmas was a natural. We had all eaten tons of turkey on Thanksgiving so we decided on a different menu. Lana’s brother was in town and he volunteered to make a roast. I made a vat of homemade applesauce, brought a bag of presents and whipped up some mashed potatoes once I got there.

We exchanged gifts and it was fun. It really didn’t matter what they were – we were just happy to be hanging out. It was one of those Christmasses where nothing in particular happened – no special activities or hilarious accidents – just a bunch of people who really enjoyed one another’s company and yakked their heads off. Lana even bought a present for my doggie – a santa suit. Which I put on her as soon as I got home and took pictures.

So the evening was just that. An evening. A great one. And one that brings back warm memories of friendship and love. As I drove home that night, I knew at least a small handful of people in Florida were actually glad I came. And I guess because of them, I was glad too.

The Goodbye Christmas – 12 days of xmas #10

 

There’s a funny thing that happens with friends, I mean real, true, kindred spirit kind of friends – you just assume that they will always be there. It never enters your mind that they will move away. It never occurs to you that you will have a last meal, a last coffee at Starbuck’s or a last adventure with them. Your future will always include their presence. They become such an integral part of your life, it’s as if they were always there and always will be.

This Christmas, the season started as many before it. The cold snap came and the air became crisp. Lights were strung on houses – the ‘Christmas Street’ lit up the entire neighborhood. Shopping, excitement, anticipation. Good times with friends. All the normal, usual stuff. Well maybe not usual because it’s the kind of stuff you (at least me) look forward to all year.

The weather was especially cold that year and it was perfect because it just seemed more like Christmas. My best friend J and I were going off to see a play. The Christmas Carol, as a musical no less. Another friend had a part in the play and we were just going to have fun watching her and then teasing her afterwards.

The play was up in Canyon Country which is about a 30 minute drive from our town. J came and picked me up and off we went. I noticed that J was a little more quiet than usual but really didn’t think much of it, so I sat back and settled in for the drive. Quite casually and out of the blue J said, “I’m moving to Texas, Duckie.”

I was stunned. I knew she liked Texas and all and had been there on business and enjoyed herself but she’d said nothing of moving there. “When?” I asked – pretty sure she was going to say something vague like in a year or two.

“January,” she said looking straight ahead.

It was weird because it felt like all the air was sucked out of me. I just didn’t know what to say. I’m not really sure I said anything. I just sort of collapsed around my grief. It was a mere 4 weeks away. It felt like someone had yanked my arm off or something equally disorienting. I went numb.

I think we talked a little more about it. But just the facts. Where would she work? What made her decide? Where would she live? She’d been made an incredible offer she felt she couldn’t refuse, plus her young son was getting older and she wanted him in a better environment to grow up in. She was going.

I knew there was definitely no talking her out of it. I didn’t try. How could I? I could only hope she’d change her mind, even though I knew she wouldn’t. J isn’t the kind of person who decides casually, I knew she’d given it a lot of thought and weighed the good and bad and her mind was made up.

That terrible ache you feel when you’re trying not to cry crawled around inside me. I tried not to be upset. I didn’t do very well at that. In fact, I did lousy.

The dinner we had with friends before the play was strange and unreal. I just couldn’t think of anything else. I told myself I was being selfish and that I should be happy for her but I was too sad for me.

Christmas went from bright colored and sparkly to gray. I went through the motions but mentally all I did was count off the days til they left. I think I cried just about every day. I kept telling myself I was being ridiculous and that I should grow up and take it like a man – but the girlie girl in me won the battle every time

We spent a lot of time together before she left. We tried like the devil to cram everything in that we could. As many laughs, coffees, jokes, adventures that we possibly could. Eventually, I was able to deal – at least without bawling like a big baby. Because despite my greif I really was happy for her. I knew it was right for her – that good things would come of it. That it was a journey in her life she needed to take and I wasn’t going on this particular road trip with her.

We would write and call – and she had family down here so I would see her again. I knew all of this. But I couldn’t stop missing her. I just couldn’t make myself do that.

