Sunday, October 10, 2010

We’ll Travel for Miles in our Saturday Smiles

There aren’t many days I have wished would never end. Today however is one of them. In spite of not having had the deepest sleep last night, I at least awoke with a clear head which, considering the Friday night averages is no mean compliment. It helped too that upon awakening it was obvious that the day promised to be brilliant. As though to heap one successive bounty upon another, as we listened to CBC radio while sipping our morning coffee at the kitchen table and tapping busily upon our respective lap top computers we heard a reference not once but twice to my very friend, being thanked for his music recommendation “Come Saturday Morning” in answer to last week’s public invitation. As the song played, I stopped what I was doing to relish the lyrics, which capture exactly the type of day we ended by having, wonderful in every way.
By way of preface I should back up for a moment. Today’s delicious experiences were in fact the serendipitous culmination of more than one event. Last week for example had been singularly pleasant, due in good part to the fact that the week had been challenging, productive and fruitful. For good or for bad it is an inescapable truth that the fortunes of my daily avocation weigh appreciably upon the scales of my temperament. There had also been a personal victory for the incumbent Board of Directors of a corporation of which I am a member when we were unanimously reappointed, though I might add not without having first endured some political waffling on the subject. In addition, and perhaps even most importantly I was prompted to a considerable degree of eager anticipation knowing that at noon today I was to rally with two fellows whom I had not seen or heard from for almost forty years when we last worked together as summer students while studying law. There had been no hint whatsoever as to the motive behind their apparently sudden move to visit me on home turf, but whatever the reason I was keen to reconnect, and I accepted at face value the assertion by one of them that he just wanted to get “caught up”. Of course I confess to the slightest bit of imaginative suppositions, too silly to repeat, but it turned out the affair was exactly as they proposed and nothing more.

At eight o’clock this morning we began the formalities of the day by travelling in the startling sunshine to the nearby Village of Appleton to have breakfast along the Mississippi River at the golf club. The air was uncommonly fresh and everyone we passed while going into the club house remarked upon the bright but chilly morning.

Because I had arranged two meetings with Clients to review and sign documents at my office, we wasted no time getting there for the first appointment at ten o’clock. Those people arrived on schedule and, aided by the festive atmosphere of the weekend, we speedily concluded our professional duties amidst considerable chatter about events of many years ago, as one of my Clients was a long-time former resident of Town. The second Client likewise promptly arrived at eleven o’clock and the business of the day was completed with some mock haste so that we would be permitted sufficient time to visit the farmer’s market before it concluded its Saturday morning ceremony at noon.

Just shy of 12:00 noon while I hovered impatiently within the office I heard voices outside on the veranda of the building, and, investigating, discovered there the two chaps whom I hadn’t seen for forty years. As the saying goes, they looked as though neither had changed in the interim, though I fully suspect this interpretation is some deceit practiced by the mind to enable recognition based upon dominant characteristics. Like a tour guide, I happily introduced them to the various rooms of my office, now bathed in the yellow mid-day sunshine which highlighted the gem tones of the rugs and honey colours of the wood. They marvelled at the ancient books, maps and Crown patents. I provided them some history of the practice and the men who had come before.

As I had reserved a table for luncheon at 12:15 p.m. at the Victoria Woollen Mill we pushed off along the River Walk, skirting the massive grey stone Town Hall and the rushing waters of the Upper Falls, arriving at the cheerful restaurant where we were immediately seated. We three then got down to the business of the day, sharing and gathering information about one another. It was an easy conversation, characterized as it was by an agenda of nothing more compelling than friendship.

After a very satisfactory meal we took a quick look at the new hydro generating plant. Then we (and the spouse of one of our number) retreated to our house for a coffee and some final conversation. By now the exigencies of life were creeping back into the fabric of our friendly interlude. We ended by parting within the hour.

It was now only mid-afternoon. We determined to enjoy every bit of the remaining sunny day by driving into the City to obtain those specialty items only available in a larger urban center. It was past six o’clock when we returned home. We satisfied ourselves with left-over prime rib, small salad and mashed potatoes spiked with blended butter and truffle oil.

Still on a roll, I excused myself for yet another drive in my car, an occupation I unabashedly admit is one of my favourites. I drove to my preferred gas station in Stittsville to have the car washed. For most of the journey there and back, I drove without music playing, preferring instead to listen acutely to the engine and the sound of the changing gears. It reminded me of learning to ride a new horse.

At the end of the day I satisfied myself to watch some shorts of Bertie Wooster and his man, Jeeves. By eleven o’clock I was buried under my duvet and heavy wool blanket, windows thrown wide open. It had been a perfect day!

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