An Evening: Reflection

It  was mostly a day of old man preventive maintenance.

Tuesdays are trash days, and is my habit, i arose early, did my routine to-dos, and took out the trash. i went from my dermatology check (all’s fine for a change), had a crown put back in, and…oh yeh, i took a nap. i did a little organizing and some preps for my trip back home. Maureen cooked some superb tilapia and a new cole slaw. i sat down and watched about ten minutes of Kentucky drubbing Vanderbilt in my favorite gymnasium of all time, switched to “Who Shot Liberty Valence,” but since i already knew the answer as i have watched this movie about two dozen times, after a while i turned that off as well.

Maureen was reading, sitting on the love seat with her legs up and Dakota in her lap. She occasionally watched the ball game (i’ve succeeded into turning her into a baseball fan beyond my wildest dreams, but she is only half interested in Vanderbilt basketball: i think  that will change if i ever get her to a regular season game in Memorial Gymnasium), and as a movie aficionado sans westerns, she wasn’t thrilled with Liberty or his shooter.

Before our supper, which is nearly all ways on dinner trays in the family room, i started a fire. It was borderline too warm, but i professed feeling a bit chilled as an excuse. i also know fire in the hearth days are numbered and i can never have enough. i have reported earlier how i was once known in early October in the Southwest corner to open up windows and turn on a floor fan or two in order for it to be cool enough to start a fire.

Maureen put up the cooking stuff and i washed the dishes. i added a couple of eucalyptus logs (they burn as well as oak and the smell is delightful) and stoked the fire. i sat back in my chair (i still don’t and never will have my recliner; designer wife thinks they are ugly and don’t fit with the decor; i don’t care and like recliners, have resigned myself to my fate, and laugh when i can make fun of her for not having one) and turned on Handel’s “Water Music” and a book.

When i play “Water Music,” which is often, i always think of two things as it begins. i picture myself on a plush barge with Henry VIII punting down the Thames with another barge attached alongside with the orchestra performing the piece. And i think of my daughter Blythe’s wedding. She chose excerpts from Handel’s work for her music and instead of the traditional “Here Comes the Bride” for her walk to the altar, the horn section of “Water Music” was played — okay, i don’t remember the section so now i will have to look it up again, but that’s okay as it means i have to listen to the whole thing again today — and her Daddy still beams thinking of Blythe, Jason, and her music.

i am well into the book. It’s “The Slavish Shore” by Jeffrey L. Amestoy. The biography was recommended to me by Dennis Smith, a good friend and retired history teacher. Dennis and i were talking at a party toward the end of last year when we discovered we were both big fans of Richard Henry Dana, Jr. and his book “Two Years Before the Mast.” Alan Hicks and i hardly ever get together without discussing some aspect of Dana’s 1834-36 sailing adventure from Boston to the west coast and back. Dennis recommended Amestoy’s story of Dana. i bought one for myself, my brother-in-law, and of course, Alan and his family.

It is a good book. Dennis was correct.

And it was about as pleasant an evening as i can recall. Quiet. Fire in the fireplace. Handel’s “Water Music” wafting in the air. Maureen and the cat. Reading. Thinking about all the good things in this world, and how lucky i am to be where i am and who i’m with, and somehow Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s “Our House” flashes into my mind:

I’ll light the fire
You put the flowers in the vase that you bought today

Staring at the fire for hours and hours while I listen to you
Play your love songs all night long for me, only for me…
Such a cozy room…
Our house is a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy ’cause of you…

I’ll light the fire while you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today.

And you know what? Old ain’t so bad.

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