I won’t mention the restaurant as I wasn’t too happy with them to tell you the truth. Right at the beginning I asked our waiter if he would take our photo and he said he was too busy. To be fair they were all very busy and maybe someone didn’t turn up that night and they were having to carry the extra load of work, but it wouldn’t have taken more than a minute to snap a shutter and I was a wee bit miffed. I tried to catch his eye again but for the rest of the night his whole demeanor prevented me from asking. I know what it's like, I used to wait on tables myself years ago, I know how rushed it can be but I never refused a customer a request for a photo. We never did get one of all of us. I suppose I could have got the hook out but it wasn’t meant to be. Nuff said! The important thing was that we were with our babes and our evening with them is always special, and though we didn't get a photo with all of us in it, we did get a couple thanks to Gregg.
And talking about Gregg, my gift from him this year was a new camera. I love it and am in the middle of learning all the bells and whistles. I have been practicing and I am getting there. This time I want to learn more about the settings as I have basically only used my old one on automatic. Time to be more adventurous, especially as we're going to be traveling this year.
Saturday I got together with my friends for another belated birthday get-together. We met at a friend’s house and had a lovely lunch. One of them made a birthday cake complete with candles which I ceremoniously blew out. It was delicious, the whole meal was and the company once again was a joy. They also spoiled me with gifts and gave me lovely birthday cards with the sweetest sentiments. I also had other cards from friends, two got together to send me a funny one that made me laugh out loud when I saw it. At my party I received a lovely handbag in a pretty summery material that two of my friends had bought together, the cutest bird feeder from another (my reputation is well known), and a lovely lunch bag from another friend also made out of pretty material, insulated on the inside with a narrow freezer pack, big enough for a couple of sandwiches and drinks, for our travels she said. Inside was also a packet of McVities Chcolate Biscuits and a bottle of Orange Squash. I enjoyed two of the biscuits last night nibbling them with great bliss (I’m on a diet, again). This time I bought my tripod and took a photo of us all with the timer. My expression was a little strange but we won't go down that road.
Sunday Gregg and I went over to Clifton to have a walk around. Clifton is a lovely little town not too far away. I have mentioned it before on my blog and you may remember other photos. I am probably repeating some. History can be found here. We popped into Peterson's Ice-Cream Parlor (yes I am still on a diet - one step forward, two steps back sometimes) and then as we always do we walk up one side of the street and down the other, and read all the historical markers in front of the houses. I love that little town. I will do another post about it later. I was happy to see that where the Heart and Hand Restaurant used to be, there is now another restaurant coming to the building, it's Italian this time.
We had two phone calls that day, one from my brother-in-law in Germany. It is always lovely to chat on Skype. We had a nice long conversation and caught up on what each of us had been up to, talked of family and friends, and he and Gregg talked some on the business side of things. They like to read the same books. Brother-in-law, niece and future husband, sent me a parcel that was supposed to arrive before my birthday. They sent it in good time but today when I got home there it was on the doorstep, and I was able to stop their worries as I let them know straight away. It's also lovely opening up gifts after the event as it's like having a birthday all over again. In it was my birthday card, a sweet little angel figurine and wedding invitations. My niece is getting married later this year and we are excited at the thought of going over for it. Her fiance we have met several times and we love him dearly.
The other call was from an old friend of his. They met on Gregg’s first navy ship. They caught up on family and friends, and then his friend mentioned a book that he thought Gregg might be interested in. It is called “The Skies Belong to Us” by Brendan I. Koerner. Between May 1961 and January 1973, 160 planes were hijacked in American airspace. In 1972 the two people on the front of this book hijacked a plane Gregg was on, along with two navy buddies, one of whom was the friend calling him about the book. His friend had quite a shock when he saw those faces on the cover. In the days between 1961 and 1973, I was very surprised to find that it was a regular occurrence. I had been married to Gregg for some time before he told me, if I remember it was when we got together with those friends. He sometimes wondered what happened to the hijackers and finally we will find out as we have ordered a copy of Mr. Koerner’s book. One of Gregg’s memories of the event was the plane’s captain coming on the announcing system and saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have somebody on board today who does not want to go to Seattle.” Gregg sat next to the girl on the cover and told her, "Don't worry, everything will be okay." The hijackers ultimately ended up in Algeria. Just learned that he passed away a couple of years ago, she hasn't been heard of since 1978.
Today, Monday morning, I’m a little late getting ready. We’re going out to run some errands later. This is the first day of Gregg's official retirement and I have just told Gregg that I’ll get ready soon. His reply to me was, “No rush!” This is the next chapter of our life, no rush!
Trivia: When he became President Thomas Jefferson kept geraniums in his office window, and from 1770 forward Jefferson kept a pet mockingbird in his office. He let the bird out at times and it would sit on his shoulder and eat food from his lips. “Often when he retired to his chamber the bird would hop up the stairs after him, and while he took his siesta, would sit on his couch and pour forth its melodious strain.” Gregg is reading a book called “Thomas Jefferson, the Art of Power” by Jon Meacham. Meacham described Jefferson as, “He liked quiet but could not stand silence.” He usually hummed or sang to himself. I enjoy Gregg retelling interesting tidbits from the books he reads. Gregg also likes quiet but cannot stand silence, and to verify that he just quipped, I'm like that and I smiled. And even though there is "no rush", it’s time for me to get ready.
Have a great day everyone!