Earl and I have always had an open and honest relationship. For the last nearly 21 years we’ve had thousands of discussions. A small minority of them have been heated, the vast majority of them were peppered with laughter and once in a while I’m good from a really good spit take. For example, we were talking about taking a vacation to Disneyland Paris sometime in the future. I mentioned that I needed to brush up on my French and should look into Berlitz or something. He said that I don’t have the attention span to listen to Rosemary’s Baby. It took me a few moments and lots of laughter for us to both realize that he meant Rosetta Stone. Since the beginning of this surgical journey back at the end of January, my diet has had to hover in the bland zone, especially since the latest surgery at the beginning of the month. With Earl retired, he’s been experimenting in the kitchen a lot more. We’ve started supper in the dining room again instead of eating a fast paced meal at the kitchen table or in front of the television. The meals have been wonderful and I’m lucky man to be married to a man that was able to retire at his age. The best part of sitting in the dining room eating supper is the after dinner conversation. After we’ve both finished eating we actually sit and talk for a good 10-15 minutes before getting up and clearing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. I know it’s a really small thing, but it’s small part of what I’ve always dreamed of having in my perfect world. Growing up we had pleasant enough family meals, sometimes in the dining room, sometimes in the kitchen, but my Dad would hastily depart the table when he was done eating. My mom would ask him to sit down and talk but that wasn’t really his thing. He wasn’t mean about it or anything, it’s just that my Dad would rather be sitting in his chair reading a book or magazine or something. Couple the rule of “no politics, no religion, no sex” discussion at the dinner table with the quick exit by my Dad and it’s small wonder that I didn’t really know how the world worked until I was out on my own. Since the election fiasco of 2000 I’ve tried really hard to be aware of what’s going on in the world of American politics and the world in general. I know just enough to be loud and not sound like a complete fool when I go on one of my rants and a lot of that can be attributed to conversations that Earl and I enjoy after dinner. When Jamie is home, he sits and chats as well. The conversation occasionally goes off the rails but it’s good to sit down and have family dinner time, whether it’s the two of us or the three of us. Perhaps more folks should get back in the habit of sitting down for dinner time and having a conversation. Maybe folks would be more interested in what’s going on around them if they talked to the folks around them.