Christmas came and went. The time drew near and I did everything I could to avoid thinking about it. And then the final goodbye came. At a restaurant. I met her and her dad and little boy and we had a good time. We chatted and ate chips and drank iced tea as though it was just a normal Tuesday night. But too soon the time came and we stood in front of the restaurant hugging and crying. Then separating.

I walked to my car and couldn’t look back. I didn’t want to have my last view of them driving away. I wanted to keep that image of them standing there smiling and waving.

But life felt emptier at that moment. Less bright. Less colorful. Less adventurous. It just wouldn’t be the same without them. And it wasn’t.

But you know what? As sad as this story might seem and as much as I may have bummed you out by telling it to you – it didn’t destroy me or ruin my life. It just really made me love and appreciate her all the more. Because no matter where your friends go and no matter how far away they may be they never are gone – you always always have them and they always have you. It’s just a little harder to make the commute sometimes.

WC

Boycotting Christmas – 12 days of xmas #9

 

Yep, even I have had my Christmas spirit dashed, beaten and abused. I don’t really even remember the reason but I decided I was sick of Christmas and was therefore boycotting it. I merely decided I could cancel it. I’m sure it had something to do with being broke. Boy there is nothing like being broke at Christmas to send a person into a snit.

So I did nothing. I didn’t get a tree. I didn’t dig out my silly collection of ornaments. I didn’t bake cookies or pumpkin loaf or buy a turkey. I didn’t wear red. I avoided Santa Hats and jingle bells and refused to listen to Christmas music or watch Christmas movies. (I know! Scary, huh?)

I just happened to talk to a dear friend (and ex room mate, Buffy – more on her later) and told her I was boycotting Christmas that year. As far as I was concerned it didn’t exist and I was really looking forward to December 26th a lot!

A couple of days later, I recieved a package at work from Buffy. The card said ‘you don’t get to cancel Christmas!’ In the box was a miniature tree, ornaments, candy, confetti and a bunch of other sweet and silly Christmas stuff. I was so pissed at her (not really) cuz she made me cry at work.

So, a little glimmer began to warm around my icy resolve toward Christmas. I couldn’t very well insult my friend’s truly sweet and caring jesture. I would just take it home and put the tree and little things on my coffee table and I’d have a tiny little Christmas, just like the tree.

Of course, then there were a couple of movies that came on television which I sort of watched. I believe I nibbled some candy canes. And then I just faced facts. I was so broke I couldn’t pay attention. I just simply couldn’t buy gifts for anyone and I’d have to be all right with that (you see this was the really crushing thing to me) – so I just made myself be okay with it.

After aforementioned movies I started thinking. What gift could I send to my loved ones that could maybe mean something? Maybe something that I could make? I am a disaster at crafts and really cookies don’t like to behave when I make them so the choices were limited. So, I did what any broke writer would do – I wrote a Christmas story. Even though I knew it probably wasnt’ going to please some people on my list – even though I thought it was kind of hokey, I wrote it anyway.

I printed out about 20 copies and sent them off. Explaining that this Christmas it was my best offering and written and sent with love. Afterwards, I really didn’t even care if anyone acknowledged it or said they liked it – something about having done it made it okay in and of itself.

The really funny thing is that it turns out it is one of my favorite stories. And one I have shared with people many times over the years. And I suppose if I truly have a tradition of my own making it is that story. Because in that story I was able to express my true heart about family, love, my fellow man and most especially about Christmas. So maybe in a way…it was my gift to myself more than anything else. And a good one it was.

WC

Julia Child’s Turkey Christmas – 12 days of xmas #6

New house, new man (with two sons…why do they come in two’s?) and yet another memorable Christmas. Still cooking. In this case, cooking up a veritible storm. It started out pretty simple me, Tom and the boys with a few friends…but then I started getting these phone calls. There was a bevy of Christmas orphans that year with nowhere to go and could they come to my house? Sure, the more the merrier!

