Part Ten

It has been a while since I have posted. Mia adora has outdone herself once again and provided a joyous and bountiful holiday. To please her, (or possibly annoy her-- she said this was too sappy,) I am posting this new entry from my journal. The upside to my post is that it gives me a chance to give you the facts before they are twisted into her particular brand of logic. Not sure men and women share the same kind of logic but I'll refrain from delving into that matter.

This is a happy time of year for Sar. There is joy in the changing seasons but the beginning of spring brings more time outdoors. She will spend much of her leisure in the garden planting and grooming the flower and vegetable beds surrounded by all the animals. When friends drop by, she fixes lunch or snacks for them to enjoy out on the deck or on one of the stone benches she made me build for her. I have a photo of her asleep in the sun on one of those benches. The big cat is sleeping next to her shoulder - one of the dogs is helping itself to a sandwich that was left unattended. Another has its nose in her garden basket. I had the photo blown up; it hangs on a wall in my home office - a favorite among favorites.

Spring means Passover and Easter. This year, to Sar's immediate satisfaction, they were in the same week. I thought she'd burst with excitement. Holiday meals are her specialty. We are staying at a friend's house - David - in the San Juans. The island clergy was invited to our Passover Seder that she served out on David's deck - facing the ocean. We sat on oversized pillows on the floor of the deck. To prevent mishaps all the animals were elsewhere, including the giant tortoise that recently "followed" her home-- all the way from the sand dunes about 1/2 mile from the house and up the stairs to the deck. Must be one of those ninja tortoises.

It was a "traditional" Seder. I, a Catholic, read aloud from the Passover book. Young Patrick, who is Episcopalian, asked the 4 questions. The first one is "Why is this night different from all other nights?" Patrick whispered to Sar-- "Is it because we're not Jewish?" Sar assured him that on this night, everyone at our table was Jewish.

There was a cup of wine for "the prophet, Elijah," a part of the ceremony. Patrick kept watching it to see if the wine was being consumed by the spirit of Elijah. Both of us took an occasional sip when his attention was elsewhere. This kept the boy mystified. Sar isn't much of a wine drinker so it wasn't long before she was looped.

Before that, she served homemade chicken soup with matzo balls, beef brisket, as well as a number of traditional Passover side dishes. Dessert was honey cake and a spectacular honey/walnut confection that had all of us licking our fingers. Sar made sure that Patrick found the piece of matzo that is hidden before the meal and is needed to end the meal. The person who finds it can ask for a payment - a gift - for finding the matzo. The boy whispered to me what he wanted. I'll make sure that happens.

Easter - still at David's home on the island. He asked Sar if she would make Easter dinner for his immediate staff. Sar said yes and prepared food for 40. The majority of David's staff are marines-- their appetites are legendary. The idea was to have some leftovers for David. There were 34 of us - very few leftovers.

Half a dozen large honey baked hams filled the table accompanied by a couple of turkeys for folks who prefer that and all the trimmings for both. Dessert was peach cobbler for me, pineapple upside down cake for the others as well as a number of other sweet things. Sar always makes a big spread for our guests. There's always a large variety of food and I'm always so damn proud of the effort she puts into making our holiday celebrations memorable ones.

Now the part you're interested in - did she get into mischief? Is the Pope Catholic?

Good Friday we sponsored an Easter egg hunt at the base for young children. Some were having trouble finding eggs so Sar was helping them out. For each egg she found for their baskets-- she helped herself to their jellybeans, taking the flavors she liked. I gave her a little warning but needless to say that didn't deter the imp. After the hunt I was going to look in her Easter basket. If it was full of jellybeans, a little discussion was going to take place about taking candy from children. (This is why I give the candy out on Halloween. Sar believes in giving the goblins those candies she doesn't like. In exchange, she takes stuff from their Halloween containers that she does like.)

But when I looked in her Easter basket, I found only a handful of jellybeans. Meanwhile, some of the kids wanted to know why David had so many in his basket. The imp switched baskets! Yeah, the angelic look of innocence on her face was very apparent. She told David he couldn't eat all those jellybeans and took them for herself. He suggested she might want to share them with the kids. The word "share" is not in my wife's vocabulary. She ignored his suggestion, took his basket and threatened to poison his staff if he complained. He didn't complain.

After the hunt was over, I distributed chocolate bunnies to each child. I waited until the last minute to do this because if my wife got a hold of them before the hunt, she would have eaten all the chocolate ears. As it was, most of the boys broke the ears off to give to her. I don't know how she managed that but I'll say this: Good thing they're far too young for her because there's a large number of boys 9 years or younger eager to do her bidding for the price of a chocolate. The imp is a natural thief. She came home sporting a big smile and a few dozen chocolate ears.

Sunrise services were held Easter morn on the beach. It's a bit chilly out there at dawn but it was a spectacular sight to watch the sun rise over the ocean's horizon. Sar stayed behind with her pets. I think she was still zoned out from eating a few too many jellybeans as well as a substantial amount of chocolate.

Speaking of chocolate, as members of David's staff arrived, many of them handed Sar a small gift. I figured some were following the custom of bringing the dinner hostess a small token of appreciation. Later, I realized the gifts were chocolate. That made me wonder if David had warned them that it was in their best interest to do this. I'll ask him about that. Asking Sar is out of the question. She's heavily into denial. She definitely earned a few swats but I cannot fault her for her wayward ways. She prepared a great deal of food and made the meals enjoyable for everyone.

Later, after everyone ate Easter dinner and the guests left, David went out with some of his friends. We had the house to ourselves. Ourselves includes 5 dogs, 2 cats and 1 oversized tortoise. I hide a dozen or so Easter eggs for my wife every year. A few are chocolate. Some are actual hard boiled eggs. A few are "gift" eggs I fill with a personal note for mia adora or a small piece of jewelry or some other small item she will cherish. For every real egg, she owes me a kiss. For the gift eggs she usually reciprocates in ways that always please me. No need for details there.

Sar calls this keeping the romance alive. That is true. For me, it is also magical to see her joy when I give her something she cherishes. Her favorite gifts remain the simple ones - ribbons for her hair, flowers, fresh herbs or spices, unusual seeds for the garden.

We have been celebrating our holidays as well as the holidays of other cultures and religions for as long as we've been married. Some are lavish. Others are simple celebrations. All revolve around food and sometimes ritual. It is an opportunity to enjoy each other's company and the company of old and new friends.

The next big holiday meal is for the 4th of July. It is always a large affair at our house. Guests will include many military, both active and retired veterans. It is the 1 holiday in which guests may bring their dogs as the affair is held in our backyard. I will cordon off a separate area for the animals. Sar will grill dozens of hotdogs and hamburgers for them. All of us will enjoy their antics.

Before that holiday, we will fly down to San Diego for Memorial Day ceremonies. The base commandant has already been forewarned that the beautiful woman I married will accompany me. I don't know whether he's in love or simply frightened of the havoc she can cause on base but whatever the reason, he treats her with great respect and deference to her wishes. I asked Sar about this. Her response was "Has he sampled my new brownie recipe?"

Is it any wonder why I love mia adora and write sappy stuff?


~ End Part Ten ~

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