(Coop and Jane are driving the dogs. Pray for them.)
Anyway, it's a curious mindset to be in. I find that everything has this undertone of tragedy. Like, "This is the last time I will buy cereal in New York." "This is the last time I will hunt for a competent pet sitter in New York." "This is the last time I will make black beans in New York." "This is the last time I will clean up Scout's urine...oh, who am I kidding?"
It's particularly upsetting when I know I'm seeing someone for the last time. There have already been some tearful farewells when we said goodbye to friends who left for the summer and who won't be back before we leave. They've been just...well, REALLY PAINFUL. As you know, I've spent the better part of three years trying to eliminate the things that mute my emotions--trying to live in the world unfiltered. So, my friendships with people are deeper and I get to feel all of the joy of that --but the downside is that I don't have much in the way of protection from feeling the pain of saying goodbye.
Take, for instance this past week, when we travelled to Massachusetts to visit our landlords for the fourth of July. Remember how I told you that we'd become good friends? They're really just amazing people. Just...amazing. Wonderful, kind, smart, creative, funny. I really love them.
We knew we had reached our destination when we drove onto their property and saw this:
The landscape is an art form --each tableau composed like a painting. (If you're curious as to why this seemed very familiar, go follow that good friends link above. I'll wait.)
Anyway, the whole visit was magical and I had the oddest feeling of coming home. I guess that makes sense--it's the same feeling I had when I first walked into THIS house, which was created by the same people.
In addition to just loving the heck out of our landlords, we met the rest of their family.
Our landlords breed bulldogs and had EIGHT bulldogs on the premises. They were unbelievably adorable and snuffly. This is my favorite, Elsa:
|I loved ALL of the bulldogs, but Elsa is the youngest and has that puppy thing where she just topples over and waves her legs in the air while you rub her soft puppy belly. I'm a sucker for that.|
|Sam. The Coopers LOVE Sam. Sam LOVES tomatoes.|
|Is that a great face or what?|
|Here are the chickens. And their incredibly mean |
|Julius. (Who is orange. Get it?)|
So, then there were assorted fish and more turtles and an iguana and a frog we found in the yard... and then this guy stopped by:
So, I could go on and on about our landlords and the kind and interesting people they invited to meet us, and the idyllic village in which they live, and how they made both regular eggplant parmesan and VEGAN eggplant parmesan which was incredibly labor intensive (
|Parenthetical photo. I still got it!|
(Had I been thinking, I would have had them buy our house in Austin and then rented it from them. But now maybe we'll have a chance to return their hospitality. I'm SO looking into getting a turtle.)
So, I've probably made you sad now, too. Here, I'll share Harry's amazing home-made hummus recipe with you. (Well, you know, more or less.)
|First, buy these. Or some other brand.|
|Next, take about a third of the can out and place it in the food processor.|
|Add garlic. This is how much garlic I added. Divide yours by half. This was WAY too much garlic.|
|I would have added fresh garlic (one or two cloves) but my garlic cellar was full of shallots. Damn them.|
|Blend until smooth.|
|Add about three tablespoons of tahini. More or less.|