Years ago, must have been 1983 judging by related incidents involving the car, my ordination and my service at Mount Calvary Parish, in another tale told here at some time past, I drove to Stratford, Connecticut and took an Australian client into Sikorsky division of United Technologies, for a conference. The final day of meetings, the UT folks took us all out for a delicious lunch at an Italian restaurant, and then I drove home to Harrisburg in my car, which of course is part of the memory, a medium blue Renault 18 station wagon with stick shift,
that I loved. I had bought the car new in 1983, trading in a 1981 Buick Skylark sedan, only lemon I ever owned, that in every rainstorm, water poured through the cowl into the interior, soaking my feet and threatening to drown out the electrics. A lovely car, I’d bought it as a gift for Linda, but it proved a total bust.
Anyway, on arrival home in Harrisburg I walked through the front door hoping for a welcome hug only to hear, “Did you have anything but garlic for lunch?” Which brings me to yesterday, last night, and this morning.
We set Sunday lunch/dinner for middle afternoon yesterday, so after church I had a glass of Cabernet and a tasty snack of green olives and roasted garlic cloves. Someone once told me, I think it was Linda, that roasted garlic doesn’t affect one’s breath, so I snacked heartily. These are from Fresh Market’s olive bar and quite good.
Sunday’s snack probably included a dozen, crisply crunched up and swallowed, followed by a sip of red. During the afternoon Linda decided to rearrange the drapery, curtain arrangement at the Bay windows in the living room. At some point there was either something heavy to move or something high to reach, and I got up from my important online automobile research to do the lifting or reaching, whichever. Finishing and returning to my MacBook I heard, “Thank you, Mr. Garlic.”
Later I kept distance as Linda watched the Olympics ceremony, went to bed and drifted off to sleep. Here in my chair I watched and listened to episodes of Die Deutsche Wochenschau, listened to the tune “Austria” that was our opening hymn yesterday, which my evil nature violates, watched several front porch groups play “Smile the while,” and "Let me call you sweetheart," then to bed myself and at 9:48 lights out for sweet dreams, but turned to face away from Linda because of garlic. Roused from sleep I glanced at the clock, 12:19, told Father Nature to go to hell, and slipped back into dreamland.
Perhaps stirred by a painful right shoulder from turning away and ignored bladder pain, it was not my usual anxiety dream. Unlike in other Navy dreams, I was this age and shape, eighty going on eighty-one, white hair, dressed in a running outfit, climbing from a small craft up various tricky ladders to the quarterdeck level of an aircraft carrier, realizing I was being recalled as commander and resuming my career climb, a conscious thought in the very real dream. I introduced myself to the OOD, apologized because after being retired nearly forty years I had no uniforms, asked the Supply Officer standing there if there was a uniform shop onboard, was told no, and a porkchop ensign pulled out a measuring tape and began taking my measurements as I stood there, telling me my uniforms would be ready the next day. Turns out this ship is a receiving station here in the Mediterranean, I would be billeted here waiting transportation, then sent on to the aircraft carrier USS America, the Navy’s largest warship, now in the war zone deeper in the Med. I hadn’t expected this at eighty, but the Navy knows best and once again I could see four stripes and flag rank like sugarplums swirling in my head. Rousing again at 2:17, I turned over resuming sleep and plunged back into the dream, which was pretty good actually, for the next two and a half hours.
Walk this morning, by the school's new fence on Linda Avenue and 2nd Street, down Hamilton, round Massalina. Never an athlete, despising exercise, I wouldn't do this walk but for an accountability partner from the old time.