As each day inched nearer to Christmas, more phone calls, more unexpected guests to feed. I’d never made a really big turkey but this was the year to do it. The house was small so there was no way we were all going to sit down, so a buffet it was.

It’s a rather odd and surreal experience (even to a Christmas nut like me) to have a houseful of guests for Christmas dinner when you’ve never met half of them. Sort of like stumbling into a big frat party. But I loving to cook and have guests the way I do decided to just roll with it.

I got up early (can you say 5 am?) and Tom just had to get this shot of me in search of my first cup of coffee. Oh how I love to have my picture taken in my jammies with no makeup and a dumb expression on my face.

But I digress.

So, out came the 30lb turkey to sit on the counter while I drank coffee and made the stuffing. Now I’m a kind of organic cook – I generally abhor recipes and I honestly can’t follow one completely as I always add things or change things. So instead of taking the easy way out and following Mrs. Cubbitson’s recipe that was quite conveniently on the back of the box, I set to chopping up apples, nuts and onions, sauteed all that in some butter and threw in a few handful of raisens – I happened to have some cranberries too so in they went. Once the vat of dressing was made and the turkey stuffed to the gills and the remaining dressing in a sheet pan, we set to making the basting sauce. Butter, chicken broth, orange juice and white wine, a little sugar for good measure and we were ready to roll. Into the oven it went.

The next hour was spent peeling potatoes because of course home made mashed potatoes were a must and I had a lot of guests and they were going to want those darn potatoes. Ooops, one of the kids just shot a toy soldier into the potato pot. No harm done, the soldier was barely injured. On the back burner with those. Next sweet potatoes, peeling, dicing, glazing with butter, cinnamon, pineapple juice and brown sugar. My gawd how glad was I that I made the pumpkin pies the night before? Very, I must say.

As an afterthought, I grabbed a couple of bags of frozen peas since no one really likes vegetables with their Christmas dinner, do they? Unheard of, really , absolutely scandalous!

And between the basting and trying to find enough dishes and the the parade of guests and little gift giving, before I knew it, it was time to pull it all out of the oven. Of course by that time I was ready for a nap but i had an army to feed and they were getting restless with Ruffles and beer being their only appetisers (I know, shame on me – but I just couldn’t clone myself to make nibblies).

The turkey needed to rest before we could carve him up – so I put on my best Julia Childs impression and entertained the guests while extolling the many virtues of the giant perfectly browned bird.

Then came the rue for the gravy and separating the fat from the drippings – oh my where was that little bit of coffee I saved for the gravy? Is that bowl big enough for the potatoes? Why on earth don’t I have an electric mixer? Do you know how hard it is to mash and whip 10 pounds of mashed potatoes? My biceps were quite impressive that day. At least Tom opened the cranberry sauce and carved the turkey.

Finally we ate and ate and then we ate some more. We played Trivial Pursuit, got drunk and finished the leftovers. I think I finally had to kick everyone out around midnight. Since my orphans had cleaned up after me when dinner was over, I had a clean kitchen and just enough to share a turkey sandwich with Tom before we crawled into bed for a long winter’s nap. Of course I swore I’d never do that again. And yet I did, the next year and the next year and the year after that. 😉

WC

Two Little Girls & Christmas in Utah – 12 days of xmas #4

 

He was the love of my life. His name was Michael. And the moment we met the connection was instant. Because in the next moment we were a ‘we.’

He was a carpenter and could make anything. He was smart and wise and had gentle blue eyes. I loved him with all my heart.

On our first Christmas Mike wanted to go home, which was Utah. He had two children from a previous marriage, and it made me a little nervous to meet them under such circumstances. They were quite young and since they lived in Utah and he in California I thought they wouldn’t want me gumming up the works and stealing their attention from their father. Was I right.

They were 5 and 6. Julie was like a little china doll with long dark hair and mesmerizing blue eyes, so deep you could get lost in them. And she had an adorable habit of singing conversation to you rather than just plain old talking. Her older sister, Annie, looked more like her dad with sandy hair and a quiet manner. They were cute and nice when they met me but kind of shy.

