On Fridays we try and go out for dinner. When we lived in Salinas, we went to Patria, or to the many restaurants in Monterey. Here in Portland, between our bustling neighborhood and easy bus service, we had hundreds of places to choose from.
Had, I say. In the pandemic, with public transportation feeling like a disease vector on wheels and many places closed up or only doing take-out, our elegant end of the week tradition has been trimmed back.
I like cooking and don’t mind eating my own food, so for me, the “going out for dinner” was mostly about the “out” part. A change of scene, watching folks and chatting with servers, being in the hustle and bustle. Watching Bridgett sketch interesting characters. Watching Grandpa Nelson wave at babies from across the room.
This past Friday, we packed peanuts and half a bottle of wine, bottles of water, and some picnic utensils into a bag and walked down to Sea Sweets, a poke place on Hawthorne. Auntie Bridgett and I got poke bowls, filled with spicy raw salmon, brown rice, seaweed salad, kimchi corn, and pickled ginger. We also got an ice cold ginger beer for Grandpa Nelson, because it was really hot.
We packed up these delights and continued south to Seawellcrest Park for the “dinner out” part of our evening. We found a socially distanced piece of shade, spread the blanket, and ate up. About thirty feet away, a fellow was exercising. Further off, two young men were playing basketball. And far across the park, happy dogs met and ran and sniffed each other.
It was a warm, pleasant, very un-elegant dinner out, and I enjoyed it very much. As we headed home to watch baseball, I thought about how we create the world by our attitudes.
With the country shut down, in conflict, and worried about our upcoming election, we can still find happiness and peace. And those are valuable resources.
I hope you are enjoying life to the best of your abilities, being kind to those around you, and staying well.