Thursday night I came home from a very long day to cooks in the kitchen, putting a little extra twist on our usual farmers-eating-at-home Thursday night dinner--a summer farewell to Amelia, going back to college in Portland, and to India, heading off to Ecuador.
Casey and Brooke were the animating spirits--the rest of us chopping dutifully or just sitting around telling stories. ("So, yeah, I've heard the name--tell me who Will Campbell is.") Esme, a new 4, cycled between India's room, where mostly packing was going on, and the kitchen, where she sat on the counter eating bread and jam and dribbling the oil into her daddy's homemade mayonnaise fixings. DiAnne brought in a brilliant cluster of zinnias, perfect for the blue vase.
Homemade pimiento cheese toast, fried green tomatoes with Casey's mayonnaise, turnip greens (the best!), that fine ham from the Murfreesboro ham man, DiAnne's cauliflower, light little biscuits with sorghum, arugula and peach salad, "smashed" potatoes.
And our familiar crew: Tom, DiAnne, Rachel, India, Brooke, Casey, Esme, Eric, friend Laura who is visiting, Kevin, Evan, Amelia. Martha stayed home to take care of her ailing dachshund. We sent a mental toast to Buddy--we miss you!--and Dan and Evan, our reliables from last year. And Jeff the Barefoot Farmer, who has been tragically flooded out twice this year.
Our long table in the Church of Outdoor Dining was lit by a brilliant moon (and, ok, ok, lights), the white nightblooming water lily unfurled into its personal glory, and this long and complicated day tapered off into a long and complicated peace.
Tom did get called away on a neighborhood emergency, so we ate peach pie standing in the kitchen, and somehow a "massage circle" turned into a knot of about ten twenty-somethings, arms tightly wrapped around each other, staggering through the house like a drunken caterpillar towards the couch to watch "Ernest Goes to Camp", that perfectly silly Nashville-filmed confection (which, incidentally, features DiAnne and Martha's turtle props).
And then I had to get up at 4 a.m. to take India to the airport. And another full day of clinics and hospital work. Well, really, still, life is good. Not exactly minimalist, but good. And we're already looking forward to seeing India and Amelia again around Christmas!