Risky Business, Tellicherry Peppercorns & GrandchildrenSunday, October 14, 2007
It is difficult not to look at my fall garden and not think of myself and Rosemary. I notice how time has affected us, more gradually perhaps, but the decay is there. It is much too late to buy a red Miata to feel young or pretend (at least for me) that those women in all the gossip magazines or in those Hollywood films we rarely see are attractive to me. They are much too young.
After all these years can it really be possible that happiness is shopping for socks, shirts and jeans at Mark's Work Wearhouse? It seems so.
If someone had told me only ten years ago (the idea of becoming a grandfather was so anathema, that as soon as Rebecca was old enough to talk, I instructed her to call me Papi and not grandpa) that happiness was going to be shopping with Rebecca for cheese at Bossa on Victoria Drive and for Maldon Salt and Yorkshire Gold Leaf Tea at the Gourmet Wearhouse on East Hastings I would have been speechless. I did just that yesterday. I had no idea then of the pleasure of buying Rebecca green apple ice cream at Mario's Gelato on 1st Avenue and Quebec Street and sitting on a stool to savour the ice cream and a beautifully waning sunny Saturday. I could not have known of the pleasure of walking with Rebecca and Lauren to our nearby park at Osler Elementary School and playing in the swings and then running across the field to see who would get to the red fire hydrant first. I did, but then, Rebecca probably let me win or slowed down as Lauren cried as she could not keep up to us.
For years I have specialized in making an excellent cheese fondue. I use Swiss Gruyere, Emmental and Appenzeller. I use a pinch of nutmeg, lots of freshly ground pepper (Tellicherry), white wine and real Kirsch. But it has only been until know that I have had to compete with anybody (my daughters never even tried) to get that last brown part that collects in the bottom of the fondue pot. Rebecca and I both fought for it last night. It felt good to fight for it.
And just as I did with Rebecca years ago, Lauren and I walked to 41st and Athlone yesterday afternoon to watch when Hilary (Lauren's mother) stepped down from the bus with her precious cargo of fresh bread for our fondue.
Above you see a scan of leaves of Hosta 'Risky Business'. In summer she is dark green with a white centre. She is a mutation of Hosta 'Strip Tease'. Just like I appreciate the beauty of these leaves on their way to decay and disappearance in the early winter earth I have come to understand that I have to be like those leaves to finally understand that happiness is all the above.