Mike’s mom, Marilu, was a hoot and a much better Martha Stewart than well, Martha Stewart. I learned that she had raised her three boys Mike and his two brothers pretty much on her own and I thought she’d done a wonderful job of it. She had a lovely home, beautifully decorated and a tree that took your breath away. Beneath that tree was an avalanche of presents, many of them for me. She couldn’t have been sweeter or kinder to me.

It felt wonderful to be in such a warm and welcoming home and I knew that it would be a Christmas that would go down in the history of my life. One I would fondly recall over the years. Heck it was like being in a Hallmark commercial for cripes sakes.

And then…the next morning. Have I mentioned that I’m not an early bird by nature? Oh no, the time had long since passed when I was up at the crack of dawn. Of course, at first light I heard the girls, muffled voices and laughs. But they were easy to ignore…at first. I simply burrowed beneath the quilt and reveled in the joy of such a comfortable bed.

Sadly, Annie and Julie weren’t as interested in my reveling as I was. For reasons known only to them there was an intense need for them to slam in and out of my room. “Aren’t you getting up?”

“No,” I mumbled and burrowed deeper under the covers.

Out they went. Slam went the door. A few minutes later. “She’s still sleeping?” Again, out they went, again slam went the door. And it kept up and up. Til finally, I took the hint and stumbled out of bed. I was none too pleased and asked Mike what it was all about. Like a good boyfriend and father he ‘spoke’ to the girls and they apologized as sincerely as they could muster – but I’m pretty sure I saw a glint in their eyes at having acheived their objective.

It put a wrinkle into the day and I feared our stay there. There were several more days to go and I worried that without even trying I’d gotten Mike’s girls to hate me. This is never a good sign, especially in a new relationship. So I put on a happy face and tried to befriend them. They weren’t too interested in that – they were polite but not really warming up to me. Oh drat!

Later that day, we were all doing to a showing of a holiday show for the kids. I had been smart and borrowed a very warm coat from a friend, since I heard it got powerful cold in Utah. Though it was relatively warm (for Utah in the winter) I took the coat with me. The girls wore light jacket over their sweaters and jeans. When we arrived at the theater we realized that we would be standing in line, which was quickly becoming long and winding.

It was only going to be about a 30 minute wait but, hey we weren’t in L.A. – we were in Salt Lake City. Suddenly the sky clouded over and the temperature dropped by about 20 degrees. Even I felt a chill under my nice big fur coat. The girls were shivering within minutes. We suggested maybe we should pass on the show and go to some nice warm place and eat or have eggnog but the girls’ hearts were set on the show. So I opened my coat and invited the girls in. We all snuggled inside that spacious warmth like it was a big family sleeping bag – but still the girls were cold. So I did what anyone would do – I took off my coat and wrapped it around them. Then the four of us did that kind of huddle you do at highschool football games when it starts to snow and you have to stay til the end even if you’re freezing your bageebers off.

After what seemed like an eternity, we were finally allowed inside. Honestly, I don’t remember a thing about the show. What I remember is that suddenly two little girls loved me and wanted to sit next to me and in my lap and fought over who got to do what.

I was officially adopted at that point. The rest of our stay was just like a Hallmark movie without the tears. And when it came time to leave it felt as if I was leaving my own children. We all cried and said goodbye and made plans for a summer visit. But that seemed oh so far away.

But we got in our VW bug, now loaded with gifts, and pulled away from the curb. I watched out the window to see if I could see the two angel faces in the window, that I knew were there.

“We’ll see them soon, honey,” Mike said as I wiped at tears.

I nodded, looked straight ahead and immediately started wishing for summer.

WC

The Twelve Days of Christmas

I’ve always loved the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas and I thought it would be fun to use it as a theme for the 2nd half of my month of Christmas posts. We all have fond and not so fond Christmas memories and sometimes they make good stories (even the miserable ones), especially if you’re drinking really good and heavily spiked eggnog.

But my twelve days of Christmas aren’t about pear trees, milking maids or golden rings – mine are my twelve most memorable Christmases. Some are sweet, some a little sad and some are pretty funny.

