Yesterday was a perfect day. That means I stayed in the moment from start to finish. No worries about the past or planning for the future.
jb and I started early. We aren't accustomed to having fridays off, especially together. We were on the road uncharacteristically early (the one challenging piece: jb had her stitches removed, which makes her faint). We headed for Boston--since we moved to Western Mass. late last spring, we've been unsure how to see Jess regularly and we miss some (not most) of our old haunts, especially Mr. Sushi, where we salivate over their California Rolls, Shrimp Tempura, and Chicken Teriaki maki. So we decided a month or so ago that we would celebrate our new Fridays off by traveling east every other week.
First, we landed in Coolidge Corner, home of Mr. Sushi. We were too early for lunch so we went to Peets Coffee (best in the world--every morning is a celebration for me when Peets is in the house). I bought two pound of Major Dickenson's.
Next we hit the Paperback Booksmith. I used to go there when I was in college 30 years ago and with the exception of one additional room, just about nothing has changed. I had time to meander from best sellers to interior design (colors for the kitchen-in-rehab), to philosophy and spirituality, to psychology. I ran out of time to find the career section, which I need to get a grip on since I'm writing/finishing my book on Good Work!, but that was for another day.
Mr. Sushi was as usual unbelievable. They know us there now. Sometimes Dennis or another waiter will say, "How is Jessica?", "Jessica" being pronounced with the flair of three distinct syllables Japanese style. It always makes me chuckle. jb and savored every piece of sushi. We quietly moan as we eat. Sometimes I close my eyes...
On to Crate and Barrell to return a little side table that didn't work. This is one of my favorite stores--since I go there maybe twice year, the decor and merchandise is always new and inviting. We picked up a cheese grater for $ 12 because we've just discovered dipping bread in olive oil and grated parmesean cheese. We also bought a reliable toaster--the current one broken by jb's unusual impatience one fine morning.
We stopped at my mother's long enough to assure me that she is doing well. I tend to worry about her these days, so it's always great when I find zero need to stress out about my 90 year old good-person mother trying to hold onto her life.
Finally, we drive to Jess and Mike's house. At 5 pm, the traffic was bad and I hate that, but I had the sense to keep my complaints to myself--I'm thinking negative thoughts shrink from lack of air when they're not said outloud (note to remember that observation for future use).
Jess and Mike were married in September and live in a four bedroom house in a community pretty out-of-the way. What they gave up in location they got back in size. It is amazing that our Jess has a home of her own, with a yard, a spare bedroom, walk-in closet, and a livingroom that appreciates the old furniture that we gave them when we moved to Northhampton.
We don't see these guys enough, but I say that only because we miss them, not because we don't stay in close contact. I'm sure they think they see us enough. Jess and I talk or email regularly. I have no doubt we will always be present for eachother, which is a truly wonderful thing to say and know about this mother and that daughter. jb and I try to available, reliable, interesting and fun--and occasionally unusual--knowing that Jess and Mike, and someday their own family--is the most cherished relationship we will ever have.
We chat with Jess and snuggle with Sadie, a shelter rescue beagle we have grown to love. She is thrilled to see us--running and howling around us--and she patiently lets us kiss her abundantly. Jess is leaving for Tuscany on Thursday for one week of immersion in Florence and the Italian vineyards with her friend Janna. This trip strikes us as unusual for our American girl and we are glad for her.
We three meet Mike at the Sherborn Inn, where collectively we have variations of filet mignon, a cheeseburger and fries, and a nifty little vegetarian dish of squash, risotto, onions, feta, and mushrooms. We talk about Mike's work (a promotion in the world of computer consulting which has so far given him less stress and an earlier ride home) and babies (jb and I are preparing...), about jb's yuk carpal tunnel surgery, and about a few dozen other short topics that range from these average joe boxing tournaments jb and I know nothing about to the unfathomable loss of Dana Reeve.
We three then return to Jess' while Mike drives himself to a Friday night poker game. This man has some fabulous friends--jb and I like them all. We stay at Jess' just long enough to hug Sadie again, catch up on new showerheads, talk colors, and see Mike return with his buddies close behind (the poker game needed a quick new location and their little basement is now the place).
We hug, we leave, we drive 75 minutes home, we walk into this new house that is welcoming just by its simplicity. jb and I sometimes watch reruns of "Sex & the City" at this time of night, but tonight we hit the bed and fall asleep.
As I write this, I am pleased with myself that today I know how to recognize a perfect day. Really, it was an ordinary day--no grand gestures, no high drama, no huge accomplishments. Just a couple of women eating, shopping, seeing family, replacing a toaster.
Tomorrow maybe I will be as observant and appreciative-- or I will be petty and complaining. I am certainly capable of both. But I'm glad I know a good day when I see one.