Good humor makes all things possible.
-Charles Schultz-

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
-Shakespeare-The Merchant of Venice-

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Culture tantalizes the working poor

Sue,  Pam,  Patrick,  Mom,  Mike and  me at Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon
So this weekend, all five siblings, my mom, and my lone maternal cousin visiting with his wife (plus numerous supporting cast) gathered at the Shakespeare Festival to see some plays, eat, and visit. Like our annual spring ski trip in Reno, we love to all be together when we can but our homes are all spread around now and it can be a challenge. One by one, retirement is creating more spare time. I am reminded that many families don't get along as well as we do. If they were as lovable as we are, though, they would.

It's a little cumbersome to all eat together but it helps that there is SO MUCH delicious food in Ashland. Highlights for MY palate: chili-lime shrimp; browned butter and sage ravioli, remarkable risotto, tapas including some fabulous ribs, chevre mushroom somethings, a ginger citrus martini, dreamy truffle ice cream...heavens, it was all so good. We walked everywhere we went but unfortunately not nearly far enough to compensate for the triple dose of calories.

One brother and his wife always read and study the plays and are well versed in plotline and characters. I didn't pay enough attention beforehand so Twelfth Night was a little blurry for me but as there was no essay test afterward, nobody cared. I already knew the story of Pride and Prejudice which was laugh out loud funny and romantic if the modern gal in me overlooks the terrible burdens of marriage and class in that era. I wish I could afford to see all the season's plays but as tickets cost a bag of gold I'm lucky to see two.

The last time we had real photos taken was [never mind how long ago] when my eldest sister turned fifty. Lets just say, we ALL had much browner hair then. A photographer met us in gorgeous Lithia Park where even the sorriest subjects cannot help but look much lovelier. Our family all looked just fine going in, so our coordinating blue shirts must have tipped the scales; I think the finished pictures will be wonderful. Plus, our hair matches now. We looked rather like folksingers playing a county fair. A senior bowling team. Aging, but not crumbling.

When I got home last night my laptop had decided to be ON all weekend (it has a penchant for not shutting OFF when told to do so). It was hot as a pistol and refused to connect to the wireless internet. The very patient Charter technical support rep would not walk me through all the steps that Lillie performed last time that happened, but he helpfully told me how to bypass the outlaw router and connect to the Charter modem which I don't even remotely understand except that now (if I want to use it) the laptop has to sit, essentially, on top of the old PC, a few inches from the modem. I can't lounge on the sofa with my laptop in my lap, now sporting a redneck, portable-tv-atop-the-busted-console-tv feel. Before long, someone who knows what to do will stop this jury rigged nonsense, but last night it had that algebra-class, I'm sorry but I can't follow anything you are saying, sensation. I was very grateful that the rep and I will never meet in person. I guess if I had to send letters back and forth like Elizabeth Bennet, this might seem less pathetic.

If there is a way to (that is, for ME to--different issue) post a picture of how adorable we looked this weekend, I will do it. I know you cannot wait.


  1. You're right, I cannot! What a fun fun fun delicious trip. "If they were as loveable as we are, they would." My favorite line and so true.

  2. I did figure it out. And there we are!