Entry 76: Welcome, Beta Pilgrims

Tomorrow will be our first Thanksgiving in our new home.  Our former neighbors are coming, along with a dear friend and her son, who is getting a Ph.D in robotics and who, we all agree, will one day be responsible for the end of the human race.

We had a sort of practice Thanksgiving last weekend, when our friends Judith, Ron, Joel and Stacy came over for our first dinner party so Barbara could put the new kitchen through a test run.  Joel and Stacy moved to Connecticut around the same time we did and used the same contractors to reassemble their home as we did for our kitchen, so there was a lot of conversation about all the colorful characters who had spent months roaming around our houses.  (This is the same couple that I had previously blamed–erroneously, it turned out–for the detritus that half-filled the construction canister when it showed up at our house.)

It was pretty cool to have everyone gathered around the kitchen island, drinking wine, talking amiably, and trying not to scratch the stainless steel countertop.

The part of our six-figure kitchen that drew the most interest by far was the Aero-Garden Casey had given Barbara for her birthday.  If you haven’t seen one of these, it’s a foolproof contraption into which you place these little pod-like things and soon you have all these herbs growing.  It’s like an incubator for plants.  You can grow herbs, flowers, even vegetables.  You can grow an entire salad apparently.  In fact, you can grow enough to feed…well, one very tiny rabbit.  You see, the plants are very small, because they’re confined to pods on our kitchen counter.

So, after we all wondered aloud if the thing in our new kitchen could grow marijuana plants, we sat down at our old dining room table, on our old chairs (including two from our old, retro kitchenette), under our invisible chandelier (get it–none of the new dining room stuff is in yet!), and had a lovely dinner, with conversation that touched on politics, the economy, Broadway, and the fact that the expensive snow tires I just purchased are unnecessary.  The last bit was from Joel, who grew up on a farm in the midwest, where they have tractors to get through the snow (not that they have anywhere to go), and where they don’t have the common decency not to tell people who just spent a lot of money on something that what they spent it on is not necessary.  But we’ll see who has the last laugh in February…unless he also has a tractor in Connecticut.

Barbara’s favorite part of the evening was cleaning up (“It was so easy–all that counter space!”) , and I couldn’t help thinking that, if that’s all it takes to make her happy, we could’ve saved a ton of money by leaving the kitchen the way it was and vowing to use paper plates for the rest of our lives.

Anyway I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Joel and Stacey and Judith and Ron for being the beta testers for our new kitchen, Thanksgiving guinea pigs if you will.  Tomorrow, Barbara and Casey can really go to town in there and Barbara, I guess, can have even more fun cleaning up afterwards.

And let us now take a moment to remember the original pilgrims, gathered with the Native Americans, introducing all sorts of new diseases, and trying not to scratch the stainless steel countertop.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everybody.  See you soon.

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