10 29 2021

This week saw the last week at a job and the best last day at a job ever, which confirms my theory about last days, how it must lift up everyone to be relevant. Today was my last day, and, on a Friday going into a weekend with Halloween, this meant Halloween party. But this was no ordinary Halloween party. My team captain qualified it not as a party, as this would imply a congregating of people in tight spaces, not in line with the covid restrictions our office has. So it was called something else that now escapes my mind. To the end of things is best left up to something improvised, not scheduled in advanced but rather whimsical and new, to the newness of things, to the end of a beginning, so it must be a lifting up of everyone, a celebration of things to come and honoring of what once was.

My office at the job I left today is also in a time of transition, as the division just recently received the news that their jobs would be permanently remote. To work from home forever, the meeting which outlined the rollout used a specific term which I cannot now recall, but the rejoicing is something that is so lasting that it has felt wonderful working in the office the past week. Everyone has a glint in their eye, as though it is the eve of a very special day, where tomorrow is something so special they can simply feel it in the air. I am not sure that there are words for this feeling, or maybe in different languages there are terms which express it more succinctly than this. Today was the eve of the last week that this team would ever have to arrive in an office, open doors with badges, and face a morning commute that may be at times gruesome. Coming in this late in a New England Autumn, even for us weathered drivers, the thought of commuting during a blizzard or worse, black ice on pavement, can be treacherous.

Bygones, today was a wonderful last day of work. I dressed up in my homemade Halloween costume and enjoyed talking with my teammates. Everyone either dressed up or wore something festive like cats ears or Halloween themed clothing. We pulled up YouTube on the TV and listened to hours of Halloween music. By the end of the day I had Mama Mia by ABBA stuck on repeat in my head. It was an exciting day for the end of things, and in fact we laughed at the idea of what if this were our last day on earth, and how it would actually be the best day to leave on, in any context. Here’s some of our food stuff:

Muffaletta sandwiches, blueberry strudel, finger cookies with and without blood, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, Halloween candy, homemade chocolate chip cookies
taco station
Dunkin Donuts

The Muffaletta sandwich was something I have never had, and will definitely make for future get togethers, as it travels well and would keep well for leftovers if there’s any left. My favorite way is to toast the sandwich so that the cheese and the olive and caper flavors activate and melt, I can still nearly taste it. I heated up some medium heat Tostitos cheese dip and dabbed the sandwich in the sauce, which is something I will definitely recommend. Here is the recipe: https://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/bourbon-street-muffuletta-braid/d14f5ad5-a503-480f-9856-74d600ce03e8

10 24 2021

The weekend in Portland, Maine, is over, and I’m glad I’m back home. Each weekend morning I had breakfast at Becky’s Diner. This place is best before there are so many people that the line snakes out the door into the parking lot, so arrival time was before 8am both mornings.

This place has everything: Canceaux sauce, a regionally sold, sweet chili sauce, strawberry jam, homemade hash, lobster omelette, and pumpkin pancakes. The pieces of lobster in my omelette were gigantic and I’m still thinking about it after having been home all day.

10 24 2021

Last night was the first time I went to a show at Jimmy’s in Portsmouth, NH. Mavis Staples was great, it was the second time I have seen her perform, and the singing uplifted me and helped me feel so thankful for getting to see live music again. The most moving version of The Band’s “The Weight” felt wonderful. If I was smiling and shedding a tear through the biggest smile to the end of the song, it may have been in my observation of a number of things: the bold folks dancing and getting up to dance or sway with the music, people’s faces meeting mine. The gratitude with which I felt being in the presence of those I loved that night is still something that brings a smile and a tear, so many in fact that I’m sure I am so truly blessed to be alive.

In my ability to enjoy some of the activities that had been up until recently forbidden to experience, I count myself lucky to have come through it healthy, with most of my family intact. My philosophy has changed somewhat since before the pandemic. I did not come to this way of thinking overnight, and it was not just one thing or even the past year or so that brought me to this idea. I believe that being with others includes everyone. The purpose of life is to experience enjoyment, inclusion, and to be uplifted, benefitted, and blessed by others. Mavis said, “I want you all to feel better when you leave here tonight than when you first arrived.” Today I believe she was right.

10 09 2021

This is food from a family lunch a couple weekends ago, where a family friend prepared the chicken. They diced garlic and put it underneath the skin, along with other seasonings, and let it sit for a while. The asparagus, salad, potatoes, and chicken were just right for an end of summer meal: light enough for a warm day but hearty to satiate that natural hunger I often find myself craving as Autumn draws near: root vegetables, oven roasted poultry, and gravies.