Sadly as one ages, one's standards slip along
with the firmness of one's veneer. Looking
back at my youth I can't help but think that
in hindsight - I was a major ass. Back in the
day I religiously adhered to the most foolish
of dictums such as never using colored tapers.
Thus I was only willing to stick (as in candle)
with white, ivory, beeswax or in the chicest
of circumstances black. While I'm happy to
report that I still light a colorless wick, I don't
care what others do. Rather, what I appreciate
is when somebody simply welcomes me to
their dining table. That alone colors my world.
Each of us has our own foibles. The rules and
regulations that we hope insure a proper life.
Yet when hard times or a crisis hit, suddenly
karma provides a bitch slap of reality. And all
that once seemed all so important matters not.
Even now Frank and I live in a rather rarified
way. One which as I was recently reminded
isn't necessarily the way those we love opt to
exist. Neither is right nor wrong. Hence as it's
been oft said - to each their own. My problem
is that "casual" has become the mode du jour.
A modus operandi that I still consider, lazy,
slovenly, and if nothing else quite careless.
At least in my book it's the little things that
matter. The niceties are meant to make our
time here on earth better than the ordinary.
Hence whenever we entertain we go out of
our way to make our guests feel pampered,
special, and indulged. Beyond helping to
avoid filling our landfills quickly, theres
another reason for using cloth versus paper
napkins. Which is that theres little as pretty
as a properly starched and folded square of
linen. The same applies to how one dishes
it out. Using granny's china not only sets the
table - it keeps her memory alive.
If one considers the evening meal as just an
opportunity to refuel - theres no good reason
to fuss. However gathering together to share
a meal can be so much more. It's the time of
the day when everybody gets to spend some
time together. And if you're in the family way
it's one of the few opportunities for all ages
to talk, engage, and hopefully share a healthy
meal. Something that I doubt happens when
one pulls up to the drive through window.
Nor as they throw back some "happy" meals
to ravenous tots in the back seat. There has
to be a better way. Or are we too far gone?
Easy does it
It's really not as hard as you think. Last night
we ate at home. Starting with a salad. Then
dining on chicken hind quarters and roasted
squash with onions and apples (from our tree.)
Finishing with fresh strawberries and cream.
If that seems daunting you can easily do the
same. Buy pre-washed salad greens in a bag.
Convection roast your main course in a third
to half the normal time. Slice up some berries
while dinner bakes. Finally sit in the dining
room rather on a stool at the island. Meals
such as these are not only easy but ways we
can dine outside of the prepared food box.
Why spend your life searching for happiness?
I'm fairly certain that nirvana is easily within
reach. All thats necessary is a willingness to
indulge in the simplest of pastimes - the joy
of each other's company. and while you're at
it, step far beyond the status quo by making
your time together more special. Even if you
grab a bucket and biscuits from KFC - set a
pretty table, open a bottle of vino, and try to
sit down for more than fifteen minutes. Soon
you'll realize that at least for the moment, all
is right with the world. And hopefully look
forward to doing the same tomorrow night.