Somehow in the missed writing day yesterday, we sailed through our 90th day of MARTHA AVENUE Home Cooked Meals. 3 months that sometimes feels like 3 weeks, and sometimes feels like 3 years. There are times when the urge to hug someone (because I or they really need one) is so overwhelming that it feels like it's been years since we have been able to relate to each other normally. And sometimes, I feel like our normal life is just there, waiting behind the curtain, just beyond where we can touch it. Yesterday we delivered early... the usual weekly order to Matthew, a nice chat during a pick up from Steve from the corner, and a drop off of birthday dinner and a chocolate cake for Kathleen. Then a quick pass through the mission for fresh tortillas and some ceviche for our dinner and road snacks from Las Palmas, and we headed out to Pt Reyes to see my mom and go take a swim at Shell.
Stopped off to gather plums from Matt and Sharron' s house. Great to see them and Tony. We chatted awhile under the big redwood in their yard, admired the fruit tree orchard and the chickens, and then harvested a bunch of tiny plums from their trees.
Headed up to my mom's to water the veggie garden, do a few tasks she needed help with, sorted out a computer issue and had a nice chat. Then we headed to the beach.
I haven't been to the beach since before the quarantine, aside from a couple of morning walks along Chrissy with Dick Daley, so it felt incredibly good to be there. Everyone was masked on the trails and we only shared the beach with two or three other couples. Found a little nook in the rocks to dump our stuff and waded out over the low-tide sandbar. Took a leisurely swim around where the buoys and the raft normally are, talked about lobster rolls and the things I miss about visiting my aunt.... her garden, sleeping on the front porch, talking about recipes and history and life and listening to her stories and thoughts. I usually head east in June to visit her before the summer tourist season gets really nutty, and it feels weird not to have that visit. I feel super grateful that somehow last summer/fall I managed to squeeze two visits in...one in June and one in October... maybe somehow I knew I needed to store up some Shirley-time.
Walked back to the car barefoot. To me, the feeling of summer is that salty-skin, wind-blown, sandy feet feeling. I always like when the floor of my car has lots of sand on it, like its a token of good times had.
Today, the Fourth,I got up pretty early, went for a walk in the park and chatted on the phone with my dad and with Kim. I don't know what I would do without her. I had a long chat with Jessie about the changes at ACT and the costume department in particular. So devastating what is happening to our little part of the world here. The rest of the day was spent in testing recipes for upcoming Meals on Heels dates and making a huge meal of ribs, coleslaw, potato salad, cornbread and clafoutis. And then we did the really cliche Fourth of July activity... almost burn down our deck. No, really. Almost did.
It'll be a funny story to tell for years I am sure, but it sure feels unsettling. A coal or chunk of mesquite charcoal must have escaped out the top while we were dumping the starter chimney. Looks like it must have wedged itself into a crack in the deck and smoldered into the plank on either side. Chris noticed it first and Willi noticed the smoke soon afterward. They jumped into firefighter mode and between an extinguisher and the garden hose had it under control very quickly. The deck was overdue replacing anyway with lots of rotten planks, but it still was pretty dramatic. Nothing that looks bad, but it definitely needs to be fixed. Close shave. Now we will be looking for a contractor or someone who is good with building to help us fix it. (Maybe Matt might be interested?) We sat down to a huge feast... between Jamye and Chris and Willi and me, NO ONE WILL EVER GO HUNGRY. EVER.
We sat around our big table on the deck laughing about marmots screaming and appreciating the miracle of living with people you genuinely want to hang out with.
The evening is waning and the neighborhood is thunderous with fireworks. I think there are more going off than normal... I guess with folks thinking that there aren't any "official" fireworks, they better make sure that to light up/burn down the city. Willi has his heart set on setting off a couple of little bottle rockets himself. I am trying to decide if I am going to go with him to the beach where it's safer to light them, or if I am just going to crawl into bed with a pillow over my head. The Fourth hasn't felt very fun to me for a very long time, and this year even more so. For many many years, the only reason I liked the Fourth was that my old dog, Indie, was born on this day. And he was a VERY good dog.
I also miss the Inverness Fourth of July Footraces, that have been going on for over a hundred years. 25ish yard dash for every age group from 3-90, three-legged races, marshmallow races for the toddlers, senior stroll for the octogenarians. The Preamble read from the bed of an old red truck, and lots of greetings from all the old Inverness gang... its a lovely tradition and yet one more thing that Covid has cancelled.
I think it's gonna be bed for me. Tomorrow is another day and another chance to take better care of myself. I hope that you all are getting some rest and recharge this weekend. We are still taking orders for Monday (SF and North Bay delivery) until about noon on Sunday. We would love to cook for you, if this week feels like a good time for a treat.
Meals on Heels at Oasis on Friday has a delicious Italian slant this week. Meaty Lasagne with homemade noodles, Ratatouille stuffed Summer Vegetables with Provençal Rice, and an Antipasti Salad. A delicious Meyer-Lemon Semolina Cake and a Dark Chocolate Cherry Brownie to finish it off. Orders for that event are being taken now at https://www.toasttab.com/oasis/v3
Regular menu orders for Monday at our site www.marthaavenuefood.com
Sleep well if you can. Reassure your pets, if they are scared. Maybe they can just sleep with you and cover both bases. Big full moon and lunar eclipse tonight... a time to be as deliberate as possible with your choices and your thoughts. A time to take inventory about what you love and what you don't love about your life. Just an inventory right now... the choices, actions and reset will come later, but an eclipse is a time that magnifies what is going on in your life. A time to be a little deliberate and take extra care...to slow down, be quiet and listen even more deeply.
I wish good thoughts to all of you. So much upheaval and change... much of it so overdue and needed, but still takes a lot to process. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to the people around you. Be careful with fire. Hug yourselves for me.xoxox