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can we afford to eat here?, part 2

July 16, 2012

Last week, in answering birthday wishes from family and friends, I half-jokingly explained

that at age 66, it takes a week to adequately celebrate it.  The festivities did, in fact, continue

for two more days.


Jude took Friday off and we caught up on some pressing yard work.  In April we started a

dozen or so outside projects with the best of intentions.  But my week in the states, the two

week visit of my grandson Sean and her son Nathan, and a rainy June has us way behind

our maybe-never-realistic-anyway deadlines.


So a full day of mowing, weeding, clearing brush and such was vital and satisfying.  We drug

our wrung-out bods into the house about 9 p.m., fixed the Friday Night Pizza, and watched

a few more episodes of Doctor Who.  Space Channel is hyping interest for the new season

starting next month.


Saturday turned out to be the busiest day of this celebratory stretch.  As a reminder to not

take oneself too seriously, the cosmic trickster clogged our toilet.  As soon as we’d cleaned

that up, our friend Lee drove up.  He was in substantial pain from some muscles he tweaked.

Jude diagnosed him and gave him some OTC meds.  He drove off gingerly.


Then I drove to a neighbour’s sawmill to pick up some sawdust.  No one was there, so I

filled the truck bed by shovel.  I had taken some eggs in barter, but didn’t want to leave

them, not knowing when someone would return.


I headed to my next stop.  Another neighbour was having some buddies over for paint ball

games.  I couldn’t stay to play, but I loaned him a set of walkie-talkies.  When he returned

them yesterday, he told me that next time I could be a general.  Apparently the only res-

ponsibility of a general in paint ball warfare is guarding the beer.  I could do that.


My last stop was at Len and Bonnie’s.  I’d seen Len out in the yard when I was headed for

the sawmill.  I traded the eggs for a beer and some beets.  Len showed me what else they

were growing, including his beautiful bonsai plants.


By the time I got home, it was time to clean up for the event of the day: dinner at Fred and

Sheri’s.  You may recall my post about our visit to their boat for a sumptious meal in April.

Don’t worry if you don’t, here it is.


As she did in April, Sheri put up another fantastic feed.  This time we had shrimp cocktail

with homemade sauce, Caesar salad, and cannellonis, both cheese and meat.  We topped

it off with an ice cream cake on their deck overlooking the ocean.  It was all priceless.


We were joined in the merriment by some old friends of Fred and Sheri.  Laurine and Ron

had arisen at some ungodly hour in Ontario to fly to nearby Comox.  Sheri wanted to sur-

prise Fred with their friends, so she had Jude call her at 7:50 a.m.


Jude was supposedly someone from work calling Sheri in, so all she had to say was “blah-

blah-blah-blah-blah” and Sheri said she’d be right in.  Then she picked up Laurine and Ron

at the airport.  Fred was duly surprised.  He hadn’t seen them in eight years.


We had a wonderful time.  Laurine and Ron are delightful people, full of great stories.  That

was good, because I was so stuffed I could barely talk.  And when I did open my mouth, I

generally sipped on a margarita.


We took our leave of these fine folks in early evening, partly because of my stodginess,

partly because we figured Laurine and Ron had to be exhausted.  On our way home, we

stopped at the community garden and walked off some of the merriment.  Several other

people were there, gardening or enjoying the efforts of others.


I’d do it all again, even the overeating, in a heartbeat.  And we will in another half million

or so heartbeats.  Next Sunday we’re joining Fred and Sheri on their boat with Laurine and

Ron and some more kindred spirits.  Stay tuned.


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