Friday, December 09, 2005

Good Friends, Good Coffee

It's Friday in New England and we are getting pummeled with rapidly accumulating snow. This is the time of year when I ask myself what the frack I'm doing here. But Jackson is over at the neighbors sledding and drinking hot chocolate, so for him this is just a colder slice of heaven. There isn't much more to wish for than a happy child.

Thanks for all the comments on my book review. Eve made a good point, that I shouldn't be shy about my opinion. It was proffered honestly. I feel a little bad that I'm picking on a dead guy, but then again I don't have to worry about him finding my remarks and putting me on the black list with any of his publisher friends.

Janey gave me a link a while back to a list of questions to consider in a reading-group discussion on the Larry Brown book. After reading through them I felt I had missed some subtleties, of which there is no doubt. But I still didn't care for it, but perhaps it was well crafted, even if the story wasn't personally moving.

I don't know if I mentioned, but our friends Vicki and Richard visited a couple weekends ago, friends I've had since before I met my wife. They were engaged and living together, and I was the single guy who would most likely be so--forever (cue the evil laugh). But of course I did get married and had our first son before they got pregnant themselves. My wife and I became outsiders to them for a while, until they had a child of their own. Vicki gained an immediate appreciation for the trauma we went through raising a child without any help from anyone. After Vicki had her baby, she gained a new respect for us, and we've been good friends ever since.

Back in the early days before kids, we would sit in their small San Francisco apartment and play Euchre and smoke the wacky, laughing, telling stories, imitating our favorite Star Wars characters--as time raced like the Lombard traffic that roared unnoticed outside our windows.

During their recent visit, the most amazing thing happened. The kids played with one another. They didn't need us. Then Vicki said, "Hey, I know. Let's play some Euchre." Whoa. How long had it been? It took us a long time to find two decks of cards to shuffle together, but we did. And we managed to play three full games before the kids finally called an end to our foolishness. They acted like they didn't remember the rules, saying things like, "Now what's higher, the Jick or the Jack?" Yeah right. They stomped us so bad, that when we won our first point somewhere in the second game, Vicki said, "Aww Rich, that's so cute. They scored a point."

The only thing missing was the wacky that we took for granted in those days. I've said before that I don't have any way to get any here, and I'm not about to ask around.

We got a FedEx package in the mail today. Inside was a beautiful framed picture of their boy and ours, sitting together under the canopy of our play set in the back yard, a nice reminder of our time together. Richard is a photographer, and a damn fine one at that. As Jackson and I were looking at it, the phone rang.


"It's Vicki."

"Vick," I said, "we just got your package. I just love the picture."

"Oh," she paused, "are you just now opening it?"


"Have you seen the coffee?"

"No, you sent me some coffee?"

"Yeah, but it's special coffee."

"Like Starbucks? Cool! I just r..." Then it hit me. "Ohhhh. You mean special coffee."

"It's just a little, so don't get too excited."

"You are insane, and unbelievably cool."

"We had such a good time with you guys, and we were talking about it when we left your place that night, and we decided we had to do it."

Like I said, it's the little things in life. It's nice to be reminded that there are a few people out there that so highly of you.

The snow has let up, so it's off to plow I go. Tomorrow morning, if the weather allows, we are off to New Hampshire and Santa's Village. Then on Sunday it's Jackson's birthday.

Have a good weekend everyone.


Shesawriter said...

We got a mix of slush and rain. The schools were closed and the kids drove me nuts. Needless to say, I've got a headache. :-) Then we had to go to the mall, and my son insisted on getting Santa pictures. Of course he wanted to know how Santa can be at three malls at the same time. I told him Santa has helpers who look like him and represent him in the mall. I said the real Santa is at the North Pole getting stuff ready for Christmas. See, you tell one lie, then you have continue telling more. I can't wait until this kid grows old enough so I don't have to keep inventing these outrageous whoppers.


Mr. T said...

See in our household, Santa has a touch of omnipotence being good friends with christ and all. ;)

Even though my older son knows there is no "santa claus" in that there is a person in red that comes down the chimney, he's been told that its not the person that makes Santa its the idea of Santa and that in itself makes him more real than any physical entity.

Scott, don't go drinking all that coffee at once, even if it makes the plowing go by that much faster.

Old friends are great. I love visits from them. How's the plans to move south coming? (been away too long)

Eve said...

Old friends are the greatest! Happy Birthday Jackson!!

Beth said...

Am I the only one who shuns old friends and *ahem* coffee? I feel so alone. Haha.

Scott said...

Tanya - I've been answering some tough questions too, lately. Can Santa hear me right now? Can he read my thoughts? How does he see me? I am not enjoying this part of it, and feel a little guilty.

Mr. T - I tried some of the coffee just last night, and unbelievably it helped me sleep. Go figure. As far as the plans, they seem to be in the forefront lately, now that our insurance has gone up a couple hundred a month.

Eve - Thanks Eve, enjoy the weekend. Tick, tick, tick. You know what I mean.

Beth - I doubt you are the only one. Too bad about the old friends though. There is something about a friend you've had forever.

magnetbabe said...

"Like Starbucks? Cool!" Died laughing. How old do you feel? I always find amazing the friends that drift in and out of our lives. It gives me hope that some of my old friends will be back some day. Great story.

Happy Birthday, Jackson!

Shesawriter said...

Mr T,

I like that. Toss in some magic and the sky is the limit, huh? LOL! Maybe I'll do that the next time he starts firing questions at me. Santa is omnipotent. LOL!


Man, and I thought my little boy was a pistol. You've got your hands full. LOL! I feel your pain. :-)


mr. schprock said...

Hmm, this sounds like it's mountain grown — the richest and most aromatic kind of coffee. Maybe one of my old friends will send me some oregano some day.

Is Euchre a really good game? I get together with friends and family for occasional "game nights." Maybe we'll work that in.

Mrs.T said...

HOLY SH!T... I can't believe that traveled via fedex...

I shun it too, it was never my D-O-C though.

Scott said...

MagnetBabe - I don't feel too old, just disconnected from the old life, which has become a repeating pattern. Get settled; grow comfortable with new friends; move. Sick of it.

Tanya - When my grandma visited, Jackson asked her in confidence how Santa managed to get down such a small chimney. Grandma told me that "he suspects!"

Mr. Schprock - Euchre is a great game for hanging out with friends. It doesn't require a whole lot of thinking, but still has an element of strategy enough to seperate good from bad play.

Mrs T - Wasn't that a ballsy move? No wonder she called. I freaked her out on the phone. While she was talking I said, "Hold on someone is at the door. Shit! It's the FBI. Gotta go."

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

mmm special coffee.....

Kathleen said...

Ah, the joys of finding people in SF who actually know what Euchre is much less how to play it!!!

Wow, you made so much more money than me when I lived there if you could afford a place on Lombard - that's a downright ritzy neighborhood compared to mine. ;-)

The old TV special Santa Claus is coming to Town answers all those tough questions, i.e., how does he see us? The magic crystal snowball shown to him by the Winter Warlock. Just watched it on Saturday.