Visiting Old Friends


Lately, I am acutely aware of the passing of time. As the end of this project gets closer and closer, I find myself feeling very mixed. I want December 1st to arrive and yet, who would want to wish away a few weeks of a precious life.  A minor occurrence a couple of weeks ago brought these thoughts to the forefront of my mind.

Philip and I were spending the day in Boston. He was in market research for his job, and I was doing some research of my own on the makeup counter at Neiman Marcus. We were about to reunite in the evening when a little sandwich shop caught my attention. This place reminded me of the Putnam Market in Saratoga. It had a little bit of everything, great service, fantastic pre-made food items and creative sandwich combinations. I ordered a couple of pressed panini to take on the road and upon checking out, noticed an old friend….the pomegranate.  “Hey,” I said, “you’re back!”

You may recall one of my early blog entries where I discovered the ecstasy of consuming this now beloved fruit? Seeing the pomegranate, I was immediately thrown back to the early stages of this blog and the feeling of excitement for this project. The pomegranate will forever be the symbol in my mind of beginning this effort. In my heart, fondness arose. Seeing the pomegranate display at the market allowed me to experience this project coming full circle back to the beginning of a cycle and end of the year. I bought a few and took them home.

On the farm, the experience of coming to the end of a year is part of the daily routine; pulling up all of the irrigation, cutting down trellising, uprooting plants and disposing them in a compost pile. It is a bitter-sweet time. I feel an excitement for the upcoming Holidays, decorating the house, preparing meals with family and moving on to a quieter time. Yet, the decomposition on the farm is somewhat sad, saying good bye to all the plants, food and critters until next spring.


Lately, as I work, I daydream of an other old friend, a yoga practice. Returning to the yoga studio started out as an intellectual and rational idea. I pondered, “Maybe I should do yoga over the winter to stay strong for my work at the farm.” Then the idea became more visceral. I started craving a handstand or vinyasa. My back started asking for space to stretch. My legs started asking for elevation and rest. So, I listened and have returned to yoga and the many wonderful people who study at the studio, Yoga Mandali. It is joyful to revisit this area of my life that has been abandoned for the last few years. It is an opportunity to acknowledge all that has changed in my body, mind and spirit since the last time I got on the mat. And I love it.

This morning presented one more opportunity to embrace old friends. I came home from voting at the local election and realized that it is time to put up our bird feeder. If I had my way, it would be up all year but, Philip hates fussing with it all summer and mowing around it. He also hates the fact that the squirrels, who like the leftover seed below the feeder, kill the grass. So we compromise and put it out when the birds need it most during the late fall, winter and early spring.


I found the feeder tucked next to the house under the lilac trees and retrieved it. Grabbing a hammer from the basement and setting up a ladder, I pounded the pole that holds the feeder in the ground and set the whole thing upright in the middle of the yard. Then, I climbed the ladder and filled it to the brim. Within an hour, our little bird friends had returned. We are back in business. Hello, birds!

With 25 days left of my dry year, I know that I will always remember the time spent writing this blog, and this body of work will also become an old friend that I can revisit from time to time. For now, however, I think I will savor the last few of weeks and wait in patient anticipation of whatever else is yet to come.

The Great Parfait Debate


Saturday night was a lot of fun. We joined up with my Auntie and Uncle Bob for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Chez Pierre. This place is really one of a kind. It has been in business for many decades and has always been owned by the same family. You can count on seeing the same hostess (the owner), waitstaff, piano music and menu every time you step foot in the place. Normally, I like variation in a menu but I love the predicability of this special place.


In anticipation of dining out that night, I ran through the food choices in my mind and thought of all of the items that I love and would most likely order. This place is classically French in a very non-pretentious way. I would have to skip the martini and this felt disappointing. I LOVE ordering a martini straight up with olives to complement the paté that is brought to the table upon receiving your cocktail. Moving on, I thought about the clams casino that I would share with my Uncle and how he always orders the frog’s legs. I imagined that I might get the filet mignon with béarnaise sauce with the scalloped house potatoes. Oh joy! I just love the whole predictability of what will be offered and the homey feeling that comes along with the dining experience. And dessert…oh yes, dessert. I always, always, always order the creme de menthe parfait. That vanilla ice cream and fresh whipped cream drizzled in minty goodness with a cherry on top. Oh wait…screeeeeech. That ain’t gonna fly. There is alcohol in cream de menthe. Scratch that idea. Well, I guess that I will be skipping the martini AND my favorite dessert as well.

Our party of four arrived and met up with my Aunt and Uncle’s friends, Bob and Joan. It is always a lot of fun to go out with this crew. I have never had parents who enjoy socializing and my Aunt and her friends have adopted Philip and me in a warm and welcoming way. I feel greatly blessed being embraced by this cohort. For this evening, I was placed between the two Bobs, Uncle Bob and Bob the Friend.

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