Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Still Single?

Am I still single? When I first thought of writing down that question, my idea was that it might be ripe for a lot of interesting speculation. Obviously I'm not married, and I still live in my own home, but there are a lot of things in my life today different from when I began my "sixty and single in Seattle" experiment. What's the dividing line between single and not?

I am aware that single does not equal "looking." Many women and men on their own are not looking and intend never to look. Their lives are complete in a single state. However, full as my single life has been, partnership is huge with me. I've been looking. But at least for now, it's over. I figured that out at the library.

A couple of months ago, I decided to introduce myself to the -- wow! big! new! bookful! -- Ballard Branch library. I pulled an armload of possibles off the new-book shelves and hauled them to a table where I could sit and inspect them more closely.

At some stage, my gaze fell upon a reader at an adjacent table, facing me. I could see the cover of his book, The Physics of Healing.

How intriguing! or, wait, was it just silly woo-woo stuff?

I went over and asked if I could interrupt and find out more about the book. He said it was by a Bastyr guy and struck him as authentic. In describing it, he mentioned something I'd recently read about in The Atlantic, and then we traded some other allusions in common, and I noticed that he was handsome and in his 60s, I'd guess, and it turns out he cycles, and so on and so on.

He said, "We should have dinner." First I said, "Are you single?" And then, "This is too weird. I can't tell you how many times I have scanned libraries with the conviction that somewhere therein was a book-loving single man, and now here you are, and my heart is already busy."

I'm not a good date-around woman, never was, since second grade. I prefer -- in fact, I'm unable to do otherwise -- to focus on one man at a time. It's not a contest, after all, where the one with the most points wins.

Was it just life's crazy irony to meet my library man too late? Maybe so, but I thought that day, and still believe, that there's something about my sweetheart that's making me beautiful. Maybe there were library guys all along, and I just didn't attract them.

But, honestly? Now? Who cares?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rough Start

One thing I love about my Michigan time is that bike routes are painted on the roads, leftover markings from the annual end-of-June Menominee River Century. I did the 40K last week, and twice I've ridden partial routes of about 34 miles. Today's the day for my 80K. I was up before 7, which is good because I don't like to rush. Ever. I gave myself until 8 to head out on the bike. It was still cool, with a high predicted of only 80, refreshing compared to our recent heat and humidity here.

Mom and I had our blueberries and peanut butter toast on the porch stoop. I decided to stir up my bread recipe before I left, and did. But when I opened the cupboard to find a plate to put over the bread bowl, some tenuously stacked dishes on the top shelf teetered (tottered?) and one crashed into my bread bowl. Did it break? Not the bread bowl, but the fancy saucer that fell had a big chip off the side. So I felt through my bread, found two chips, got Mom involved in trying to see if the two chips together were sufficient to explain the missing bit on the plate. We decided the bread will be safe. (If nothing else, we can slice it thin. We both eat slowly, chew thoroughly.)

Still, not yet 8 am when I head for my bike with my peanut butter sandwich and banana. Uh, back tire is flat. At home, I could deal with this by myself, but in Michigan, I rely on John at Marinette Cyclery for air, even. He opens at 9:30. I guess I'll get busy washing Mom's windows.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rafe Esquith in Seattle

Oh drat, here I am in Michigan -- which is sublime -- but does it have to be when Rafe Esquith comes to Seattle? He's speaking at the central library downtown on Thursday, August 5, 7-8:30, for free!

I read about Esquith last winter, then read his book, Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire, which I could not put down. If you love kids or heroes or Shakespeare -- his elementary school kids do a Shakespeare play every year -- you will want to hear Esquith.

Go to happy hour first, at The Brooklyn or Maximilian's at the Market, and be sure to take a bus to get to all this city excitement. If you want.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Odd Ingredients of the Upper Peninsula

Last night we had Mom's new salad for dinner. She isn't sure where she copied the recipe from, but it involves shredded carrots, chopped fresh cilantro, roasted cumin seeds, feta cheese, and "calamari olives."

We've all now, in our family, taken to calling calamatas "calamaris."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Back at Mom's

This is Mom, not, obviously, at breakfast, but on the porch with her daily glass of wine. A big glass.
So I'm back in Michigan, my annual summer visit to Mom's. I woke this morning at seven, and went back to bed just to enjoy the coziness of the sound of the falling rain outside. When I came downstairs at eight, I found this note on the dining room table: "Gone to the store. Waffles for breakfast. Love." But Mom had just come in from the store, and was already busy in the kitchen, unpacking berries and whipping cream and buttermilk for the Belgian waffles she makes. The best whipped cream: half a pint of cream, whipped into soft clouds, flavored only with a half teaspoon of sugar.

They say youth is wasted on the young. I'm thinking being somebody's little kid is wasted on the kid. No kid could appreciate as this grown woman does the opportunity to just lounge around on the couch in my PJs, reading my novel, until Mom says, "Breakfast is ready, Mary." A kid takes this for granted; I'm loving it.

All material copyright © 2009 by Mary Davies