Mandolines and Mandolins

Sunday we celebrated what I would argue was the last day of summery fall.  The threatened rain held off and the day was golden, crisp and cool.

I went to the garden to dump the kitchen compost bucket and realized that it had been a while since I had been out there.  The second planting of greens that I thought had not germinated actually had. I knew that a hard frost was imminent, so we picked every last leaf (above) and they became the basis for the salad at brunch.

A Gathering of Friends

All of the people at my table on Sunday know me. All of them see me regularly, some even daily. Many of them have not seen each other in thirty years. Something is wrong with that picture.  So, we gathered.

Everyone asked what they could bring. I asked them to bring a song or a story. And they did. (They also brought food, beverages, and flowers – I have generous friends.)

So we ate.

The buffet was heavy with bagels, lox, grilled and fresh vegetables, noodles, eggs, fruit, pumpkin bars, plum cake, salad, and cheeses. We ate and listened to stories. I think my favorite was the story one friend told of raising turkeys on a kibbutz.  Five turkey houses, one always empty for cleaning, and rotating the turkeys through the houses each day. Domestic turkeys are, apparently, not terribly bright – unlike their wild cousins.

The music began.

Melissa brought her fiddle and she began playing an Irish tune Harvest Home (here is a version) and Stuart joined on his mandolin. They played a number of songs of Turlough O Carrolan, a blind Irish harper, and some Finnish waltzes (with the threat of a Finnish tango) somewhere in there as well.  Collins added bass, and Kathy provided songs and a musicology lesson or two.

We ended mid-afternoon as everyone had homework and other responsibilities, but it was a lovely celebration of friendship, music, and the beginning of the holiday season; it also served as a warning to the encroaching darkness – we will laugh, sing, dance, and share friendship no matter how dark it gets.

Light a candle. Sing a song. Dance. Tell a story. Live like you really mean it.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Liz says:

    Darling as always you lead a most interesting life, with interesting friends. Yes only you would be able to gather those people together and have a time when people would not feel weird about whipping out their fiddle and singing and playing a little tune.

    You are lucky.

    1. Kate Tabor says:

      Oh, I know I am lucky. I am trying to earn the moniker bestowed on my by Mr. Dan Deuel – “the most gracious hostess on the north shore.” Don’t know if it’s working, but I am enjoying the guests that arrive. Next time, you come too – please?
      And these folks – they never feel weird about whopping out their fiddle and singing.

  2. Sharon says:

    Sounds absolutely lovely!

  3. Kate Tabor says:

    It was! Come to Chicago and we will host a gathering of fiends!

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