We’re having friends over tonight for dinner, the only people here we know well…she used to work for me, years ago. We’re having seared scallops over spinach and risotto, with steamed asparagus on the side. Before dinner, we’ll have drinks. He likes a rye manhattan (2 oz. rye whisky, 1 oz. Martini & Rossi Rosso, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, stirred with ice and topped with a maraschino cherry). She likes…I am not sure, but we’ll accommodate her.
If we had a grill, I’d grill a New York strip. But we still don’t have a grill, so I won’t. Our recent trip to Memphis did yield a nice big bag of sea scallops, so we’ll dip into that big bag.
We bought the rye whisky a couple of months ago, when we expected to have them over; that didn’t materialize then, so it’s still waiting to be opened…I’ve been very good. Well, reasonably good. I doubt we have much gin left, something required for a gin martini or, for that matter, a gin & tonic or a gin gimlet. Gin gimlets, by the way, are considered ‘sours’ and I believe they are among the finest old world drinks: 2 oz. good gin, 2 oz. Rose’s lime juice, stirred with ice and strained into a cocktail glass. Speaking of sours, a whiskey sour is a fine old world drink: 2 oz. whiskey, 1 oz. simple syrup, 1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice, shaken or stirred and strained into a cocktail glass with a cherry or lemon wedge garnish.
Next week, some neighbors are having us over for a “getting to know the neighbors” party. While we’ve met several people, for me, it has been only in passing…my favorite wife, on the other hand, plays cards with a group of neighbor women one night a week…so it will be nice to sit and chat with people, getting to know them a bit better.
The club scene here is not like the club scene in Dallas. Here, it’s not night clubs…here, it’s clubs as in group so people with similar interests, e.g., cards, writing, painting, woodworking, computers, photography, etc. The club scene here seems to take a summer vacation; apparently, the members of clubs here (most of whom are retired, I would guess) take their own vacations. So, the clubs I’ve joined (writers and Audubon) are having a summer-long siesta.
About the same time the club vacation comes to an end, I’ll start getting busy otherwise: a drawing class one afternoon, a pottery class another afternoon, and a “citizens police academy class” 2 hours one night a week for several weeks.
As I think about these activities, I get an odd feeling that I’m formally killing time. I’m not just goofing off for the sake of goofing off, I’m putting myself into activities that seem designed to give me something to do because I have nothing productive to do with my time. That’s an unsettling feeling. I may have to rethink this whole “club” and “activity” endeavor. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with being active in organizations…that’s partly what retirement is about…but I’m still not comfortable being formally unproductive. And it’s not just uncomfortable; it’s unwelcome in some odd way.
Maybe I’m a classic, old world sort of guy; I need to be productive to feel valuable. If that is the case, and I’m beginning to think it is, I must take action. I must either make my writing my “productivity” outlet, meaning I must actually attempt to get it published, or I must do something else truly productive.
If nothing else, I’ve given myself something to think about.