We’ve had a wonderful week with Sis---we laughed and talked, we looked at all the old pictures and gave them names, with aid of the big magnifiers in on Chris' antique Photo Stuff shelf and with a lot of is its and could that bes and he really looks like the Buford sides.
We’ve cooked some, not a lot but fun and nice to sit down all together to the familiar table with pulled pork and made-like-Mother-did baked beans and potato salad with a hint of the allspice-and-clove pickles from our childhood pantries.
We ordered in Chinese, we stepped out to the immense “tomato hedge” for the dusky-ripe heaviness of the same tomatoes which Mammaw planted in her lush garden. We had BLT’s for breakfast; we breakfasted on donut holes and pastries brought home warm by Caro, we shared meals with our BabyGirl.
Sis and I strolled around the back to our little neighborhood Chinese buffet one evening that Chris was out of town, and sat for two hours, long after the General's chicken had disappeared and the plates been whisked away, telling each other in detail after twenty-some-years-each, how we met our mates and how they proposed and how we DON'T remember life without them.
This morning we met them all for a long leisurely breakfast of Eggs Benedict and omelets and soups and quesadillas, taking turns with little jaunts out to the deserted patio of the restaurant to help expend some of that two-year-old energy and soak in the still-cool sunshine.
Last night we all went downtown for a delightful dinner at Fogo de Chao, with its walls of winebottles and attentive service and handsome, quick-stepping young men in gaucho pants, proffering endless swordsful of succulent, hissing-hot steaks and chops and sausages. We first composed our plates from the most artistically-arranged salad bar I’ve ever seen---big square platters like pictures hung slantwise of the enormous square table, each framed in a contrasting or complementary border of intricately-cut vegetables or fruit.
I walked slowly around the vast expanse of offerings---identical platters of fat asparagus, fat as trees, and roasted peppers and shiitakes and crisp baby greens and hearts of palm, bocconcini, tiny sweet-pickled red peppers small as olives—and olives big as pullet eggs.
We “walked the circle” after dinner, strolling the few blocks from restaurant to the center of our beautifully-laid-out city, enjoying the sweet breeze of dusk and the tiny twinkle lights in the trees and the fountain’s soothing sound old as tides.
It’s been a sit-around week, somewhat, as Sis wanted to just “SOG” as we used to say of a day of leisure. We sat on the patio and talked. We sat inside and talked; we sat in the arbor and reminisced, and I was so glad to have someone for Chris to discuss politics and the state of the world with.
And on this last day, I think we were all tired---not of each other, but of the constant eagerness to speak and laugh and tell-tell-tell to the other while the time lasted.
So, this morning, as Chris’ phone-alarm rang to wake us for our breakfast date, he got up and stood leaning against the wall on his side of the bed. I sleepily greeted him.
Misunderstanding my exact words, he answered, sending me off into giggles which lasted til I could get in here and tell it.
In a sort of zany echo of our whole week which we spent talking over each other, and chiming in at odd times and interrupting and laughing and all of us mis-hearing the other and thus answering from out of Left Field, plus always trying to speak while in mid-guffaw, the exchange went like this:
Him: Big yawn and stretch, leaning against the quilt hanging on the wall at his side of the bed.
Me, in a sleepily fond voice: “How you doin’, Darlin’?”
Him, hearing the first word as "WHAT": “Gettin’ up.”
Me, knowing what I meant, and providing only the word he’d missed: “HOW?”
Him, with a little gaze of appeal all around the ceiling to assure himself of his life-mate’s approaching senility, but ever the polite gentleman, explained :
“Stannup. Putma pants on.”
And thus the Life Lesson for Today.
Stannup. Putcha pants on, and get out there and take on the day.