Thursday, April 7, 2016

Companionable Silences: Spring Break 2016 Day Six

I woke up intending to sew, or at least cut, until time to meet my friend for lunch, but I got a slow start and needed a shower and started a load of laundry and actually made the bed and called my DIL to get my son’s deployment mailing address and eventually I ran out of time. 

I wore the new skirt that I just made a couple of days ago.  I picked up my friend a few minutes early; she was just as excited as I was to start our outing.  Because of our work schedules, we don’t often get to indulge in daylight hours together during the school year, so this is a treat.  We started talking before we even got to the car—sliding easily between lightweight topics such as the colors of our spring wardrobes to weightier matters such as how to frame a discussion on race—and kept talking all the way to the restaurant.

Ah, the restaurant!  A favorite of my pal’s but which I had never visited:  Palisades.  Situated above a marina, it overlooks the sound and provides a perfectly framed view of Mt. Rainier.  They offered a prix fixe lunch which included started and dessert.  For starters, my friend had sashimi and I had the lobster-crab bisque.

For our entrees we both had the prime rib dip.

For dessert, my friend had bread pudding and I chose the flourless chocolate cake. 

The food was amazing.  I brought home half my sandwich and I was still so full I waddled out of there.

The lunch was very slowly paced; we were there for over two hours.  The service was attentive but unintrusive.  We talked about everything.  (When I got home, my husband asked:  Did you solve the problems of the world?)  But we also occasionally slipped into those companionable, natural silences of several minutes at a time; we sat back in our chairs and contemplated the view while letting each course settle and mulling over the things we had been talking about.  We had no agenda.

The kinds of friends with whom silence is endurable are rare, but I appreciate the lack of a necessity to fill every moment with sound.  I value silence more the older I get.  I need time to think, or even time to not think, and especially after a week of junior high chatter and motion, I crave unhurried relationships.  At the same time, I value the freedom to discuss what’s really on my mind and to hear what’s on my friend’s mind and see where the conversation leads. 

After lunch, we went to a fun salon in Ballard and got pedicures.  They put us in a separate section that had only two pedicure chairs.  We turned on the electric massage functions and very quickly closed our eyes and quit talking altogether.  The pedicurists chatted quietly in Vietnamese with each other.  I might have dozed for a moment.  It was my companion’s first pedicure since her wedding; it was kind of fun to notice her delight in it.  Really, pedicures are a relatively inexpensive luxury, a way of saying, I’m worth it!

All good things must come to an end.  I dropped her off, made quick stops at the gas station and the grocery store, and came home and crashed for an hour.  Darrel was home by then, and we did our usual sharing of our days.  I was far from hungry, so for dinner he ate my leftovers from lunch.  I went out to pick up fleece scraps from a former colleague who is also a quilter--and therefore has the scraps I needed on hand (she assured me she had plenty more and I could take everything in the pile she had set aside for me)--and ran back to Joann’s for a couple more project-completers. 

I came home again and cut out fabric until I finished for the day. I put away the cutting table.  I think I am finished cutting for this round of sewing.  The rest of my free hours (many are already committed to other plans) will be spent trying to finish up the projects I’ve already cut out.

Tomorrow has all my local grandkids in it.  I shall not expect silence.

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