Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Welcome morning visitors

A new neighbor and I have struck up a friendship. This morning she was to come for coffee, but she wrote that her babysitter did not show up and she’d like to bring the two children she’s home-schooling—second- and third-graders. I worried a bit (for naught, it turns out) about Sophie’s reaction to children, but other than being overly eager, she was sweet—and the children were calm and good with her. They did their homework, while Prudence and I visited about everything from cooking to parenting and Halloween. A lovely break in my morning work routine. And she brought me the beautiful flowers above.

She told me one funny story, from when the family lived in El Paso. On Halloween, a young boy came along pushing a wheelchair with a friend in it. She kindly gave them each candy, but when she handed it to the wheelchair-bound boy, he suddenly leapt up almost in her face and shouted, “It’s a miracle!” In retrospect she found it funny, but she said at the time it scared her half to death.

It's been that kind of week—a bit of work, punctuated by visitors and outings. Noting remarkable to blog about, unless I wanted to rave and rant about our president and Syria and Ukraine and take your pick. I find sometimes I dream the Facebook screen, so I’m fairly convinced it’s time to pull back. But increasingly I think trump’s mental health should be the main concern of the 2020 election—if he lasts that lon.

Monday night, friend Subie and I scheduled a meeting of the volunteers to help welcome newcomers to the neighborhood. We expected and prepared for at most eight—we got one person, the woman who has done the welcoming for several years and is bowing out due to the demands of a new job. Ah, the joys of volunteers. We few had a great visit, and I have high hopes that all newcomers will eventually be welcomed. We truly do have a great neighborhood.

As a non-traveler, I am amazed at how much my friends travel. Neighbor Mary came for happy hour last night before taking off this morning for Ecuador and the Galapagos, not at all fazed by the fact that the party will avoid Quito and be extra cautious in Guayaquil because of political unrest. Me? I’d have canceled the trip at the slightest hint of unrest—I do not need that much adventure. Another friend is in France on a self-designed art tour, other friends are just back from Ruidoso, and another just home from Kansas City, where she reports everything is up to date. At least those destinations I can understand. Having been to Ruidoso for Christmas a couple of years ago—the year with no snow—I wondered what they would do there for  week, but she reported a really good time. I laughed however when she asked what we will do for a week in Blanco, Texas—our holiday destination. Each to their own.

Lunch yesterday at Tokyo Café, always a favorite, and dinner tonight at the Tavern—Dover sole with good mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach. But the best thing I’ve had all week? The roast that Christian fixed in the crockpot on Sunday. So simple; put a chuck roast in the pot, sprinkle with McCormick au jus dry mix and then with Hidden Valley ranch dressing dry mix. Top with a stick of butter and cook eight hours on low.

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