We had a nice Memorial Day weekend. Over the past decade that I've kept this blog, journal, thing, whatever, we've made several trips places or have hosted people. This past year has taken the symbolic wind of fun out of our metaphorical sails, so we were lucky to have things happening here close by to keep us with smiles on our faces.
Doug's cousin Andy and his wife came to visit Boston. We spent some time on Saturday afternoon with them walking around Harvard Square and having lunch at the John Harvard Brew House. It was a beautiful day. It was fun to see Andy, considering in the last decade I've seen him three times... two of them were at funerals.
Sunday morning our good friends Steve and Allyson came to speak at our church. They are missionaries who over the next 2 years will be out "in the field" in Thailand and India and wherever else their feet are led by the call of God. Steve makes movies, and a few weeks ago we got to make a movie with him with that 48 hour film festival. I was happy to get them in the door and get their story told, and support of our missions committee behind them to help support them. We enjoyed a nice lunch with our pastor and S and A, and lots of laughs were had.
We then made our way to Gloucester to meet up with Wayne and Marcia, Chris and Laurie (who were staying at Good Harbor Beach) and another set of friends that we haven't seen in about 13 years (we figured out), Glenn and Cheryl. We ate at Lobsta Land, right there off rte 128 headed up towards the first rotary, if you're familiar with the area.
During the discussion, Cheryl had mentioned that once upon a time dinner with their kids out at a restaurant would be four plates of chicken fingers and fries, and they have watched their tastes evolve to the point where they order much more grown up food, finally. I related the story of how we were at a restaurant last year and Geoff himself was trying to be "grown up" and serious, and in his deep 13 year old voice asked the waitress for a "Black Anus Burger," misreading or mispronouncing "Angus" much to the absolute hysterics of the rest of us at the table. Had this happened when he was about 11, he would have flipped out, screamed at us all, flipped the table over and walked out the door. But he weathered it well, and the waitress brought him his Black Anus Burger... again, we laughed.
Everyone at the table was laughing at this story, and Wayne said "you're so racist! Why does it always have to be a BLACK anus? Why can't it sometimes be a Native American Anus?"
Only at that one split second, everything in the entire restaurant had fallen into a collective lull. The restaurant was dead silent, and all you could hear was "NATIVE AMERICAN ANUS!" as loud and clear as the ringing of a clarion call.
I think I heard someone actually GASP behind us.
We all lost it. Wayne turned bright red, and hid his face. I can't remember what Glenn said, because I was already laughing too hard, but we all were roaring and tears were flowing down our faces at this point. Holy crap, it was funny. Wayne's wife said that even when they leave their kids at home, she still has this to worry about... Wayne wasn't embarrassed, he laughed, and laughed, and laughed.
It hurt to laugh that hard.
We ended up at a little Italian cafe in Gloucester to have dessert, and we were talking about summer jobs that the kids get, and sometimes you have to do a job that you just don't want to do. Case in point, a job that Glenn took while we were in college. He answered an ad in the paper for a job at a Turkey Farm in Essex. He thought in his head "oh! a farm! a barn, and kitties walking around, and moo cows and ..." His first two months there were spent working with sweet little old ladies making Turkey Pies. They taught him to make the dough, and put it in the tin, and fill it with stuff, and how to ladle in the right amount of gravy...
And then Killing Season started.
He lasted two more weeks.
He related in gory detail working in the killing room, the scalding/plucking room, and the eviscerating room. I won't entertain you with the retelling. Laurie said "I am never having turkey for thanksgiving again. I hate turkey. I'm having spaghetti."
I then didn't miss a beat, I said "Laurie, do you remember that job I had between freshman and sophomore year?" She shook her head no. "It was in the spaghetti fields on the pasta farm. It was horrible. The things I saw ..."
Again, roaring laughter. I painted a horrible picture of putting pasta through "the thing that squeezes it flat and cuts it into tiny strips, and then oh my GOD you have to stretch it out and .... it's horrible!"
"Gnocci day was the worst, rolling those little potato balls out... oh man."
What an incredibly fun night. It came to an end too soon. It would have been nice to finish up with wine around a campfire, but we had a 45 minute ride home and Wayne and Marcia had to go get their kids and head home to Maine.
We told Glenn and Cheryl that 13 years shouldn't pass without seeing one another again. We see Chris and Laurie and Wayne and Marcia a couple times a year, and should do so more frequently... especially because laughter like that is great exercise.