I Still Don’t Know

Have you ever found yourself somewhere, or doing something, and the thought suddenly hits you making you wonder just how you got to that exact place and activity, and probably even how you weren’t sure how it all came to that moment?

Yep. I had me one of them…

So here’s the story, with identities shrouded in mystery for the sake of making this potentially funnier than it already is.

We had a busy weekend: a Saturday spent with family for a movie and dinner and conversation and games; in other words, a fine afternoon and evening letting the kids play and adults enjoy each others’ company.

Then Sunday: church, a press to get some laundry in , then another social engagement, all offered under the guise of helping a friend with their political plans. And that’s how it leads to this: eating Texas-style blueberry cobbler and ice cream on the deck of a house in suburban Minneapolis with a political candidate, a local actor and singer, someone who works in the same building that I do, my wife, another set of friends, the candidate’s wife, and in the distance, two dear and a possum.

You see, Jenni was asked to help do some design work for a friend of ours, who is also a parent of a kid that our daughters have gone to school with since…well, since they started going to school. See, this friend is running for a city council position in his community–one of the fine suburbs here in the metro area–and he needs to get started on actually forming up his campaign and a big part of that is getting signage, literature, and the like. Right up Jenni’s artistic talent alley.

Since the kids are all friends, and, apparently, it just made sense to invite me along to drive or something, we all made our way over for a discussion of plans, designs, some dinner, and more of that adult conversation I’d mentioned earlier.

One more of the kids’ friends was called over, which of course meant her parents as well, and we had a fine gathering of six plus the gaggle of children running all over. We had pizza and salad out on their deck overlooking their back yard, and eventually, just because we’re all friends, and that’s the way things are done over there, the neighbors came over. He is an actor and singer with a voice (both singing and speaking) that I probably would kill for should I need another line of work. And his wife, as I mentioned, works for the same company as I, and now, as a matter of fact, one floor almost directly below me.

The neighbors brought over the cobbler and icecream, and suddenly it became a two-dessert night, as we’d also had brownies provided by our hosts.

The discussion voyaged into odd territory, as one could expect it to with such a diverse and fun group, as the honey badger, marijuana, and the benefits of various colors in political signs all became active, and frequently intermingled, topics.

And then the deer–likely a young one with it’s mother–crossed a yard in the distance.

For me, the city kid who does occasionally see ducks, geese, an odd fox and, once in a great while, a deer near some heavily wooded area of the city, it started my mind on that trek to ponder a great many things. It seemed, for a while, as though all we needed was a poet and the evening’s clutch could be complete. After all, we practically had the basis for a joke or a Charlie Rose interview: a theologian (almost, in Jenni), a politician, an actor, and the rest of us (Yes, I’m fancying myself part of the rest of the troupe from Gilligan’s Island).

Then the possum went by. And some of us launched into a discussion of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, Marlon Perkins, his poor sidekick Jim, crocodiles, lions, and Encyclopedia Films.

Don’t ask.

It’s at that moment, I firmly believe, that any sane person would come to question just how this entire course of events came to pass. Not in the sense of Lincoln asking where he went wrong going to Ford’s Theatre, or Pee Wee Herman wondering why he just didn’t stay home to watch his dirty movies there instead, but just wondering to oneself how the evening that started merely with the promise of pizza and political strategery could turn to this.

Perhaps that’s why I didn’t sleep well last night. Or not. Who knows.

Updates: The great diet of ’13 has hit another plateau, mocking me by holding at a total 12 pound loss for the last week plus. This all in spite of the fact that the pedometer app I’ve installed on my phone has been repeatedly assuring me I’m doing one hell of a lot of walking during the week just in going from my car to my desk. And I’ve cut back my eating to the point where I’m almost constantly hungry…All of this seems to indicate it’s time to move to some new, undiscovered phase of the project.

For those who care about these things, Zoe has launched her own Tumblr blog, which currently is completely unpopulated. So come for the blank screen and stay for the hope of a more colorful future! You can find her new page at http://zoepics.lathropworld.com.

We’re on a short week around here–Jenni, now a full staff member at work, actually gets a couple of paid holidays this week (both Thursday and Friday), so that’s a big deal for someone who hasn’t had those in just about six years. Not sure what we’ll do, but I’m certain it will have a good amount of relaxing.

The great gluten-free baking project is progressing nicely. Sunday I made a basic vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting, and they’ve been well received all the way around. So, with a flour blend that seems to make a very similar crumb to wheat flour, I’ll progress this week to bread or perhaps even pizza dough to see if it can serve as an adequate replacement in some of my favorite recipes.

More to come.

See you tomorrow.