Monday, July 18, 2011

the oasis

There are so many reasons to pick this title for a post!

To start with, we spent a delightfully ordinary hour over coffee/lunch (depending on your inclination) at our very favorite café – the newly named Oasis Café (OC hereafter), just across the newly opened public library in Fitchburg. [The sign still says EVP Café, but don't be fooled, it's the Oasis (though with EVP coffee).]


Paul, the owner/manager, may be familiar to some of you: he once co-owned and developed the tiny Pelmeni (small Russian dumplings) place on State Street (before it changed hands and lost its authentic, food centered vibe). Many people, my daughters included, raved about the delicious dumplings. At the OC, Paul is continuing a tradition of handmade pelmeni, using local ingredients, organic where possible.


...Even though I haven’t been going to the Oasis for the dumplings. Ed and I are regulars – myself for the coffee, Ed for everything else (he loves the tomato basil soup there so much that I no longer make my own at home: I don’t want to compete... what if I lose...).

Today we went to the OC with my daughter, so that she could have her reunion with the fantastic pelmeni and so that we could have the kind of perfect break from work (and writing in my case) that you always hope for on long hard days.

It was a heavenly inerlude.

Thanks, Paul (and Paul’s dad, there in the background, waving). (If you go for the pelmeni, say hi to Paul and tell him I sent you!)


In other news – well, it’s no news really to say here that I am reaching my raspberry saturation point. I have eaten them, I have frozen them, I have baked with them. Canes, slow down on production already! There is more to life than just raspberries! (Is there?)

It has been suggested that, with a more generous impulse, I might want to give the overflow to neighbors and friends. Here’s the catch: you have to pick the berries first. We have no tidy rows, we have a jungle out there! My legs are deeply wounded by the canes and Ed’s cap with the funny cup covered with sticky stuff is full of deer flies. And, of course, today there are the heat and humidity. I can’t remember a day this humid in Madison. My camera lens misted over and refused to focus.


Life is really grand when all you have to complain about is the overabundance of raspberries. Such days never last a long time. But they do come.  For most everyone. An oasis of calm.