Life has been crazy hectic lately. Traveling for work, homework, social obligations – and through it all I have been remiss in writing about so many things.
I still haven’t finished blogging about my beyond amazing trip. I can’t believe a month ago today I was returning from the UK. I promise, I will post about meeting friends in Wales, Amsterdam, and London.
The last thing I wrote about was the party I was holding here for my birthday. I do have the best friends – and hope you all have equally wonderful people in your life.
Not only did it touch me, the people who attended, but it was the whole atmosphere of the evening that was so special. With each arrival of guests I felt more and more honored.
First to arrive: A very dear friend and her boyfriend. I like him immensely. He likes to THINK he comes across like this guy, but I can make him smile any time! I’m convinced he’s made of Peeps inside. They brought some Maytag Blue Cheese, some Goat Cheese crusted in Herbs and other really yummy cheeses. When they arrived, she told me they were early, because she has to set up the cheese tray. Then she said, “Larry – take this to Mit and have her wipe the bottom of it, there’s something on it.”
When I turned the tray over to wipe it – there was a card – saying the tray was my gift. Then he showed me the two wines he’d brought … A 2003 Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2003 D-cubed Zinfandel. These were fantastic wines. Later in the evening he sidled up to me – and handed me another present. Opening it I found a box of Reidel stemware. The last time they’d been to dinner he broke a wine glass while helping me do dishes!! As if I could ever be upset about that. But it was very kind and thoughtful of him – and not at all “badger-like”. I kissed him on the cheek and he blushed and everyone laughed. It was good.
The next couple who arrived just moved into my neighborhood. I have been eagerly awaiting the completion of their home construction (although not as eagerly as them, I am sure). Partly because it will be nice to have them nearby and drop in on them . But also? Because they built an artist studio in back of their house for her. They’ve installed internet out there – so I can be the “writer-in-residence” while she paints! I think her work is pretty spectacular. I hope, with her help, to get Blue a gallery showing of his work.
She brought a gorgeous tray of cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto – plus a gift. When I opened it up – I was stunned. She gave me two of her paintings. Vibrant Martini Glasses rendered in hot pinks and sunny yellows. One, has one olive in it, and the other has two olives. They’re called “Dirty” and “Dirtier”. Aren’t church friends fun?
Another set of friends from church arrived bearing the birthday cake. Which was above and beyond the call of kindness. It was chocolate, with raspberry filling coated in chocolate ganache and covered with chocolate shavings. Halfway through the night I noticed there was a small sliver missing. Turns out the culprit was her husband. I forgave him when he said my birthday present from him was driving time behind the wheel of his Z05 Corvette!!
I also got a couple of bottles of “fun wine.” One was a 2005 Writers Block Cabernet Franc – another was called, Jest Red. The “Writer’s Block” came from the son and daughter-in-law of the cheese tray friend. They also gave me a cactus – and bets have been placed on how long it will survive!
Then, one of the couples who I went to the beach with made a big deal out of presenting their wine selection to me. It was a Charles Shaw Cabernet. If you’re from California, you’d know it as “Two Buck Chuck”. We laughed about them bringing such a wine to my house … and then, as I tried to graciously accept the bottle, I realized there was something taped to the back. I looked. It was a hand lathed pen. The wood stock is beautiful. It has swirls of red, yellow, and green woods among the blond. This gift touched me so much, I cried.
Enough with the sappy stuff! There were other people there – all old friends – and then, among the all – a new friend appeared! Some of you might recognize him. It was wonderful to meet him for the first time. And although he professes parties “aren’t his thing” he did a good job as photographer and appeared to be enjoying himself. I hope so. We’re slated to go out and have sushi soon. I’m looking forward to the evening.
You’d think that would be the end of the goodness, wouldn’t you? But I had a few more surprises in store for me. A friend I met in London sent me a bottle of wine for my birthday. Totally unexpected and overwhelming. Especially when I saw what he sent. It’s a 2000 – one of the best years this region of Italy has ever had. I will have to save it for a special dinner. Another friend, a writing friend gave me a bottle of red. The label it's sold under? "Bitch". We laughed a lot over her going to store and asking for it! Can you imagine asking for a wine with that name? What fun.
Finally – the well wishes from the blog-osphere really touched me. Among them were wishes from my Mom and Dad, recalling the day I was born. Very special sentiments to read!
Thank you to everyone who made the day so great.