Fourtieth Anniversary

It’s a rare occasion for two people to stay together for so long. It’s an occasion to celebrate with the ones you care about. My parents have been together for a long time. By being there at least I could bring a bit more happiness into their lives. My plan was to cook them dinner and give them a present. 

I wanted to cook them dinner since they have cooked me dinner for as long as I could remember. There were some occasions where I may have made them something but today they should have a special one. My plans for a gourmet meal were dashed but they had plenty of ingredients to work with. The salad beet salad was made already it’s a good salad and it has to be eaten. There were some patties that were made already as well. There is the meat option already ready for consumption. I got some apple pie to serve as a dessert. It was a request from mom for the dessert. The ice cream was in the fridge already. The longest part of the whole process was peeling the potatoes. I think they were the last of the crop from the garden and it actually took quite a long time to clean them up for consumption. I’ll boil them lightly before seasoning and baking them until ready. They’ll have that crisp outer shell with a soft middle. 

I set off on Saturday in the afternoon. Slowly meandering through all the various chores that I wanted to get done as well as some things to take care of. My sis was going to pick me up after she finished her work. I had a bit of time to meander. It gave me time. 

After the drive and the initial hugs and how are yous and finding dad in his element in the shop weighing out the orders to distribute the small batch of sausage and bacon that he made. The smell brought back memories of working away in the bowels of this building making the fine products of artisanal quality. I still haven’t had anything close to what we made then anywhere else. Maybe it’s because of that nostalgia of those days of yore. 

We sat down together and shared a bottle of wine as we talked about all kinds of things. My parents retold the story of how they first met. My mom was walking down the stairs and my dad was going up. My mom was working as a receptionist in a government office and my dad was going to the canteen that was located near there. It’s not clear how but somehow she invited him to some function. He went there but my mom was busy with the audio tape that was supposed to play a speech over some music. She said that she spent the better part of the night fixing it. She got a bit jealous when she spotted dad flirting or surrounded by other women. My dad noticed this I think. He waited for her to come back from a trip that she took with my blind uncles. My dad says that he kind of knew when she was coming back so that he “engineered” bumping into her as she returned with her bags in tow. They went out for ice cream from one of his friends’ establishments. My dad knew a lot of people in town. From there they met in the morning for a coffee before they had to start work and their relationship blossomed as they started going out for movies. They dated for three months before my dad popped the question. In all the times I’ve heard this story new details always appear. I do have to ask them though how dad popped the question. On occasion mom will thrown in the story of how dad recovered miraculously from a night out of drinking and fighting. Mom has always had a thing against drinking. This was while they were still dating. She’s like “I don’t know to this day how he sobered up so well between the time I saw him in the morning and when I saw him after work.” Obviously he showered and was a bit more coherent. He didn’t want to mess up. They were married within a year of meeting each other and have stayed together through thick and thin. They still have that twinkle in the eye when they look at each other. Their circumstances in the present may not be the greatest and I wish I could help them more but they are having a good time with each other at least. They want to see more grandchildren they want us single kids to finally be settled into what they have with each other. 

On Sunday morning I cooked breakfast. Sis was away working the portion of her shift that she couldn’t get rid of. She would be back at noon. I went and grabbed a piece of bacon from the shop and chopped it into nice cubes to scramble with the eggs. There was still some left over coffee from the morning pot. We ate and chatted as I ironed my shirt and then went to church as a gesture to my folks. I heard the sermon and wondered about life and those around me. It was an interesting experience at that particular time. It was also a long service I had the van that my parents were going to take to their service in Surrey. They were going to go to the Polish service and say hi to their friends there. I had dinner times to their expected return but mom called and they were going to go to their friends’ for coffee. 

I flicked through the channels and the crappy service that they get here. I watched the sports highlights and the couple of football matches as well as the news. There is a pre election coast to coast tour by all the leaders of the federal parties. I made sure to capture the backyard. The potatoes turned out alright. Whipped up some sauce for garnishing them and the meat patties that my dad made turned out well. My parents enjoyed the meal a lot. It was nice to see those smiles in their faces. 

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