October 21, 2016
Every once in a while I stop whatever I’m doing to just stare around my cottage and think about how blessed I am. Even when the renovation was underway I never thought I’d live in such a cool space. It is, I told a neighbor tonight, like living in a Manhattan loft but without the major traffic-vehicles and people—hazards. It somehow makes me feel sophisticated to think I live in 600 square feet—and such a cool 600 feet. Cozy, comfortable but without kitsch or cute. I am thoroughly besotted of my own life situation.
And that includes the many friends who come to visit, my children who are often around and if not in constant touch. And tonight another pleasant experience emphasized how lucky I am. The neighbors director behind us, Jason and Amy Brown, had invited us for dinner, but Jordan felt during the move she had to reschedule—twice. Then Jordan began to worry about taking me to their house which doesn/t have easy access, let alone access to restroom facilities. It was finally decided that Amy would bring the dinner here—and she did with grace and style.
The Browns have two boys—Sam, Jacob’s age, and Alex, now in 2nd grade I believe, so the three boys had a grand time playing tetherball and flip in the driveway. We decided though that Alex was a little bored with flip—it’s a fifth grade thing. Funniest moment of the evening: Jacob mixed up child abuse and child obesity. He and Sam both knew the words but not the meaning, so I had to explain. That of course led Jacob to enumerate the times he’d been a victim of child abuse at my hands—well, there was the time I used the cussword, “Damn,” in talking to him. Even he admitted that was not a serious fall from grace.
Meanwhile the adults sat around the patio table, under the trees, on an absolutely perfect night. Amy’s meal was just right for the situation—thin slices of Manchego and pear with crackers, a bowl of olives, and a bowl of marinated almonds. She explained it was a Spanish meal. Her entrée was wonderful, rich lentil soup served with hunks of baguette—perfect dinner for a fall evening, when the air turns a bit cool as soon as the sun goes down.
We talked neighborhood news—Jason is president of the property owners’ association. And we talked about children and education and our wonderful local Lily B. school. And Zika virus. Did you know that daytime mosquitoes have Zika, while night-time ones have West Nile? Our topics ranged far and wide. It’s always stimulating to talk with people you don’t see often—sometimes I feel when I see old friends we’ve already said everything to each other that needs to be said. We steered clear of politics though everyone had a good laugh—at my expense—over the picture of me in front of Chicago’s Trump Tower.
Good neighbors, good food, a delightfully pleasant setting—who could ask for more?