Friday, November 22, 2019

Taking part in life

Busy days

I knew it was a busy week, but I didn’t realize quite how bad until I got up one morning and discovered the breakfast dishes from the day before still in the sink! And then there was the day I took a nap, woke with a start and wondered, “Why am I in bed? Did I forget to get up this morning?” Some weeks go by without my feeling that I am engaged with the world. This week was definitely the opposite, and I loved it.

Part of what kept me busy and distracted, of course, was the impeachment hearings. I wouldn’t say I was glued to every word—I tend to wait for summaries I trust. But I kept it on, watched the way people talked and held themselves, and listened intently only occasionally. I am in awe of the quiet, calm professionalism of the career people from the state department, and I am mightily impressed that women made such a strong showing. Maria Yovanovitch, Jennifer Williams, Laura Cooper, and Fiona Hill were unflappable, knowledgeable, self-confident, quite a contrast to the sloppy posture and presentation of their Republican antagonists. I saw a cartoon depicting Devin Nunes as Dopey, Gym Jordan (somebody buy him a jacket!) as Sleazy, and Castor, the Republican lawyer, as Sleepy—he was slouched so far down in his chair, he was almost horizontal. Not a pose that bespeaks alert intelligence. In fact, I read somewhere that he elicited damning information, on trump, from people he questioned.

The men were no less remarkable—confident, knowledgeable, unshakeable. Bill Taylor got most of the accolades, but I was impressed by David Holmes. He seemed almost amused by and a little disdainful of some of his interrogators. All in all, it was quite a show. The question is now, what next? Republicans are crowing that they will never abandon trump—they apparently recognize his guilt but don’t care. Will they hold firm when push comes to shove? Will they take into account the various signs that indicate trump and his cronies are Russian puppets, the abandonment of the Kurds being he most blatant. The Ukraine affair may easily be tied to Russia too—just listen again to Dr. Hill’s testimony.

My week beyond watching TV was one of sociability—lunches at Black Rooster and Nonna Tata, where I discovered that my favorite dish, braseola, is still available if no longer on the menu; dinner at the Tavern, where I discovered my good friend Betty does not eat artichokes, even grilled and slathered in butter and lemon. Last night, while Jordan went to a work event in Dallas, Christian and I went to a Connections Dinner at church. The point is to get members to dine and visit with new faces. At our table there was only one face new to me, but the others were people I rarely talk to more than to say “Good morning” on Sundays, so it was fun. The food was delicious, prepared by Louise Lamensdorf, formerly of Bistro Louise (there are perks to belonging to UCC and Louise’s occasional dinners are one of them). It was a beef stew kind of dish but with distinctive seasoning, a little bit sweet and sour, and a wonderful vegetable and white bean soup. I believe she said the dishes were Tuscan.

So today, chilly and wet in the morning, was a perfect day to stay home and regroup. I did odds and ends at my desk—how did I get so many of them? And began to get things together to go to Tomball for Thanksgiving. I’ll go Sunday and be gone most of the week, leaving behind Jordan and Christian to host their first big holiday meal. Oops, no—I remember that we had Alter Christmas at their house  in Hulen Bend one year, but it was a long time ago.

And tonight, it’s me, a copy of Food & Wine, and a new cozy mystery. Life is good.

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