When he can make time, Jamie comes from Dallas to spend a day with me. He works at the coffee table while I work at my desk, and he often begins his day before first light at the curb. I always ask why he didn’t come in, and he says he’s all set up with his computer and phone in his car and he’s busy. This morning he snuck up to the front door of the house and left Jacob something; then, about seven, called Jacob to look on the porch. Jacob was grumpy about being wakened, but joyful when he found the spinners—I think that’s what they were, something that’s “hot” in the toy business right now.
A tradition that I like on the days Jamie spends with me: we go to breakfast at the Ol’ South Pancake House. He has a German pancake—today it was the smaller Dutch baby—and I have a side of corned beef hash, no egg, lots of ketchup. It’s the part of the day when we visit—he tells me about his work, we talk about family, conversations we don’t have when he gets busy at his computer.
We had another nice interlude today: a Joan Baez interlude. When my kids were little, their father and I loved the folk music of the 70s, so my children know Joan Collins, Neil Diamond and others. But Joan Baez is a particular favorite, and the children still know all the songs. Jamie has tracked down all the albums and bought them (probably in vinyl). He brought his guitar today—he’s just started playing and, with help from daughter Maddie, is picking out the chords and trying to play, “Diamonds and Rust.” It’s a difficult song, and I, known for my tin ear, didn’t recognize it. But then we called up some of her other songs on the computer and played them, including “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5: Aria" which I have not been able to find for years.
Jamie stayed until happy hour guests arrived at six. These were neighbors who meet at the local Grill for supper every Tuesday, and they all wanted to see my cottage. I made a good cold artichoke dip (as opposed to those you bake) and gruyere toasts—must have been a hit because it all disappeared, along with a lot of wine that our guests brought. Jordan served as hostess as she so often does, and did a magnificent job of making everyone welcome.
Betty and I planned to go on to supper with the group but neither of us were hungry enough for the heavy food at the Grill, and Jordan and Jacob wanted to stay home. I ended the day with a bowl of cold cereal at my computer. Not at all a bad ending.