Our next door neighbors invited us to dinner last night, along with a couple up the street (at whose house my wife plays cards on Tuesday nights) and my wife’s sister. It was an early event, beginning at four o’clock with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a tour of the house with a focus on the artwork the husband creates. He is a very talented guy who, after retirement from working in a dental lab making dentures and such, directed his energy toward art. Apparently, his talent and his love for art are genetic; his father was an incredibly gifted graphic artist whose pen and ink drawings reveal an extraordinary sense of humor and a level of creativity few people possess.
After a wonderful dinner of brats and potato and green salads, we capped the evening with the dessert my wife and her sister had prepared, a wonderful cranberry-cherry pie.
As often happens, the conversation turned toward politics, but the turn was not a sharp one. It veered into oncoming traffic just a bit, but everyone was careful to grab the steering wheel when that happened to pull the vehicle back into safe territory. The drifts into the other lane were sufficient, though, to reveal attitudes and ideas and to expose a bit of philosophical discord between the couple down the street, the ones of card-game-hosting fame.
For reasons unrelated to this morning’s post, I entered the event in a mood that’s best described as distracted; I had, and have, some things on my mind that are not conducive to enjoying the company of others. That notwithstanding, it was an enjoyable diversion, one that merits appreciation for our neighbors who organized it. I wonder whether they have plans for Christmas; they have no children, so it’s possible their Christmas will be a quiet one. I may ask my wife whether she thinks it a good idea to inquire as to their availability and interest in either Christmas Eve tamales and chile con queso or Christmas Day ham.
The get-together ended around nine o’clock. I cannot unwind from such things, even as casual and comfortable as last night’s gathering, very quickly, so I was awake for several hours after we got home. Nonetheless, I arose early, as usual.
Last night did not change me. That’s too bad, as I could use some change, at least in mood and outlook. I’m giving serious thought to a post-Christmas road trip, alone. Occasionally, I need time alone for a day or two to shake what I guess is best described as minor bouts of depression. Those times are good for me and must be good for my wife; I know I don’t like spending time with myself when I get into such a slump and it must be even less enthralling for her. Well, I’ve let this post morph into being about my mood, after all. See, that’s what I need time to fix.