Wednesday, July 04, 2007

feeling red, white, and blue

Last night's festivities were a total success. I threw a birthday party for Colin and my sister Emma. Luckily, the Burlington July 4th fireworks show was happening the same night, and even luckier for us was the spectacular view we were able to enjoy right from our porch. It was a perfect summer evening, with a soft breeze and a thousand speckles of light from the boats dotting Lake Champlain--a lively reflection of the starry sky. I felt like we had the VIP seating. Good company, good food, and good cake too! Double chocolate with strawberries and cream--totally worth the hours I spent cooking it the day before.

Waking up after such a fabulous event, however, is always anticlimactic. Depressing even. I got up early today feeling a little blue. Unsettled. I looked around. The apartment was a disaster. There were bottles and empty glasses covering every table and counter space. Dirty dishes crammed in the sink. Bits of chocolate cake ground into the white carpet. And a half-finished punch bowl with waterlogged lychees, blueberries, and a sprig of browning mint. Yuck.

I needed a Zen moment. Luckily for me, dishwashing provides just the sort of quiet accomplishment I was looking for. So I set to work. As I washed, a bit of sunshine shone through the cloudy sky and in through the window. Au Lait jumped up to watch and keep me company.

Then she did a funny thing. She ducked her head under my arm and starting drinking from the running faucet.

"Cool," Colin said. "Our cat does tricks."

"Au Lait!" I said. "You have a bowl full of water right there." I picked it up and showed her but she was not interested. She wanted the faucet water. So I turned it to a cool trickle for just a minute and watched her lap. There's something about faucets and this girl. I don't think I'll indulge her in that wasteful practice much in the future, but it was a fascinating study into the habits of cats.

I finished the dishes. Colin cleaned the porch. Life was restored back to its normal state, at least in our little microcosm.

Then the phone rang. It was Emi. "Do you wanna walk downtown and get coffee with me and Kevin?"

I was feeling major Zen at that point. "I have a better idea," I said, ready to put on the hostess crown yet again. "Why don't you come over here and I'll make buttermilk pancakes?"

A couple hours later, full and content, we had eaten our pancakes and were dozing in the glorious July sunshine. The good times carry on...

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