Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Dinner last night with Deb, Jim and John, Estorbo's long weekend cat sitter. Bottles from Dead Horse Bay, with roses. Dinner for more than two people in this apartment is a logistical conjuring act. Prep must be very organized, or you have a sinkful of detritus in full view for the whole evening. As everything is cooked and cleaned and arranged all evidence of its creation must be removed. My kitchen work surface measures about 4 square feet. Which is why a cross country Airstream would be a cinch.

We had our cider and spicebush-cognac cocktails - christened either Bear Talk or Queen Anne's Brassiere, we can't remember which...A Bear Talk is what Jim and Deb were given in bear country, which made them too scared to stay in bear country. But it gave rise to a conversation about The Talk - the sex talk, the stranger talk, the drugs talk. Neither Deb nor I were given those talks. Were you?

Tomorrow we click our way to Montreal, an eleven hour train ride which is far nicer than it sounds. I love trains. The sound, the motion, the way your body jumps when at last you lie down in a bed at the other end - it thinks you're still on board. We may see snow, but the lakes will not be frozen over yet. We will pull over along the way to let the south bound train pass - it is a single, narrow track through the Adirondacks. They are thinking of closing the line.

Our picnic will be packed and our Thanksgiving will be celebrated in the cafe car at a wide table with the country rolling by. We will take coffee for our breakfast, and wine for our lunch. As we leave Penn Station and travel up beside the wide Hudson we will see what is left of the leaves as we sip our thermos espresso and hot milk sleepily. And we will be thankful for cat sitters who drive in pelting rain for many hours to look after a cat they have come to know through this funny thing called a blog, and who know his habits almost as well as we do. And for the fact that we are in each other's company, and that we like each other so much, and that we have no cause for resentment. And for cameras, which will be at our sides. And for things to point them at. And for big projects with uncertain results. And for insulated picnic bags that keep wine cold.  And for flasks that keep coffee hot.

Happy Thanksgiving, adopted land. It's a custom that we should export.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving, happy travels!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving.

    Will there be many on the train you think?

    Look for the good, sounds a great way to spend eleven hours.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!

  4. Have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday!

  5. Happy rumblings. Keep us posted, mid journey with colorful observations, such as one trying to seduce another by reading poetry aloud, the toddler saying bye-bye to the choo-choo and my favorite, watching men adjust themselves in their seats, as loosening tie, running hand over hair, unbuttoning coat, etc.I am a train rider, as you can tell.

  6. It's too bad dinners don't have satisfaction units the way that chili peppers have Scoville heat units. Because then we could assign a value to last night's dinner, and then divide by the square feet of kitchen work space, to derive... oh, never mind. Stranded on a deserted island, Marie would find a way to orchestrate a sublime dinner party.

    I can't believe I sat across from the famous Bonbon all night and didn't realize Deb is Bonbon until the next day. I did notice her jewelry. I should have asked her about it.

    Yes, there is much for which to be thankful.

  7. Hope you have a safe journey over your holiday travels. I have always wanted to take a trip by train. Yes, pet sitters are wonderful!

  8. Having recently been in bear country myself, I know how scary the bear talk can be. Scarier than sex and drugs and without the potential for fun.

  9. Gosh you needed me at the table.

    Catholic school girl that I am i had all the talks.

    And did everything I was warned against. you know how that ended up right?


    Have a fabulous trip.

    Will miss you:)

    xo Jane

  10. And, we will be thankful for your safe return, with wonderous tales to tell us and photos to share!

  11. Wow. Last night was fantastic...dinner, miraculously and suavely served from the tiny yet best kitchen in Brooklyn plus the company plus the new Estorbo--and those roasted pears! and that drink! I'm still drinking it in my mind, which is sick but wait...I thought we christenend it BARE TALK?

    Our new bar can be called BEAR TALK.

    John, perhaps the most equipped and charming cat sitter ever, have a great time in NY! And happy Thanksgiving!

    M and V, bon voyage and bon picnic!
    And Happy Thanksgiving too...very thankful to call you both friends.

  12. Happy Thanksgiving Marie, Vince, Don Estorbo and John.

  13. Happy Thanksgiving to you all, safe journey :)

  14. I love the way you create moments and occasions. The thermos of coffee reminded me of Mike Leigh's film "Another Year." The husband and wife are drinking coffee from a thermos in a trailer as the rain falls at the garden plot they cultivate in London. Have you seen that film? It reminds me of your blog.


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