Many of my memories are snatches of this or that. Like my sister’s habit of opening my presents after she got bored with hers and then running into my room to tell me what I got. Of course I made her go back and rewrap them but for sure, the surprise was gone once I saw the packages.

Or my mother’s habit of getting into a snit with my dad just as we were sitting down to Christmas dinner.

Or the fact that for years Mom hid the presents in the cubby hole in her room and we would check it out daily for weeks before Christmas. The only mystery was who was getting what. You’d think she would have chosen a different hiding place once in a while.

Or the forced photos standing before the tree showing off your presents.

The smell of turkey and the taste of perfect gravy oozing on home made mashed potatoes, my aunt’s Christmas aspic made of lime jello, walnuts, carrots and raisens oh and her pumpkin bread.

Falling asleep at the window trying to stay awake to see if there really was a Santa Claus. And the joy I felt when it snowed on Christmas Eve because I knew that meant that it was really going to be a perfect White Christmas.

Christmas trees and Christmas lights. School Christmas concerts – countless favorite Christmas songs and movies. These are all the things that I think of when I think of Christmas.

So prepare yourselves folks, I’m walking down memory lane for the next few days and I hope you don’t mind strolling along with me.

WC

A Christmas Wish

You know I was talking to a very dear friend on the phone Friday night and found myself so joyful in just our simple exchange of what was going on in our lives. The good, the bad, the exciting, the mundane – honestly the content didn’t matter one twig. All that mattered was that I was talking with someone to whom I feel truly connected. And I realized that that is how I feel about all of my friends. A deep and abiding kindredness of spirit. Which is why I always feel so wonderful to be in their company. Even when we are being miserable together (if that makes any sense?).

And I said to him, ‘you know my biggest wish is to someday have all my friends in the same place and spend Christmas together.’ Just saying it out loud brought it that much more to life for me. It was as though I was looking into the future and seeing every friend I have in the world, all in one place having the time of their lives. I could hear the music, smell and taste the food, feel the warmth of the fire and the vibration of the laughter.

I have so many friends in so many parts of the world – many of whom I see rarely and many whom I haven’t been in the same room with for years. The idea of throwing a big lasso over all of you and drawing you into the same place brings such joy and warmth into my heart it almost makes me cry. Especially those whom I’ve never actually met in the flesh, the real world. Thanks to technology I’ve found some real soul mates and kindred spirits and it is a profound goal of mine to meet each and every one. And so I shall.

All things happen for a reason I think. If I hadn’t done this, or worked there or got a computer or an internet connection there are so many wonderful people I’d never have come to know and love. That I was meant to know and love.

I am truly blessed.

So don’t be too surprised if one Christmas in the not too distant future an invitation arrives, or a limo pulls up to whisk you away to my big Christmas gathering. I’ve found that if I wish hard enough and long enough my wishes do come true.

Much love to you all.

WC

Ho, Ho, Ho, Hee, Hee, Hee – Let the Season Begin!

Warning: I am a Christmas nut. It is my absolute favorite time of the year, bar none. From December 1st, all the way through January 1st I make a point of practicing good cheer, eating great food, spending time with friends and telling all those I love that I love them.

It works for me – because I figure I have eleven months out of the year to be a grump and a bitch – so it’s sort of like a vacation for everybody – know what I mean? 😉

While I likely won’t have snow on Christmas Eve, if this cold snap lasts, I’ll at least see it capping the mountains in the not too distant view.

I will watch every Christmas movie I have – more than once. I will search TV listings for ones I don’t have and be on the look out at stores to add to my collections.

I will bake brownies and cookies, randomly hand out candy to the homeless, wear a Santa Hat and reindeer ears – and cherish each moment a friend opens a present, gives a hug or says Merry Christmas.

And it will be all Christmas all the time on this blog through the 25th.

Okay? Okay.

Merry Christmas….

santaWC

Giving Thanks

 

I’m off to Santa Barbara for a long overdue reunion with dear friends. But I wanted to leave this for you to read. It was a bit of a surprise to me as I had no idea that the origins of Thanksgiving did not center around the pilgrims.

