Monday, November 30, 2009
The restaurant we'd picked for our celebration exceeded our expectations. It was festive and fun, but low key. While my husband is a turkey cooker extraordinaire, even he agreed it was the best turkey we ever ate. And, the rest of the courses were unbelievable. My son thought the candied yams were the best ever (He loves vegetables). My husband loved the sauteed Maine scallops (his choice of a first course) with mangoes, mango coulis, toasted almonds, organic mixed greens, and vanilla-satsuma tangerine vinaigrette. I thought the pumpkin pie was extraordinary. What more is there to say other than the fact that I didn't have to wash a ton of dishes and pots and pans?
And, the day itself was lovely. I spent most of it (and the rest of the weekend) gardening in my front yard. And, what I found most interesting (again) is how many people walk by and chat. Perhaps, it's because we live a half block away from a major street, and in our neighborhood people walk to do their errands and to a park and mall, which are a few blocks away.
On holidays, they also tend to walk around the block--either with their children, parents, and/or dogs. And, since I've been relandscaping a small portion of our hillside, I can't tell you how many people I don't know very well, said hi, and asked me what I was doing.
And I had lively discussions with people I do know (or who are related to people I know) despite the fact that my hands were caked with mud (so were my clothes for that matter), and I looked like a day laborer. One neighbor needed advice on a book she's writing. Another neighbor's parents were here from Northern California, and we had a lovely meet and greet conversation. Since I'd volunteered to help their daughter mulch (and slightly amend) the soil so that her newly planted Agapanthus don't die, they expressed their appreciation for my gardening expertise (which, as we all know is in a nascent stage).
What I realized is that front yard gardening is a true tonic. It allows me to combine my love for gardening with socialization. So...once I've finished planting a portion of my hillside (a truly difficult task given 30 years of ivy roots embedded in the soil), I'm going to redo our parkway (replacing the grass with drought tolerant plants), and perhaps even get rid of our patch of front lawn and plant vegetable boxes for Square Foot Gardening! How's that for a Thanksgiving weekend resolution?
P.S. The photo on the upper right is Mel Bartholomew, the Square Foot Gardening Guru.