Guess who’s coming to dinner?
August 12, 2017
Orllyene and I put another leaf on the dining room table, use our best china and select glasses we got in Tlaquepaque, Mexico. Wynne and Steve, and Kim and John are coming to dinner. I'm serving enchiladas, watermelon and lettuce salad served with a creamy homemade dressing, and corn on the cob. Kim is contributing an exotic mix of olives, kippers and peppers plus her delicious artichoke dip. Wynne is bringing an almond-flour cake sprinkled with blue berries, dripping with crushed raspberry puree and buried in real whipped cream.
Steve and Wynne arrive first. A few years back, Steve's business in San Francisco took a tumble and an opportunity opened up in Yerington. He "woo'd" and won Wynne and then did the darnedest thing. He built an 'off the grid' house on 20 acres way out in the desert almost completely by himself. He's now a sales rep for a hat firm in Mexico.
"Your enchiladas are better than the ones I had a week ago in Puebla," he tells me. He must be a wonderful salesman.
John is a top executive at a California university. When buildings on their property were scheduled to be demolished, a snag occurred. Birds on the endangered species list were roosting there. John came up with a tenable solution. He brought in a falconer. With a hawk and a falcon in the air, those pesky birds got the hint and took off for alternative accommodations.
Kim's forte is high level math. She teaches at an exclusive school in the Bay Area.
"I got a cell phone call from one of my former students who now lives in Israel. I was bowled over by her call. She was home all alone and bombs were falling all over the place and she didn't remember where the key to the bomb shelter was. I calmed her down and we 'problem solved' the situation, and she eventually found the key."
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Up until now, Wynne has been as quiet as a clam. Now her back is ramrod straight.
"I heard this terrible barking outside. It was Shep, our 6 ½ pound Yorkshire Terrier. He had a rattlesnake cornered under a bench. I hollered at him, threw a spoon, and finally hurled a rug at him, wrapped him in it and took him in the house. I called Steve who was in Salt Lake City having dinner. He suggested I call our neighbors, but they didn't answer. I call again, still no answer. Finally, he shows up with a 'sawed off shotgun' and takes the snake out to the desert and does him in him," she says.
The conversation shifts. Steve and Wynne comment that they don't watch television and John and Kim say they don't either. Orllyene and I remain silent. If we don't have a Netflix or a Turner Classic movie on the television at night, the power is probably off.
I glance around the table. We are all so different, yet intricately bound by our enjoyment of each other's company. Three hours have slipped by, and we all go our separate ways — except Orllyene and I. We do the dishes.
Ron Walker lives in Smith Valley. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.