Monday, October 31, 2011
Table Talk - Rainy Day Lattes and Books
After our big Sunday dinner, I ditched the dishes and took off for the afternoon! My youngest daughter, who is a reader and a writer like me, asked me to go to the new used-book store that just opened in a city between us and Portland. It was a rainy day, and although I would have happily gone for a walk with my raincoat on rather than drive the dreary highway, she wasn't enthused about that idea at all so we headed to the book store instead. But there is something just wonderful about rainy days and books. Maybe it goes back to my childhood when I actually had time to read for HOURS upstairs in my attic bedroom under the eaves (yes, I really did have an attic bedroom under the eaves...and, believe me, it sounds way more romantic than it really was!). I would lay across my bed and read while the rain pittered on the roof and pattered on the panes of the window and go far, far away...so far away that it took my mother either having to stomp angrily up the stairs or yell loudly from the kitchen to bring me back to my present surroundings and discover that she had called me nicely about three times already! So with those sweet sentiments in mind, I guess I didn't really mind driving the dreary highway into town.
I have a great relationship with both my daughters. My oldest is very social and loves to talk and touch and own you. I love to spend time with her because she is very entertaining and engaging. My youngest daughter is the romantic writer who lives inside her head like I do, and we often laugh at ourselves because we can sit in the car for a long time and say nothing, each very content with her own thoughts. Don't worry, she can chat my ear off too, and that's how I bribe her to take walks with me ("Come on, Kate...you can tell me all about so-and-so while we walk"). But on outings like this, we enter together, survey the land, and then slink off in separate directions as we follow our personal inclincations and leanings. She is young enough to still enjoy "drama" books that are a little hip, more current, and rather sensational. I tend to gravitate backwards, drawn to the solid-covered hardbacks that are old-fashioned and classic in their plots and prose. Bumping into each other along the rows of books, we would stop to compare titles and then part to continue our dreamy drifting. Finally, we felt satisfied with our finds, both of us quite predictable, with Kate selecting a popular, newly-published fun and fantastical fiction novel and me selecting a matching pair of navy blue-covered hardbacks published in 1935 and 1938 and a novel based on the pioneer diary of a woman's great-grandmother written in autobiography style, none the least bit sensational or exciting, just a good, solid story. And here is Happy Item #1: I had a special coupon that allowed us to get a free book, so for $4 we bought 4 books. Then we tucked our books under our arms and went for coffee. And here is Happy Item #2: I had a special Starbucks coupon for a $5 Grande at the pleasing price of $2! So we splurged and ordered rich coffee drinks...hers a pumpkin spice latte and mine a salted caramel mocha (half-sweet, no whip!). Normally, Starbucks isn't my favorite coffee place anymore...I prefer the artsy shops in Portland that my son frequents and recommends, like Coava, Barista, The Ace Hotel, and Cafe Umbria where the beans are fresh-roasted and each cup of espresso is individually pulled and presented with foam art. But I had coupons! So for $8 we spent a perfect afternoon together---sipping coffee, reading, browsing, dreaming, chatting, coccooning and relaxing on a dark gray, rainy day. Bliss!
What was not bliss was coming home to the dishes after our big Sunday dinner! Ha ha...bet you had forgotten about them, just like I did! But I couldn't finish them; I had to make a batch of cheddar cheese biscuits and run out the door again to some friends' house. When I came home the second time at 8:30 that night, then I had to finish the dishes...and the extra dishes from making biscuits, and even more dishes from our weekend gang making grilled cheese sandwiches. At least they had emptied the dishwasher for me! So I did dishes until 9:45 and then did laundry until 10:15 and then got ready for bed and turned out the light at 11. Oh, almost forgot. Our Sunday menu: Chicken souvlaki in pita flat bread with hummus, tzatziki, and homemade bruschetta, lemon-roasted potatoes, Italian zucchini and sundried tomatoes, and Greek salad, with chocolate M&M cake and ice cream for dessert. Goodnight!