Wednesday, May 11, 2011

An unexceptional day

Eastside Road, May 11, 2011—
YES, MAY 11. We begin our fifty-fifth year of marriage today, and as I posted to Facebook, "Fifty-four years of fun and frenzy, food and foolishness. What a woman! Smartest thing I ever did! "; and as a friend responded, "54 years of wonderful company and equally good food. We should all be so lucky."

In over a thousand posts to this site, and a few posted earlier to another, I've written about what I've eaten. When at home, of course, Lindsey invariably has the same meal (occasionally substituting a yam or sweet potato, which I loathe, when I have a good old baked Russet). You'll have noticed we eat out often. Occasionally I note her choices, but not always. Increasingly, I've noticed, we'll order the same. I've finally learned what some friends have known for years: she knows how to order from a menu; it pays to follow suit.

We decided not to go out to celebrate today. There'll be time to celebrate later in the month, and next month too, when we're back on the road. (You'll see.) But it didn't seem right to cook, either. I made a nice guacamole to have with a glass of wine with a friend, a fruit-tree expert who dropped by to help us plant a couple of almond trees — there's some nice symbolism there, planting two almond trees in one whole on our anniversary (one Marcona, one bitter-almond, to drive the symbolism home, I suppose).

We supped on some of last night's pasta salad, brought home from another friend's dinner-party. The table and conversation, and travel in search of them: these are close to the top of our enjoyments.

And did I mention: food, eaten in good company, sourced and prepared with care and affection, the essence of nutrition, is a mainstay of a good marriage. I am eternally and fully grateful to my best and closest friend for all these years.
Sauvignon blanc, Preston of Dry Creek, 2009
The photo's twenty years old at least, and not very good, and clumsily edited. But it gives an idea of our life here in the country.


Curtis Faville said...


One of the first instances in my life, of my sense of impending mortality, was when I was planting the sapling of a camphor tree in our new yard (circa 1992). I thought: it will take, maybe, 25 years for this tree to attain a profile sufficient to refer to it as a tree, instead of a large bush. I suddenly my chagrin...that I would be an "old" man by that time. I'd never thought of any project in quite that way before. Now, 20 years later, the camphor tree is approaching "tree" status, and I'm that many years older.

And you're in your seventies, and still planting trees, which will grow to maturity long after you and I are long gone, and will be there for generations of occupants of your property. We can't imagine who will be living in our houses in the future. It seems odd thinking of people living here, in a space designed for our exclusive use. "Late 20th Century Berkeley board-&-batten" by Jacobson & Silverstein.

It gives one pause. Merry and I have been married 41 years. Mazeltov!

Charles Shere said...

A very old Chinese mandarin told his gardener to plant a walnut tree, as he was fond of walnuts. But master, said the gardener, it will take the tree ten or twelve years to reach sufficient maturity to repay the trouble. In that case, said the mandarin, plant it this afternoon.