As you’ll recall, I’m writing about our trip to Durham in May. And I’m doing something a little different. I’m trying to reproduce (where I can read ‘em, dang it!) the notes I took along the way in a steno pad.
I’m picking up where I left off. This is from Thursday, May 26, and we’re still in the plane.
[From the notebook.]
Okay, why are we going to visit Vincent right now? Basically because we want to see him. We haven’t since Lockdown began. And, bluntly, we owe him a visit. He came out to see us in both Albuquerque and Georgetown and we haven’t been to see his new home in Durham. (In fact, somewhat remarkably, he is the only one of the Massachussets-crew of friends who *has* been out to see us.)
And then, of course, there’s “Friends’ Easter.”
How to explain “Friends’ Easter?”
Well, it was a regular gathering that we and our friends used to have once a year in Massachussets. We’d all decide on a date...near, but not on Easter Sunday...pool a bit of money, and decide on side dishes that we’d each provide. Then, we’d use the collected funds to purchase a leg of lamb. Vincent, who is an expert amateur chef, would prepare the lamb according to his own, secret recipe. Okay, it wasn’t really secret. It was lamb with whole bits of garlic secreted under the skin in selected locations, and then carefully cooked over a period of hours.
If there is a heaven, I’m pretty sure it will involve eating very large amounts of exactly such lamb.
Unless, of course, you’re a sheep. In which case, we might have a bit of a problem.
Vincent paired the lamb with what we referred to as “those potatoes.” I was never sure how they were prepared. I knew they were cut into chunks, seasoned with some sort of herbs, and then cooked in the pan juices produced by the lamb. But, whatever, they were amazing.
This is, obviously, *not* Martha in Durham. It *is* a photo of Martha in Santa Fe, specifically at Museum Hill, one of my favorite places in "the city different.”
With the departure of so many of us from the Boston-area...Martha and me to, first, New Mexico and then Texas, Vincent to North Carolina, David and Emily to Virginia and then to Texas, our friends Jim and Tom to the Berkshires, Martha’s friend (and adopted sister) Judy to Kansas, and so on and so on, the tradition of Friends’ Easter sort of came to a halt around 2015. But, then, this year, we decided we were going to restart it. We would all meet, we said, in Durham, and have Vincent’s Lamb in May of 2022, come h@ll or high water.
Only h@ll and high water regarded our plans, and chortled. First, several of the New England crew decided that they didn’t feel comfortable flying just yet (Covid’s still a problem, after all). Then, the rest of the New Englanders found they had commitments they couldn’t break. Then, David and Emily rethought their situation...they really wanted to come, but they became parents again in December, and the idea of traveling on a plane with a toddler and a baby didn’t seem particularly appealing...
Long story short, it turned out that it would be only us and Vincent who could get together.
At first, we were tempted to cancel the thing entirely. But, then, we figured, what the heck? We’re bored. We’ve been in lockdown for two years. Martha was recovering from her fall for three months after that. It’s time to boogie.
So, we co-ordinated with Vincent, packed our bags, and headed to the airport...
For better or worse...and a whole lot in between.
The cabin attendants have just come on the loudspeaker to say that we may have some rough weather ahead. Oh, goody...
Ah well. It will remind me of most of the last two years.
Same sort of bounce and queasiness.
More to come.
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