Enjoy yourselves, eat hearty and good. Look around and feel gratitude for all the many things large and small that give your life meaning. Hold those you love close and tell them you love them. And say a prayer for those you can not hug.

Happy Thanksgiving. I will see you in a few days.

WC

Happy Birthday Pinky!

I saw Zelda for dinner the other night and she informed me my presence was requested for Pinky’s big day – his 39th birthday (well not really 39 but after a while you find an age you like and settle there).

The gang was going to be there. The gang being me, Zelda, Margarita (who makes killer magaritas), PG, Chief (a king among chefs), Skip (Margarita’s significant other and a killer griller) and The Kid ( Pinky’s son at least in spirit). While we hang with other friends as well, we seem to be the core group. The main herd. The alpha majors and minors.

So, it’s Sunday afternoon and I’m thinking some cheese and crackers a little sparkling water, possibly margaritas because Margarita can’t not make them and a cute little cake. Then home we go.

So we all arrive on time (a historical happening to be sure) which flustered Margarita and grabbed the cocktail parphenalia. Cheese and crackers appeared, sparkling water appeared, much hustle and bustle went on in the kitchen. And though we all offered to help we ended up sitting around the livingroom, munching crackers and chewing the fat.

We talked about PG’s dad, politics and the future plans for the ‘christmas movie’ (now a tradition) that we would be participating in for Zelda’s mom. (That’s a whole other post.)

Soon enough the incredible scent of amazing food began to waft through the air. Skip and Margarita’s beagles started a sniff fest and we humans did a poor imitation of same. Next thing we knew we were seated at the art deco table on the patio and eyeing steaks the size of Omaha.

We oohed and ahed and Skip beamed. Margarita excitedly explained about a couple of wines they’d discovered and they were good.

We ate and ate and then we ate some more. Thick steaks, grilled to perfection, secretly amazing string beans with herbs, grilled potatoes that melted in your mouth…it was poetry in motion.

As most of us were screaming uncle and pushing our plates aside (with ample scraps for the beagles) The Kid was scarfing up to beat the band. I’m not sure but there may not have even been a bone left on the plate. He passed on the green beans but went crazy on the potatoes and steak and I think I even saw him eyeing Chief’s steak since there was plenty left and a doggie bag in his future.

Then the conversation modules began. Zelda started talking about the nifty new back-fixing equipment she had bought. Stretching and squeezing and traction things. Ultra sound, no sound, nice sound – it was all greek to me.

Pinky, happy with a full belly took a nap with his eyes open. Yes, Pinky does have that special talent. You see, we rib him about napping at all our soires so now he can do it sitting upright with his eyes open. No lie. The Kid just kept eating and eating and eating.

Birthday cake, ice cream and espresso magically appeared, seeming to appear out of nowhere. Perfect. More oohs and ahs.

At my end of the table, me, PG and Chief talked blogging, writing, politics, conspiracy theories, movies and masterpieces. Now, I suppose this is probably boring you by now because nothing really remarkable happened nor did any major catastrophe befall us. It was just a bunch of friends eating really good food, celebrating the birthday of a friend, having really good conversation.

I can’t remember the last time I had such a good time and such good talk. It was fun, interesting and entertaining. I learned a lot of things I didn’t know about my friends and it was just one of those precious times when everything and everyone jelled. Truly a kind of magic moment among friends. A truly satisfying get together that makes you thankful for having such people in your life and having a life that includes them.

Since it was a school night, the evening ended all too soon. And before I knew it, I was back in Zelda’s big fricking truck (she calls him Chomp) being the ‘bobble’ passenger and we were headed home.

It was the best day I’ve had in recent memory – not for any particularly earth shattering reason – but for the simple pleasure of spending an evening with friends.

I would wish that everyone would have such evenings in their lives. Where the worry and trouble of the world doesn’t interfere, where the day to day grind never enters your mind and where you go home whistling.

WC