Tomorrow I turn 69. Hard to believe. What, lithe, youthful moi? The nice woman doing my eye tests this morning noticed the date on my chart and asked if I was excited about my birthday. Well – I’m excited to be alive. I’m excited my family is gathering tomorrow for a barbecue, plus a few beloved friends. This will be my first birthday in more than a decade without Wayson. He will be missed.
I have told the guests it will be a cucumber-based menu. Because just like last year, fat, straight, delicious cucumbers are dropping from the vine. I am definitely the cucumber-whisperer; there are five in the fridge right now. Not to mention Swiss chard, cherry tomatoes, and basil. I’ve got a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe for “Quinoa and grilled sourdough salad,” and Nigella’s recipe for “Chopped salad,” both with lots of cukes. Sam is going to barbecue meats. There will be corn. And – because grandsons – cake.
The rose of Sharon has started to bloom just in time for tomorrow. Chris sent a wonderful YouTube interview with the cast of Grantchester – I could watch those actors forever, even without James Norton. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxbY_ngW1NI
Lani sent a hilarious card. Jean-Marc brought over the Sunday New York Times. Carole tortured us all as usual, nicely, at the Y. My second cousin, or first cousin once removed, I forget, in New York sent snippets of interviews with her mother Lola, my father’s cousin who’s now 97, as Dad would have been if he hadn’t died 31 years ago. She told once again the story of being forced to go to her first prom with my father as her date; Ethel Merman was the entertainment. She also mentions chatting, later, with Bette Davis and Frank McCourt. An interesting life. What a great idea to tape her talking about her past.
So, dear friends, it’s 5.45 p.m. so time for aperitif, a nice cold glass. My baby blue toes and I will forget for a bit about the horrors that are happening to our planet and simply celebrate being here, mid-summer, a mere 68 for the last time tonight. I will eat cucumbers and watch TV, including Samantha Bee, and read the new New Yorker.