Thursday, October 30, 2008

Good Times

Just a quick hello before I run to complete Thursday chores and then head out to Dulles to pick up our visiting friends, who are arriving at 11:30. I need to give myself a bit of wiggle room because it's been literally years since I've picked anybody up out there and I'll want to make sure I can figure out on-ramps, parking, and all the other ins and outs of what is now to me, essentially an unknown destination. (When I was in high school and that iconic building had just been completed and was still sitting in its isolated splendor, an ideal summer night excursion was to take a ride out to Dulles. You could park your car anywhere you liked and just go into the terminal and walk around like a tourist. I did that many, many times. Imagine! Those days are long gone and Dulles is now an overcrowded small town in the no-longer-so-far DC suburbs.)

We always look forward to Chuck and Sandy's company. Theirs is a great love story. They nearly married in their 20s, then life got in the way and they traveled in different directions, raising families with different people. Then, life being full of surprises and sometimes even accommodating of our deepest desires, they reconnected in their 50s and took up where they'd left off thirty years before. They had a beautiful wedding in 2001 on the Cornell campus, where they met, and are living happily ever after. Chuck and I were in the Peace Corps together, and we were in close enough proximity that we visited often and formed a bond as only such unique shared experiences can foster. I had met Sandy once, when I first returned from the Peace Corps, and was happy the two of them were together and that they'd both be in my life for a long time. When things between them turned out as they did, there was major disappointment among their friends. We welcomed Chuck's new spouse into the fold, but she never seemed to feel at home there, and there ensued some years of awkward estrangement. Then one day Chuck called me out of the blue and told me that he and Sandy had found each other again. I was overjoyed, as was everyone who cared about them. Being with Chuck and Sandy is a constant reminder that sometimes life really can turn out as you hope it will.

Food for the occasion will be a crockpot pork stew made with Thai spices inspired by a dish Cuidado mentioned a few days ago in her blog. (Don't worry. If it works out, I'll post it.) Friday I'm wowing them with Peruvian Shrimp Soup. When we're not eating we'll be seeing the sights in DC. They should go home well toured and well filled. As a bonus, the weather is cooperating with its cold temperature, so we can build a fire, have some wine, listen to music, and gab.

See you tomorrow morning with Food Friday.

7 comments:

Linda (SE PA) said...

Ralph,

Romantic that I am... love this story. Thank you for sharing. True love rocks (that really isn't the word I wanted) but it is close enough.

Enjoy your weekend! Sounds wonderful!

Kat said...

Ralph,
Give my best to Chuck and have a superb weekend!

Ralph said...

Done, Kat!

Mim said...

Yes I remember picking up friends at Dulles in the 60's....much different than now. I'll be picking up my husband there on Sun afternoon.
And what a sweet love store you shared today.
Very special.
And your food for the wknd sounds divine.
Can't wait to see the recipe.
Mim

Zoey & Me said...

We used to drag race our cars on that long stretch of highway when Dulles first opened. Remember Ralph? I had a GTO and always lost to the rich kids with Corvettes. Right now I would love a tour of my haunts in downtown D.C. I'm jealous. It would really make my week.

Ralph said...

Z&Me, you did things I didn't do. Drag racing on the Dulles Highway? Never even entered my mind. Guess my life was just boring...

Ralph said...

Glad your husband's coming back home, Mim. There's lots around there for him to see! Have a good weekend.