Saturday, August 18, 2007
La Vita Dolce
How quickly these days have passed. Fourteen friend-filled, family-emphasized, antic-encouraged, and life-affirming days have passed since my last post. They have been, in the most sincere way, wonderful. Alas, I don't know how to describe them. I don't know where to start, or even how to edit them away from a rambling meander of details and gushing hyperbole. Quite frankly, I do not possess the skill to describe the magnitude of their simple goodness.
Please, dear readers, please, bare with me. With the insufficient words I do have, and the limited skills I urge myself to fumble with, I am trying to describe to you the joy, the glee, the sheer and utter and immense contentment of four glorious friend-and-family-and-food-and-dancing-and-humble-yet-magificent-wit-that-college-friends-best-epitomize days in Seattle celebrating the marriage of a lifetime friend to a wonderful man, and returning to our home in Alaska just in time to enjoy five full days of adventures with the man I’m going to marry, his hilarious brother, and the 45 pounds of Iowa corn he carried across the continent in a black duffel bag for us.
(Let's pretend that italics do not indicate hyperbole, shall we?)
As an extra dollop of joy, while I was down in Seattle and immersed in all the emotions and antics of a remarkably fun PacificNW/Brazilian wedding, I was nominated by the very kind and eloquent Amanda (who, I've noticed, does possess an admirable talent for describing beauty and good-living, as well as dishes that pretty much inspire my grocery shopping lists whenever I go Outside) as a "Rockin' Girl Blogger." Such a fine compliment! I blush with the honor of it and then dive into contemplating all the new cartwheels of glee that her nomination inspires.
And to top it all off, after our return to the tundra island, J. went to the post-office to pick up our mail, only to discover that my future father-in-law sent us a book self-published in 1972 with the history of the little chapel in the foothills of the Cascades where my parent were married and where we too will be married. Such treasure! This book is titled Holy Rosary Mission: 1892 to 1972. It is signed by the author, Patricia Keegan Schonbachler. And it contains a quote that I suspect I've spent my lifetime looking for……
"The heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future."
Those more eloquent than me, and those that can better wield words to capture the sentiment of extreme gratitude, could do better. But me. With what I have, I can only ramble out a surface description of my appreciation for our current string of glee: Weddings! And family! And friends! And the potential and adventures that only 45 pounds of Iowa sweet corn can unleash upon our little kitchen on our massive tundra island! Compliments! Appreciation for the life we are building in Alaska! Encouragement for the vows we'll exchange in Oregon!
In light of such bounty, I’m sure you can see now how hard…nay, impossible! it is to describe these days with general terms, polite nonchalance or even mere understatement. These days are the kind of days one builds a life upon – and days that give you tangible proof that the life you have built is just right. Sometimes I think of these kind of days – and all these precious moments that form their architecture – as “snapshot moments”…..moments that immediately assume the poignancy and relevance of an adored photo with dog-ears and creases and all the other evidence of being carried around during travels to show new friends where you come from. Yes. These have been fourteen days full of Snapshot Moments.
Looking back, I can see that much of the excitement and joy and emotions of these days has also been a harvesting of our heritage, of sorts. A harvesting and a very excited approach towards our future.
P.S. - There will be more to follow. More details. More stories, with recipes and all. I promise. They're all percolating in my mind. But, for now, I'm going to linger just a bit longer in the gratitude for it all. My thanks to Sonya and Rodrigo - for finding each other, and making each other so happy, and for hosting a beautiful wedding that samba'd its way into the chronicle of my most treasured lifetime moments. To Nella, for knowing me so well - and still being such a solid friend - and for leading me to the most perfect place to enjoy urban dining and for agreeing to park in a garage in your own town so that I could get more time drinking wine in public and eating charcuterie, and cheese, and pate', and plum financiers, and lamb sausage. Oh goodness. Thank you so much for such a delightful afternoon. To Karri, for keeping me in a constant state of chuckle. To her mother, for those jars of pickled asparagus. Yum! To Christine and Steve, for one of the best late-night conversations I've ever had, and for having it in your beautiful house whilst your handsome baby slept and we ate tomatoes picked from your garden. To JMay and Will, for all that fun and for reminding me how much joy there is to be had by topping a great evening with a Dick's burger, fries and shake. To Amy - indeed, all the Funkhousers, for managing the details with such grace and warmth of welcome. To the Rochas and Pintos, for being so gracious in the face of the damage that seventeen years has wreaked upon my ability to speak in Portuguese and for not once laughing that what I do manage to speak in Portuguese is uttered in an accent best described as the equivalent of a thirty-something Texan woman brazenly speaking in a drawling version Valley Girl Talk as if it was perfectly normal and that fad had never phased out. To Nate, for gracing our hovel on stilts with your wit, insight and drawer-fixing engineering prowess.....and for preparing our freezer for the incoming Alaskan winter with 45 pounds of Iowa corn! I suspect that I may grow old and be permanantly perched in a rocking chair in front of my rhubarb patch, grandkids sporting about and canine hooligans wreaking all sorts of good-living mischief, but the story of those 45 pounds of Iowa corn that you carried to Alaska in the Summer of 2007 shall still guarantee to bring me to a smile. To Pamela, for inspiring Nate's visit. And to Dave, for getting us even more excited about our wedding. There is no doubt in my mind that Cecilia is doing jigs of joy that you sent to us such a fine, fine reminder to remember, cherish, and build our lives upon all the people, places, adventures and heritage that have contributed to who we are and how we define la dolce vita.