In truth, two regular days, with the addition of people celebrating my birthday. I went to breakfast yesterday with my BFF Carol, who I met in 1972.
Carol and I go to breakfast about once a month, to a little hole in the wall near me. We take up a corner booth for the better part of a morning, between the breakfast and lunch crowds.
Between the mountains of Pennsylvania, and the ravines of northeast Ohio, Carol has always lived in a snow belt. A year ago February she put her house on the market, sights set on Charleston, South Carolina.
To her dismay, though not mine, the house didn’t sell. Then, yesterday, “The house goes under contract tomorrow!” They probably won’t be gone before July. The good news—another place to visit. So, bacon and eggs and home fries and cake and which of two houses Carol will buy. She’s pretty excited.
When I picked up Laura from art class, I found Mrs. P and Laura giggling. They had not been caught shopping for a present for grandma, instead of painting a still life. A lovely bar of lemon soap.
At home, a beautiful stir fry for supper, then cards and cake. Such a cake. White almond (think marzipan!) with raspberry filling, whipped cream frosting and shaved white chocolate. I had two pieces.
And today, a birthday lunch with Beth and Bill, Ruth, Caroline and Francis, the last two still on spring break. Caroline to the left of me, Francis to the right. I wanted to hear about France’s bike trip.
France is my fourteen year old grandson; two weeks younger than Laura and far taller than either of us. His parents have raised extremely free range children. France has bikes stashed at the homes of friends, the easier to get around to after school jobs and activities. A year ago he and a friend were riding from school to Little Italy, to get a latte and a haircut. An old Italian grandma stopped sweeping her sidewalk to brandish the broom and tell them to ride in the street. “My mom won’t let me,” France had to confess.
Here’s an even better Francis story. Last December he turned fourteen, got his work permit and went on the official payroll of a restaurant near school. He came through the door waiving his first paycheck, indignantly, overhead. “They’re nickel and dimeing me to death!” he protested.
The actual trip took them four days; the weather was beautiful and they didn’t see much more than cows out in the farmlands of rural Ohio. For those of you who know where they were, they picked up the Towpath Trail in Canton, where industrial civilization begins, and rode on home.
Francis had the house burger, which comes skewered with that knife.
In case you can't make it all out, there is a beef burger, bacon, cheese, lettuce, a fried egg, and possible more.
Salmon for Caroline.