Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The popping chair back

We went for Christmas Eve dinner to our friends Sharon and Michelle who've just recently moved to a lovely house in Lambertville--one of New Jersey's prettiest town's in my opinion--from Hoboken. They've also got a new puppy--a Cairnoodle (cross between a Cairn terrier and toy poodle so her fur is black with a beautiful copper sheen that glitters in the overhead lights) who's rambunctious, adorable and, for the first time since Spice died last April, made me think, "Yes, we could have another doggie." But we're still not there yet as we miss him still. (Recently, I planted daffodil bulbs on his grave which should come up in a few months time and I'm looking forward to seeing them bloom.)

L and L were also there. Sharon's of Polish heritage, so I was very much looking forward to traditional Polish fare and my taste buds were not disappointed. We had Kielbasaand sauerkraut--the genuine kind, not the suspicious, overly red stuff that masquerades as Kielbasa in supermarkets--and delicious Golomki, which is cabbage stuffed with chopped meat (mince steak in the UK). For dessert, Michelle baked excellent cookies, including my favorite which was stuffed with marzipan and topped with pine nuts, and thus I pigged out, necessitating an extra twenty-five minutes on the elliptical and two additional sets of sit-ups this morning as it was my first day back at the gym. At one point during supper, as I looked around the table at everyone chatting and laughing, I thought how truly important good food and friends are to making life happy and fulfilling.

A temporary glitch occurred thereafter because I had an accident. I turned to speak to Lynne and heard a dreadful crack. It wasn't the deafening kind, rather more like a popping sound. Before my brain could process what had occurred, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a piece of wood arc through the air toward the sideboard. I looked at the back of my chair (an antique one, to boot) and saw it was missing the upper horizontal of its back. Somehow, it had come off as I'd turned. A veil of silence plummeted as swiftly as Madame Guillotine. Larry's eyes drilled into mine in unarticulated 'Typical clumsy Damian' declaration. (I'd heard Sharon asking people not to lean back on the chairs as they were old and delicate--by that, she meant not to lean so that the chairs are balanced only by two legs, as some people have a habit of doing, a habit from school days--but I was entirely satisfied I'd not done that.) Naturally, I informed Sharon and she was most understanding and said Michelle could fix it. (She'd bought Michelle a professional saw--she's an artist who also makes furniture--replete with 'G' clamps for Christmas, so this would be a first try-out for the clamps.)

Thereafter, we repaired to the parlor where we played an interesting game (can't remember its name, though) involving a board, die, cards with questions and a DVD. There were three categories of questions--music, film and another I can't remember--and we selected questions about bands and music. Much craic (fun) was had. All of us were stumped when the questions involved recent pop bands or artists--I'm not talking about questions dealing with the likes of Kelly Clarkson or Spears, etc and, of course, we all know the true and lasting talent of people like Christine Aguilera--which I suppose is a sign we're getting on a bit. Some things become just more important.

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