Easter Day in Santa Barbara turns out gorgeous, clear skies with a little haze, and 75 degrees.
Usually Carol and I go to an Easter party a friend holds every year with plenty of food and Easter eggs stuck everywhere for the children. But this year he and his wife did not have the party because she is recovering from major surgery. I had been thinking about him and wondering how he was doing and his wife too. So Carol and I went to the Farmer’s Market and bought some white roses, and we drove to their house.
Carol had called ahead the day before to ask if it was OK if we dropped by for a few minutes, and I made up some potato salad to bring along. They have always been so generous with their food. That was all I could think to do. The potato salad, I mean, that I made Southern-style I think with eggs, pickles, onion and plenty of Real Mayonnaise.
I enjoyed seeing them. But we started somehow into talking—I have known my friend and his wife for nearly 30 years—about people who had died and when exactly they died and of what and whether it had been expected or not, and if expected, how long had the end gone on exactly. And what of the wife or husband or whoever had been left behind, and did one know if so and so was still on this earth or not.
I wasn’t depressed or anything. This just seems to be how the conversation goes when one reaches, I guess, a certain age. I remember back in my callow youth being around some elderly people in a damn Jacuzzi somewhere or other—and all they could talk about on and on in the minutest detail was their most recent surgery. This was back in the day of the triple bypass; so there was a lot to talk about with livid scars as visual aides. And I remember thinking, Jeez, is this all these people have to talk about. I know better now.
We were there an hour I guess. Another couple came over too; and we started in on another round this time less about people who had died and more about people in the process of dying or suffering from some major physical problem with significant implications for continued quality of life.
Then we drove home. And I vacuumed the living room carpet. The vacuum had been standing there next to the entrance to the living room for a couple of days. I had managed to vacuum the upstairs carpets and I had vacuumed down the stairs and I don’t remember what happened exactly but I got stuck there and didn’t get into the living room. So as soon as we got back in the condo I changed clothes back into my every day walking around duds and finished what I had started.
Still a gorgeous day. And there’s some potato salad in the refrigerator.