Saturday, January 18, 2014

Lunch with a Character

In August, I posted about a very special lunch that Kendall and I had at the home of a very special distant cousin of mine whom I only met a couple of years ago. (His dad was my grandpa's first cousin.) Age ninety-four or so, Ed lives in his own apartment, which is beautifully decorated with conversation pieces that are so interesting (Some day, I hope to remember to bring my good camera and ask him if I can take some pictures.) He even made many of the furnishings himself, including curtains, chair cushions, etc. 

When we last had lunch at Ed's he served us at a gorgeous table set with china, below a beautiful glass chandelier. Today when we arrived, we saw this right away, and after a quick hug and greeting, Ed said, "I hope you don't mind if we eat in the kitchen." 

Glancing at the paper plates, I actually thought nothing of it and said, "Of course not!"

Ed busied himself with something on the stove for a second and then turned, suddenly sweeping the paper plates across the table. 

"Just kidding!! Now get out of here [the kitchen] and let me do my work!" he said teasingly, gesturing towards the dining room, an "I got you!" grin on his face. That's where we found this:

and then this

Yes, that is a huge chicken breast, lovingly stuffed with olives and a kind of thinly sliced salami (I can't remember the Italian name Ed shared.)  Dessert (which we had no room for but managed to cram in anyway, of course) was homemade chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Last time, he vice-gripped my arm when I tried to clear the table afterwards. This time, we managed to keep out of arm's reach and at least get the dishes to the kitchen before settling in for some visiting.

At one point in our visit, I asked Ed when his birthday is, and he replied, "That's what I hear." Assuming he hadn't heard me clearly, I repeated my question, and he repeated his answer with that mischievous grin of his; he wasn't going to tell me the date, though he did tease "some time around 1920."  That's just the kind of guy Ed is; he doesn't want me worrying about sending him a birthday card; he's sincerely just happy to have company and be loved.

An interior decorator to some of St. Paul's rich and famous back in the day, Ed tells great stories about his work and the treasures he's collected over the years. He's also a World War II vet and has a family with a number of grandkids, too, so he has lots to talk about.  It was such a treat for Kendall and me, but Ed kept saying it was his privilege. 

Being able to visit Ed again took some of the sting out of my having to leave Kendall at school and head home alone. I regretted that we could only stay a couple of hours. One of these days; I'm going to roadtrip and spend an afternoon with Ed. 

And, regardless of the date, I'll bring a birthday present.  

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