A Big Saturday

I just got back yesterday morning from a successfully trip to Austin and Sunnyvale. I am a bit tired from the red eye flight Friday night/Saturday morning, but all is well. I got back to our house at about 9AM (I took the bus to the train). We got cleaned up and went to Bard for the day. We had a really nice day.

The whole day was lovely, but dinner-time was the most eventful. We had planned to meet Pop once the days graduation festivities were over. While the kids were asleep in the car we did some grocery shopping to replenish the very empty (and not very cold) fridge. The farm stand on the way to the Kingston Rhinecliff bridge is now open, and we bought some nice spinach and apples. We also bought preparations for a simple spaghetti dinner at the IGA. Pop ran into Mao Ja-Ming and his parents at graduation, and invited them to drop by. So we were waiting for them before cooking the pasta for dinner. We had just become too impatient and dropped the noodles into the water when they arrived. His mother is a funny lady, she was all over Doris, telling her how much she liked her, how great everything about everyone was, and etc. The funniest part was at some point she started saying something that I could tell was about Katherine, and how great and beautiful and good she was. Mao Ja Ming was clearly very embarrassed and Doris was laughing and I was very interested to hear the story. He was too embarrassed to translate, but what I finally got from Doris and him was according to his mother Ja-Ming had said that his ideal future wife would have all the traits of Kathrine, which we all agreed would be a pretty fortunate package. They also left a bunch of gifts. They will be staying with their son in his tiny apartment in Manhattan for about a month, and would love to see Katherine when she gets back. Of course they are so grateful, especially to Katherine, and recalled as well how she picked Mao Ja-Ming up from JFK when he arrived these 5 years ago. When they drive to Bard for the graduation they were able to appreciate what an extraordinarily generous act that was. Meanwhile, during all of this, our simple spaghetti dinner had already finished cooking and was presumably congealing into a solid spaghetti lump in the kitchen. I tossed some oil in with the pasta and we asked if they would join us, but they already had other plans. While they were there, Pop got a phone call revealing that the donors for the science building, who had been up the graduation, had left something in his car. He ran to fetch it, and on further discussion discovered that no one had made any arrangements for their dinner. So as the Ma’s were walking out, Pop made arrangements for them to join our spaghetti dinner (already getting sticky on hold in the oven). He ran to Finnburg to fetch them and we set the table. By the time they arrived we had replaced the first set of frozen peas, which had turned brown sitting waiting too long, and set the table.

We actually had a very nice dinner, with both kids eating heartilly and on pretty good behavior. The pasta was not actually too fatally congealed, thanks to the wonders of a generous helping of olive oil. By the time dinner was over it was almost 8:30, and our kids (and I) were beginning to show some signs of the approaching bedtime hour (I had been falling asleep all day whenever I sat down for more than 3 minutes). Pop took the donors for a drive to look around and back to Finnburg, and we put the food away and took the dogs for a walk. There were little golf carts buzzing all over campus and the excitement of the evening drew us, through occasional drizzle, a detour at a time, from our planned destination at Ludlow, all the way down to Blithewood, where there was post graduation dancing, eating and fireworks. We saw Anya Rose, Eileen, Sheila and a million other people. We did not see Pop and the donors, who were there also. Eileen found some great toys for the kids, I found some brownies (Ruby enjoyed one too) and then the fireworks started. It seems Vince is another in a long line of Martin men who don’t much care for fireworks (especially past bedtime) so we retreated. With Eileen’s help we commissioned a golf cart limousine and I sat facing back with the two dogs, Ruby lying on the seat, Trudy more or less on top of her, and the jogging stroller wedged in behind. Doris had the two kids wrapped in her arms to keep warm, and off we went. Everyone cheered up as we got a little further from the fireworks, and by the time we made it home, Trudy was really enjoying the ride, with the wind blowing on her nose as we shot across lawns and up the hill, all the while standing right on top of Ruby. We loaded up the car and almost everyone fell right asleep as we drove home. Today we are doing laundry and I have to start packing again, as I head off to Singapore on tomorrow night.

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