|Egg salad on rye, garnished with heart of palm|
Most nights I have company either for happy hour or supper, be it friends, neighbors, or family. Last night was a special treat. Longtime treasured friend Linda came in from Granbury (for non-Texans, it’s maybe forty miles from Fort Worth, so Linda doesn’t just casually drop in). Jordan joined us for a half glass of wine, and then Linda and I were off to meet three other friends for dinner.
The ladies we met, like ourselves, were former wives of osteopathic physicians. Linda and one other are widowed; three of us are divorcees though only one ex-husband survives. (No, I’m not rubbing my hands in glee—they were friends of mine too.) We meet for dinner only occasionally, but quarantine kept us apart longer than usual, and we were glad to share stories of old times, catch up on families (who got Covid and who didn’t), and share our outlooks on life now that the world seems to be opening up again. As usual, I was the only one who enjoyed quarantine, and Linda, who knows me better than the others, snapped, “Of course you did. You’re a nester.” I think she’s right.
It was lovely to have dinner on a patio surrounded by trees, at a table still socially distanced. Caesar salad, veal piccata, and a couple of glasses of wine. We came back to the cottage and sat on the patio with Jordan and Christian until the chill in the air drove us inside. Linda was to meet a friend this morning in the Stockyards district, so she spent the night on my couch rather than drive back to Granbury, and I kept her up later than she’s used to talking and working at my computer. Strange but nice when you’ve lived alone for so long to wake in the night and know there is someone else in the cottage. I have one light in the living area that stays on 24/7, but she turned it off to sleep. So I kept thinking, “Why is it so dark in here?”
This morning we lingered over tea and scones. Then she was off to the North Side, and I was left to play catch up and do some work. Somehow it slipped my mind that I was supposed to be reading page proofs, so I devoted time to that.
But if last night was a feast of company, tonight is a famine. Jordan has gone to Austin to visit older daughter Megan, and the Burton boys—Christian and Jacob—were helping someone move and would eat dinner thereafter. So I was on my own. When you have no inspiration for dinner, what do you fix? Usually with me, it’s tuna, but tonight I made egg salad.
I’ve been making egg salad all my adult life, always the same ordinary way. So I saved a recipe with ideas for variation, principally bacon and cream cheese. But when it came right down to it, I remembered the reason I quit buying Central Market egg salad was I didn’t like the bacon in it, and when I tried to put cream cheese in a dish a few days ago, it was hard to work with and clumped, even though I heated it. I decided on plain old-fashioned egg salad with mayonnaise, mustard, and dill relish. Made a great sandwich.
A thought in passing: Americans do and believe so many things these days that are, to me, beyond belief. But the current one that boggles my mind is all the people who panicked and began to hoard gasoline when the East Cost pipeline was hacked. I saw a couple loading the back of a Suburban with containers of gas. My first thought was that I didn’t want to ride anywhere with them. But looking further, I began to appreciate their use of proper gas containers, because I saw pictures of people putting gas in plastic bags, tying the tops, and putting them in their cars. Are they serious? What level of stupid are they?
Did you read about the man who loaded his Hummer (who knew they were still around) with gas (it did not say what kind of container), got in, and lit a cigarette? Within minutes, his Hummer was ashes. Fortunately, he escaped injury.
A post somewhere on the net skewered these hoarders, saying some people at a party hearing there might not be enough pizza to go around, take three or four pieces, while others, fearing not everybody would get some, limited themselves to one piece. It is, the poster aid, a perfect illustration of Americans today.
Which brought me back to the theme of so many sermons at my church today: do you always think of others first or do you think of yourself? A question that might make a lot of us do some deep introspection.