Rebooting Weekends Part 2


If you’re unclear what a “squeegee thing” is, it’s that rubber item that keeps water from going under the shower door onto the bathroom floor after it funnels off my sagging mid-section. Apparently it’s very rare because I spent all weekend scouring the internet, then driving to remote plumbing outlets that were either closed or not stocked with the desired item. Finally, I was directed to a cavernous glass warehouse in an industrial part of town. This is where I met Carl, a large man with flame tattoos on his neck, and at least three pounds of moustache. As he crossed the showroom floor, my first thought was to flee, but Carl turned out to be very friendly and he had a wealth of knowledge about all things related to water flow. I learned terminology like “3/8 gutter” and “hooded mounting device” “plastic to glass adhesive”. To be honest, under normal circumstances I would have blacked out half way through this, uh, conversation, but the empty nest is not a normal circumstance. I stay conscious for Carl because he’s pretty much all the community connection I’m going to get on this kid-deprived weekend. There will be no more AYSO. Ever. No class pot lucks. No school talent shows. But I will have Carl.

And I guess that’s why I came home with three new squeegee things.

And maybe we’ve changed…

We made a lot of promises to each other on the Camino.  Something would happen and we’d say, “We’ve got to remember this when we get back home.  We need to find a way to bring this (lesson, or insight, or feeling) back with us and integrate it into our regular life.”

We’ve said that before, when we’ve gone away. Hasn’t worked out so well.

On our way back from Santiago we had a few hours to kill in Barcelona. So we hopped a bus to the center of town and went to visit La Pedrera.

The building is chock full of fantastical flourishes.

Perhaps less show-stopping, but one of my favorite spots nonetheless was….

I loved the way Gaudi took something as prosaic as a wall in a stairwell and made it sing.

We promised right then to remember, when we got back, to make sure to give more space for art to enliven our everyday.

And yesterday, in the spirit of keeping our promise, we went with some good pals to see the Ken Price show at LACMA.

We both were lucky to know Kenny.  Art was his Camino and he walked it every day.

Among the lyrical, sensuous, witty, drop-dead gorgeous pieces, the expression of a whole, good life in work, one small and lively cup caught my eye.

There’s a quote of Kenny’s on one wall:

“I make concrete objects that stay the same pretty much for the whole time they exist, and you can go away, and you can come back, and maybe you’ve changed, but the object will still be the same.”

We’ve gone away and we’ve come back.

And maybe we’ve changed.

We really do have the best friends…

The first email in my inbox this morning was from our friend, Mary, with a suggestion for our new life.

Subject: You and Sam

Open B&B?


Mary knows we have long been planning a move and that the Hudson River Valley is on our radar.  Hence, her Red Hook real estate suggestion.  But running a B&B? Pretty confident it’s never crossed my mind.

My first reaction was something between a chortle and guffaw.  I’m famous (in our admittedly tiny circle) for once having told some complaining customers at the Simon Pearce Restaurant that they were “lucky to get a table.”  Sam is famous for, well, not, shall we say, being all that sociable.

But then I started thinking about it….

While waiting for the coffee to brew, I mentioned it to Sam.

“We’re not going to be serving people breakfast,” he announced.

“Well we could do it like they do in Spain,”  I countered.  “Croissants.  Room temp frittata.  Fruit. No cooking required. All you’d have to do is make the coffee.”

“I’d rather open a gas station. People come, you have a few minutes conversation…and…they…leave.”

Deciding that 6:45AM might not have been the optimal time to address our future plans, I retreated to my office, coffee in hand.

For now.

PS The Simon Pearce Restaurant  learned its lesson and a)fired me and b)should be on your bucket list.

PPS  Mary, keep those ideas for our new life coming.  We’re wide open – after 9AM.