This side

There are three sides to this world: this side, the other side and in between this side and the other side.

On this side something good happened as Tessa turned 31 during this year’s long holiday weekend. We started celebrating on Friday night just the three of us at a restaurant in Gloucester. In the morning I thought about that momentous event when Tessa made her way into the world, remembering it as yesterday. Tessa arrived while the remnant of burned croissants was still lingering in the air. Axel had put ‘heat-only’ croissants in the oven of the birth center.  The oven thought it was getting cleaned, locked itself while the temperature increased to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This activated the fire alarms and brought the firetruck out with screeching tires and probably a hefty bill for the hospital; it should have replaced the oven. Did tiny Tessa smell something was awry? Nothing in her life shows she did, unless it is her obsession that everything should be right.

The festivities of this 31th birthday continued in the morning with our birthday ritual – a festive table with all the tchotchkes we can find in the house standing to attention around the plate of the birthday girl, flowers on the chair, cards and presents. A brief interlude followed to prepare for the annual birthday bash at Lobster Cove: tents, a keg, fireworks, barbecue, potluck, fire on the beach, silent disco, late night fishing and eating it the next morning, cooked over the still burning fire with fresh eggs from Steve’s and Tessa’s Ladyland Farm chicks. Tessa counts among her friends a highly sought after DJ who reserves this event in his full appointment book year after year.

And then from 2Pm onwards people trickle in, accompanied by the gear they need: fishing rods, canoes, kayaks, tents, fireworks and booze. The latter two I don’t care that much about but I usually retire before they get activated.

That was on this side of the world

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