One of my favourite movies is How to make an American Quilt. In it, a young woman (Finn) heads to her grandmother/great aunt’s house to finish her thesis after her boyfriend proposes. She watches her grandmother and aunt’s circle of friends/quilting bee preparing a quilt with the theme of Where Love Grows. The movie tells the love stories of the women in the quilting bee (which feeds to the square each is making for the quilt), which include getting over betrayal and love between sisters and friends, not just romantic partners. Last week, I opened a box as I was moving things on a bookshelf, and there was my sad VHS version of the movie. I don’t even on a VCR, but I put the top back on the box, and put it back on the bookshelf. So I was thinking about it when, on Friday, my gentleman associate, our son, and his young lady friend went for a night at the ballpark to see the Blue Jays. My GA bought the tickets – two seats, a space, and two more – hoping that no one would buy the single ticket and we’d have a bit more space to spread out. Child and his YLF were already there when we arrived. I sat beside them, leaving the empty seat between my GA and I. At one point, I looked over at my son, with his arm around his girl; her leaning slightly into his embrace, and thought “That’s what love looks like when you’re that young”. And I looked at my gentleman associate, with the seat between us and thought “This is what love looks like when you’ve been together as long as we have”. Twenty five+ years ago, love meant proximity to each other. Now, it means leaving space so he can feel more comfortable. Where Love Grows, indeed.
So what else am I grateful for this week?
- Being able to say “Hey fam, lets have a BBQ on Saturday” and 14 people show up and laugh and eat and talk and share, because of course we do. We set the table with the Good China and the Acutal Silverware. We eat my mother-in-law’s macaroni salad (the macaroni salad against which all others are measured) and my family’s Beans and Potatoes. There was a brisket in the smoker for 9 hours and 15 ears of corn on the cob and 12 mini-loaves of corn bread. My sister-in-law (who usually sits at one head of the table) and my gentleman associate (who sits across from his sister at the other head) squabbling about how many devilled eggs you can take on the first pass of them around the table. We muse about how wild it is that the littlest Little is already 10 and the oldest Little is the tallest of us all? So good.
- An aunt who, when she’s looking for an accomplice to her shenanigans, calls me. She thinks she gets the better end of this deal, but I’m pretty sure I do. This weekend, the shenanigans may have included the Winona Peach Festival. It’s certainly not the Peach Festival I remember from my days as a Peach Princess… uh… 34 years ago, but if I could have found my Miss Immaculate Heart of Mary pageant sash, I would have totally worn it around – maybe not at the actual festival, but totally around my backyard, and even perhaps in the truck on the way to the Festival. Possibly related: I need a tiara for these kinds of scenarios. Because you never know when there might be a pageantry-related emergency. And I don’t know how to flourish a trumpet, so tiara and pageant sash will be my sword and shield. Saddle up, bitches, we ride at dawn.
- Related: The brilliant brain of my girl Tilly, who came up with this glorious turn of phrase: “Channelled my inner Prufrock, Prince, and Presidents of the United States of America, and made my way to Winona today…” If you know, you know (but if you don’t, check the Extra credit).
- The first half-bushel of tomatoes, presently breathing and ripening on my dining room table, waiting for tomorrow when The Roasting begins, followed closely by the Saucing and the Drying and Grinding of Tomato skins into Tomatoey powder.
If you can choose to be anything, friends, be grateful.