Early dinner

November 24, 2013

We ended up with Thanksgiving dinner, in a way, yesterday.  I cooked it, so I can’t claim it happened to me passively, but I didn’t plan it.

My son’s friend came over, to hang out, to enjoy our internet connection, and to help do some pruning around our yard.  He does landscaping work professionally, and my son has helped his family with things like winching up docks, so it seemed like a fair arrangement, and I let the young men know I would pay them besides.  I haven’t gotten to much of what I normally do on my own, in terms of pruning, this year because of my fiduciary duties to my father’s estate and to my mother.

I had bought a small turkey already and trimmings on Friday.  My own Thanksgiving plans are up in the air.

I decided, why not, roast the turkey and have it with Jordan and his friend.  They’d probably be hungry after yard work.  So I did roast it — stuffed it first — made the cranberry sauce, etc.

After dinner, his friend and I did the friend’s laundry.  He has recently moved into his own apartment, and this saved him a lot of logistical hassle, I think.  It’s also why he was enjoying our internet connection.

He had planned to stay the night as well, but his father called and said he wanted to have breakfast with him this morning, so he left last night.

This friend is going through a difficult patch, and he has before.  I am aware that not everyone would be open to doing what I did.  What struck me was that, while I am aware of this, it wasn’t why I did what I did — I did it because it worked out well for all concerned, myself included.

What happened flowed in a way that didn’t seem to come from me.  It felt, in a way, like following a lot of cues.  When that happens, it feels as if I am filling in a piece of a puzzle.  Sometimes it feels as if I’m participating in a reenactment of something that has happened before.  In any case, it feels “necessary.”

Sometimes these episodes that feel like reenactments or puzzle pieces are painful, but yesterday’s wasn’t.  It helped me to be in a role of asking Jordan’s friend for a favor and also then being able to do something for him that he needed.  The other parts of what happened, including the meal, elevated it above some sort of bare-bones give-and-take — there was good feeling involved.

I think I’ve wished to participate in this kind of scenario with myself in the friend’s role, but that pattern always seems to fall short of suiting everybody involved in some way.  It has often felt as if I’ve done the pruning, but there is no meal, no internet, no laundry, no desire to help in return forthcoming, so to speak.  I’m not sure what that means, but I will say that the pattern yesterday and my role in it suited me just fine — I enjoyed the day.

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