Saturday, September 23, 2017

Ladies' Night

          Last night I went to an evening soiree (fancy name, but we’re usually in jeans) that a friend organizes periodically. She gathers friends and acquaintances she’s met around town and by way of her role as one of our town’s select board. It’s a bit random; my friend chooses people she’d like to connect, or whom she finds interesting, and most of these women I would never have met otherwise.

          The fact that there’s such a changing range of ages and interests and backgrounds makes the conversation that much more unpredictable. Last night the talk around the kitchen table wandered through chickens (very hot in town due to their tick-consuming skills), the high school band, accessing state grants encouraging our town to become a “green” town in construction, hosting foreign exchange students, and the cost of pistachios.

          I (re-)met a woman who apparently had also worked at the high school where I used to teach. Her name was familiar, but I don’t think I ever interacted with her directly. I was usually sealed away in my classroom, and she oversaw some program that facilitated kids’ transition to the workplace.

 I think.

          She named off several people she still works with whom I must have known at some point. Some I recalled, others were pretty much a blank. She’s still working and described some of the programs and changes in this school department where I spent twenty years of my life. “Oh, that one’s a middle school now?” and “An honor school within the school? With a separate principal?”  

          Funny how a world that at one time consumed my life now feels so distant and foreign.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Men at Work

   Today in the course of my errands, I traveled down Main Street in our little town, where there’ve been ongoing bursts of construction all summer.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Back to School With a Vengence

     I can still remember the orange corduroy jumper I made for my daughter’s first day of school.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Ladies who lunch

Today was my first condo event. It was the ladies luncheon, which happens once a month and which I’d completely forgotten about until someone at the Y asked me if I was going.
          I canceled all thoughts of an afternoon of painting away the giant and ubiquitous flowers in the downstairs bathroom. Food or painting? Easy decision.
          I knew only one or two people there, but I was on familiar ground after all those years of belonging to other ladies’ groups. Name tags were handed out, printed slips about the next card gathering circulated, and someone else sent round an announcement for an event with a ladies club in the next town.
          I was seated near a woman who used to live a few streets over from our house. Her husband had been in the military and she reminded me of other army wives I’ve known – self-possessed, straightforward, and if you needed someone to organize a luncheon for 250, you knew she could put it together in an afternoon.
          Next to me was a tiny older lady no bigger than a minute. When they delivered her shrimp scampi in its fashionably giant bowl, her chin just barely came up to the edge of it. I spent much of my time smiling and nodding at her whispery conversation since I only caught about every seventh word. During a discussion of the storm in Florida, she revealed that she owned several condos down there, one of which was in the process of being sold, and she hoped the new buyers weren’t going to back out. Not a person you would have taken as a real estate mogul.
          Across from me was someone who’d moved to the complex a year ago. I enjoyed her story (told behind her hand because “T” two seats over is a member of the association board) of sneaking an entire sitting area in back of her unit. She’d been told that the condo land managers couldn’t clear out the scruffy area in the woods in back. So she hired a landscaper to go about ten feet into the woods and saw down the scrub trees. The next spring, she cleared away the weeds and shrubbery that had hidden the work, and whataya know, there was a cleared area just right for her lawn furniture!
          The median age of the group was probably 78, but the rebels are alive and well.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Afternoon terror

     No, I'm not packing a miniature sheep for the trip to this weekend's Bar Mitzvah.