Make the House Ready
Late tomorrow (like midnight!), Dave and Jll and the four kids arrive in AZ for a visit. YAY! We dangled the opening game of the Chicago Cubs Spring Training before their eyes, and they bit. Dave is a life-long Cubs fan, stemming from the fact that both his father and mother were born and reared in the Windy City, and Dave spent considerable time there visiting family. In fact, he was born in Arlington Heights, a suburb of Chicago, though they moved to Denver when he was small. He had wanted to go to a game when the Cubs were in the World Series back in the fall, but it didn’t happen. But given the fact that we are already seeing people in Cubs garb here in Mesa, the Spring Training season should be fun. Bill and Dave are going to the Cubs opening game, and all of us will be going to games on Sunday and Tuesday. Go Cubs! By the way, if you want a reminder of just how much the kids like the Cubs, re-read this blog post from December…..
I talk all the time about the number of Midwesterners who come to AZ to spend the winter, getting relief from the below-freezing temperatures. The longer I’m here, the more I suspect that a major share of the so-called winter visitors are from the great state of Minnesota. Who can blame them? One of our priests – who himself is retired and hails from Minnesota – claims that the bishop of the Minneapolis Archdiocese actually holds his Christmas collection on July 25 because on that day, the state is full of visiting tourists intent on fishing the 10,000 lakes, while on December 25, the churches are empty because everyone’s in AZ! Bill and I were returning from somewhere the other day, and we were a mile or so from home. I said to Bill, “I’ll bet you that we spot a Minnesota license plate between here an home.” I wish I would have bet him after-dinner clean-up duties for a week, because sure enough, a few blocks from our house, a car with Minnesota plates drove past.
Would You Like that Wine in Paper or Plastic?
One of the featured appetizers at Bec’s annual Mardis Gras party are mini-muffulettas, those wonderful sandwiches featuring salami, mortadella, cheese and a delicious olive spread. It’s the olive spread that makes these sandwiches stand out. Each year, she has gotten her olive spread at Fry’s. But she called me a couple of days before the party to lament that her neighborhood Fry’s no longer carried the olive spread. I told her that I would check the two Fry’s that are near me here in Mesa to see if they still carried the spread. I was actually at my Fry’s unsuccessfully seeking the olive spread when my phone rang. It was Bec. “You won’t believe where I am,” she said. “I am at the fanciest Fry’s Market that I have ever in my life seen.” “Uh-huh,” I said, still searching for olive spread. “No, I’m serious,” she said. “It has a sushi bar. It has a salad bar. For heaven’s sake, it has a WINE BAR.” Wait, what? I was still smiling as I went to the self-check registers to ring up my groceries, which didn’t include olive spread because the fancy Fry’s of course, had an olive bar and so Bec had already bought the spread. The woman assisting at the self-check registers came over to see if she could help me with something because I was laughing. I explained about the telephone call from my sister, and she was not surprised. She told me that all of the new Fry’s were including all of those things, and that there was one not far from where I was standing right that very second. I quickly paid for my groceries and headed that way. It was true. It was just as Bec had described, down to the sushi bar and the wine and beer bar. When I say sushi bar, I don’t mean just plastic containers of sushi; I mean there are people making sushi to order and you sit at the bar (probably with a glass of wine from the wine bar) and enjoy your sushi. There was no one partaking at the wine bar that day, but I have gone a couple of times since, and both times there have been people drinking a beer and eating something from the deli. Maybe the reason this so astounds me is because they don’t sell wine or beer in grocery stores in Colorado. All I know is, I AM GOING TO GO HAVE A GLASS OF WINE ONE AFTERNOON WHILE I’M SHOPPING. Because I can.