In which Bud and I were the constant companions while Rich and Abby and brother Bruce came and went and Dan called from the road. He reported, will wonders never cease, that the concert tour was a big success, they had good recording time and he is prepared, already, to repay a sizable portion of the money we loaned to front the tour.
Bud and I were wonderfully happy and content with each other, pleased to have the block of time. And yet. We’re both people who enjoy our space and quiet so the last few days, after a week of yelling, "What? What did you say?" at each other, we settled into reading our books on the porch and going to watch the birds and manatee, where we could merely point and nod. Bud loved the manatee and he was rewarded with good viewing; one afternoon we saw six, including two calves nursing, right up against the seawall. He read a large book on manatee and dugongs, such was his fascination. We went grocery shopping together and I had some photos enlarged as a reminder of my mother so we went and bought frames, too. You know how I detest the mall and sure enough, we managed to lose the car in the acres surrounding Macys. Finally, I left him with the goods stacked on the hood of a stranger’s vehicle and went off in search of ours. When I returned he was laughing out loud with a woman who said, "It looks like you got stuck holding the bag" and Bud said, "No! My daughter lost the car!"
It’s hard to know when I’ll get another opportunity to spend 10 days straight with sweet, funny Bud- probably next year- so this was important time for me and I let other things slide.
JULIA CHILD catches a cold.
We had a ludicrous party which Bud enjoyed enormously, Rich thought was great fun and I survived. Since we were shuffling back and forth in our Chicago move while the bulk of the noise was happening down here during the addition, I thought it would be polite to have the neighbors over for hor d’ouvres and beverages. One problem with this was that I don’t really know most of our neighbors here beyond waving hello during walkabouts. I went to the neighbor that I DO know and got a list of everyone else and then I went slinking up and down the street dropping invitations into mailboxes, praying I wouldn’t have to actually talk to anybody in the process. I planned a menu, went shopping, Bud washed all the windows, Rich ran errands. With Laawwry, the gay gardener’s help, I turned out key lime tarts,
gazpacho in little individual cups, bruschetta, bocconcini mozzarella
with prosciutto and homemade pesto, grilled skewers of veggies and
Annie’s maple/apple chicken sausage, etc.,etc. Then, fifteen minutes before company was due, I went from healthy to respiratory disaster in a matter of moments. I haven’t had a cold for over a decade and I’m really never sick so I suppose I was due, but still. (It’s true. I forgot to mention the second anniversary of this blog because it was also the first anniversary of my mother’s death, but you haven’t read here any complaints of illness in all that time. One mangled foot when I got hung up in the treadmill while exercising barefoot and that’s it).
Anyway, I was a disgusting public health nuisance by the time people showed up but no one seemed to notice. They also didn’t seem to mind that I didn’t know who they were. I invited 15 strangers plus a few friends from yoga and my work at the women’s shelter. 45 strangers showed up, brought "welcome to the neighborhood" wine and plants (clearly, they have been observing me) stayed the whole time, yelled animatedly, laughed, talked sports with Rich and snow with Bud, and ate and drank until an hour after it was all due to end. Go figure.
Hannibal and the missus have young ones in the nest. I had been counting the days during their nest sitting and the hatchlings arrived none too soon. During the final week, Mrs. H. would give a soft "cak" from her perch high in the tree and then wait a few minutes. Then I would hear "CAK!" No response from Hannibal. After another five to ten minutes, the peace of the neighborhood was shattered with "CAK! CAK! CAK! CAK!" and within moments the wayward partner would show up, usually with a pigeon in tow.
If I thought it was raining feathers before, well, let me tell you. It’s a jigsaw of a thousand parts around here now. Yesterday, he nabbed a blue jay youngster and the raucous explosion of shrieks and screams from the outraged jay parents went on for a good 20 minutes. Today, mom took time out for herself and left Hannibal to sit. I can’t see any movement from the wee ones yet; keep in mind this nest is very very high up (so you can barely see him up there on top of the nest). Mrs. H. spent fully an hour preening herself on a nearby branch and when he started to cak at her to return, she turned a deaf ear to his call.