November 18, 2018

Dateline: Birmingham, Alabama –

I must have felt safe and comfortable at Frank and Laurel‘s house last night as I slept for more than ten hours and could easily have slept a few more if I had tried. Given the fact that I am in general having trouble sleeping more than six these days, my relaxed physiology is the greatest compliment I could give to my hosts. As it was after noon by the time I was up, moving and breakfasted, there wasn’t much else to do with the day as I had the six and a half hour drive back to Birmingham to contend with.

My initial plan was to stop in Atlanta for dinner with an old friend, but those plans were derailed by a sick horse (a long and tangential story which does not bear repeating here…) so dinner ended up being fast food Bojangles fried chicken near the Pilot Truck Stop outside of Carrolton, Georgia. Bojangles always reminds me of Tommy. He was very fond of it and when he didn’t feel like cooking, I would often pick up a Bo-box on the way home. The one thing of theirs he could not stand was their iced tea. He was always very particular about that beverage. He drank it unsweet, unusual in a southerner, but had very definite feelings as to how it should taste. Tommy was one of the 1/1000 people known as a super taster. Their taste buds are wired differently than most and they can pick up very subtle flavors and combinations that most of us cannot imagine. In addition, Tommy was a synasthete with crossed taste and visual senses. Tastes had color and, when he was cooking, you could often hear him muttering things like ‘this tastes too brown’ and then the spice and herb jars would start flying. We always had a big spice cupboard, but once he discovered Penzey’s Spices in Homewood, he laid in enough to be able to season anything and everything.

I got back about 8 pm and got the suitcase ready to pack again in the morning after doing some laundry and taking care of the cats. I don’t think the cats had even noticed my absence. They’re like that. As long as the litter box stays scooped and there’s kibble in the feeder, they’re content. Up tomorrow to catch the plane to Seattle. As it’s Monday of Thanksgiving week, it shouldn’t be too horrible a trip. Looking forward to some family time.

I’ll start thinking of some stories to tell and get a couple of columns written while I’m on the West Coast.

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