My friend Andy died two days ago, but I just learned of it today. The world looks a little different to me, because I had thought until this week that he would always be in Santa Fe and we'd have a grand visit next time I could get there. I've thought about him and Tina all day, and more than sadness I feel a deep admiration. When I think about it, I doubt any who knew Andy--family, kids, friends--ever thought his chances for a long life into old age were good. Because he was a realist, Andy must have known that too. But he and Tina acted as though recovery was the next step, around the corner. They lived each day, at least as far as I could see, with that attitude, and it's a great lesson for all of us. Andy leaves me with the feeling that I've been privileged to know someone special.
It's been a day of small disappointments, but, hey, they aren't worth talking about. The weekend looms, and I'm going to fill it with things I enjoy--mostly cooking. Tomorrow night I'm taking a friend to dinner for her b'day; Saturday I'm going to cook myself a really good dinner--I think fish almondine and greens with anchovies--a recipe I just found. It calls for collards, which I hate, but I'll use spinach, and I love anchovy. Sunday night Jordan and Christian are coming for dinner, and I'll make Norwegian hamburgers and Christians' favorite green beans--canned green beans, cooked with a bit of bacon grease and vinegar. But I have a surprise for them about the hamburgers--I'll share it after the event.
I have been working on my cookbook. Tomorrow I'll print out the revised version so I can read, proof and edit over the weekend. And I began tonight to write a column on Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan the Barbarian. I'm sure many will be surprised that he's a Texas writer, one who deserves more recognition that he gets. He lived in the little town of Cross Plains, Texas, all his life and wrote over 800 stories, poems, and novels--amazingly prolific in a 12-year career (he committed suicide at the age of 30). It's all hard to put into 800 words, but I'm working on it.
It's still summer hot, and I wish for cool weather every morning. What do you wear to work in late September when it's still in the 90s? Flowery pastel clothes are inappropriate, fall clothes are too heavy. But Melinda brought me a bag of tomatoes and said as long as it stays hot, she'll have tomatoes. Maybe that's a compensation for the continuing hot weather, because the tomatoes sure are good.