and a good time was had by all (or at least by most, particularly me)
Janet and I were away from the computer over the weekend for New Years. We trekked through fog down to Mt. Pleasant to celebrate the arrival of 2011 with Dawn and Kevin. It was a good time, flavored with excellent food (thanks, Dawn) and lots of their friends on the big Eve. Food will probably tend to dominate this post.
(For those who wish I would perform more linguistic and grammatical gymnastics, thereʼs a little word-history tidbit and a nominative/accusative usage reminder buried within, further along.)
We drove down on Friday, pausing very briefly in Iowa City for a luscious lunch at at Devotay. For the second time, a couple of years apart, I enjoyed their (locally grown, supposedly organic) bison sandwich, and Janet had the chicken salad. While I went for lettuce on the side, she had their delicious (tomato-and-basil) soup of the day. Then we drove the rest of the way down to join Dawn at about 3:00 P.M. The fog lifted perhaps ten or fifteen miles south of the one-time state capital, and the last half hour of our drive was very pleasant, as the skies cleared and the sun shone very brightly indeed. Furthermore, the snow was all but vanished in those southern climes and realms.
Perhaps the worst of all possible pictures for this post: one of the two “red” chairs that should disappear (those are boxed Christmas ornaments residing temporarily thereon).
We checked out Kevin’s place of work so that The Lovely One could see some chairs (she’s been wanting to replace our beat-up J.C. Penney discount specials from two decades ago, or so, for years now — not only is pink/pale red not fashionable any longer, in her view, even their recoverings have worn to shreds), and we hadnʼt been out that way for a while. Kevin was busy with a customer and then some office work, but he stopped by us briefly.
We also immediately had met their new dog, Kate, a lovely three-legged border collie/spaniel mix of about four years age, just adopted on Tuesday. Still pretty quiet in her new home, she certainly was a loving lady who liked getting scratched and petted by everyone. The two cats didnʼt seem too perturbed by the newcomer, either, both eventually appearing to check out us visitors about on their usual schedules.
When Kevin got home from work in the evening, we ate wonderful corn chowder of Dawnʼs invention (enjoyed with enhancements again on Saturday for lunch) and then prepared for the new yearʼs party, which was lots of fun, sometimes loud, with about a dozen fun people of various ages and relationships (perhaps somewhat larger than our hostess originally had in mind, but no problem and as already noted, lots of fun). Suiting our advancing ages, we retired only an hour into our Midwestern new year.
On Saturday, while Dawn and Janet went to Burlington for some shopping, Kevin and I just sat in the living room comfortably with coffee and did what we do best around each other — talked. Our esoteric conversations may hold little interest for others but ranged from work woes and pleasures through politics, physics (everyday and subatomic/interstellar), history, etymology (Did you know year and gear were cognates in Old English and Old Norse, meaning essentially “round thingie,” with the Norse word adopted into our language, retaining its nonEnglish pronunciation, as a whole new word in English, same with eye and egg, shirt and skirt, as all AHS English II grads should know? I did and explained at length to Kevin, who apparently listened with interest — but then appearances can be so deceiving, they say), Sepharadic plot issues,* pets, and more and varied and other things that have drifted from my recollection just now. When the women returned, we helped get Dawn set up to take down Christmas decorations and then went down to Oakland Mills for (unsuccessful) bald eagle watching. (Janet and I did, however, have a very close observation of an eagle taking off from a ditch as we drove down on Friday. I saw two more in the air on our drive home Sunday.) We did note on our return to Mt. P. how elegantly and lovely the town fathers had chosen to decorate the central square park and the downtown buildings. Nice job, Mt. Pleasant Chamber and whoever!
The other dilapidated chair exhibiting its worn-to-tatters recovering
Then, with one trip to the grocery store for Kevin and me — and grammatically and otherwise, too, that would be me, not I — (and a double drive-by pair of looks at the lights downtown and in the square by full darkness of night), we settled in for the evening with outstanding beef and vegetable pie for dinner, followed by pleasant games of Fact or Crap and Trivial Pursuit (although I won the former, new game, I trailed everyone else by at least three pies in the latter — sigh). We went to bed even later that night than on New Yearʼs Eve!
We reluctantly returned northward on Sunday morning, after delectable spinach-sauced eggs Benedict for breakfast (Dawn really is the most enviably excellent chef, those gol-durned talented art teachers). Here at Casa Gaidaros**, we washed The Lovely Oneʼs car, did some other chores around the house, and finally started taking down our Christmas decorations (and even got the tree reboxed and stowed away for another year) before settling in to watch My Boy Jack on Masterpiece in the evening.
Now Janetʼs at work, and I have accomplished nothing so far on Tuesday, so I decided, per resolutions with myself, to create a post so that the day wasnʼt an entire waste. (I did awaken early and run four miles this A.M., a feat that has my knees still grumbling about the excess weight I have permitted myself to carry. But itʼs a start.) Now, instead, I have possibly wasted some of your day…*** Itʼs a conundrum.
Happy New Year (again, this time a bit late)!
* The story issues and the physics overlapped briefly when Kevin demonstrated, using a big kitchen chopping knife and his walking stick (this after the ladies had returned) on their pocket door, to show me how Judah might make use of leverage to accomplish a difficult feat and overcome an obstacle when he and Søren break into the Red Witchʼs Green Tower.
** Just to pose a little linguistic Puzzler® for you all… (I was tempted to translate what I had in mind as elithios.)
*** Nearly 1150 words worth, by the way (so much for trying to ensure my posts were shorter in 2011).
— And thanks, WordPress, for long since providing indentation without resort-ation to pull quotes!
©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A