A night of funny words…Wait until you hear what iolana said…
We were invited to a themed dinner party on Friday: “Around the World in 80 minutes…and then some!”, hosted by two fabulous ministers…who also created all the food. Our first port of call was Puebla, Mexico where they served us tiny tostadas of smokey chicken tinga with avocado and queso anejo. We were taken to Hong Kong (an exotic blend of greens and fruits dressed in ginger); Mumbai, India for Indian spiced tomato soup with crabmeat (served chilled, to which our friend, Paul, quipped when asked how it was tasting, “Mine was a little cold!”); Saigon, for a palate cleanser of Ana Mandara Granita (frozen and served in a sweet, small glass bowl…this was my favorite!)…on to Bordeaux, France for Entrecote a la Bordelaise with roasted asparagus and Moroccan Hezzo M’Chermel (mmmmmmm! steak, my friends, steak!) with Heaven as our final destination: Creme Brulee L’Orange….and a truffle with coffee…
Sadly, I had to take leave during this festive gathering to perform at Lake Austin Spa…I play at this beautiful retreat in exchange for nights of stay…of course, I haven’t gotten to use all of them yet, but I’m just building up a cache for future relaxation!…
Generally, I sit in a place called “The Treehouse” that looks out over well manicured lawns with beautiful flowers and a lake and trees and folks trail in dressed in thick, rich (pun intended) bathrobes…I sing for an hour while they lounge lazily on fluffy sofas and pillows. It feels like I’m singing in a sanitarium!
I was setting up, tuning the guitars, when I felt a presence in the room. A white man with a red nose was standing in the corner, a bit of a paunch, glasses, about fifty-two. He says:
“If I don’t like your voice, do I have to stay?”
And I respond (while tuning), “Oh, no, sir! You are welcome to leave any time. It won’t hurt my feelings at all…!”
Then he leaves the room.
I get the guitars in order of set, when he walks in with a woman (his wife) from a veranda to my right. Now he says,
“You should play out here. Why don’t you play outside?”
I say, “That’s a great idea, but, sadly, I can’t. I’ve tried, twice, but I have to compete with the boats on the lake. I have a pretty soft voice. But I think you’ll like it in here.”
(I’m feeling a bit like a Jedi, because he repeats back to me in a mumble, “Yes, we’ll like it in here.”)
So, I start to perform. The entire room fills up with women. The man, whose name I never learned (which is unusual for me not to have asked and discovered), sits directly across from me with his wife.
I sing and talk and we laugh and cry, and the man never moves. But he does say, after the first song,
“What was that line…the one about not forgetting?”
And I say, “So I try hard to remember…what we grow up to forget…”
And he smiles, half closing his eyes, dreamy like. “Yes, that one…that is a very good line…”
Then the hour is up, and I am chatting with women, selling some cds. Everyone has a story to tell. The songs bring up memories and wishes and regrets. Everyone wants to tell me about what has moved them.
I think it is my favorite part of any show..watching people want to share; people wanting to hug, people wanting to just be heard.
So, I try to get back to the dinner party, but it is too late and I am waaaaay out in the hill country. Lance and I decide to hook up back at home.
Maxine, the greatest babysitter that ever walked the planet, greets us at home. We love Maxine. The minute we met her, we knew we would call her friend. She is that sort of open, fluid, enthusiastic and sincere person. Present and kind and really funny. She is a young black woman, maybe 24, with a wide smile and sparkling eyes. She always has on these green bean colored ballet shoes, and she reminds me of Peter Pan, somehow. She wears glasses. She loves children. She is going to graduate from UT and work in neo-natal intensive care with preemies. Gosh! She is fabulous! Don’ t you wish she could come over to your house RIGHT NOW!?
We walk in, and she has a story to tell about io. She says,
“I was talking with io and Grace (a friend we had over to play with io and Maxine)….we were talking about
jobs, and they were asking me questions about what I do. I asked Grace, “What will you be when you grow up?” and Grace responded. But here is the crazy part. You will not believe this. I turn to io, and she obviously knows that we have been talking about occupations, you know, but I say to io, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” and io looks at me and says “Honest.””
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!? Is that something or WHAT!? It rolls around in my mind, what she said, that io.
I laugh out loud, hearing Maxine tell us this story in my mind. What an answer! “Honest.” Well, of course! How amazing! How beautiful!
One last thing, and then I must run to get ready for church:
We were watching some show on tv…oh, yes…I think it was called “American Top 40”, a countdown show. All four of us (the girls and me and Lance) were sitting, watching. Tim McGraw and Nellie came on.
(Have I told this? I can’t remember.) Anyway, they were singing a duet. Tim McGraw, a country singer, was all in black with a black cowboy hat, and Nellie, a rapper, was all in white with a white bandana and cap on his head.
io leans over to me and says, “Look! A cowboy and a chef are singing together!”
HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY!