The Banquet Table

U.P. Tech support

January 26 th

Today I hit the snooze a few times as the alarm goes off. It’s nice to be in my warm bed while the snow falls outside. I plan to use my usual manipulation tactics to get Tim to pack the trail for me. When we snowshoe Tim goes first and packs down the trails. This way I can walk effortlessly in his tracks. I know, I know readers ….the broken fibula. You are thinking I could at least break trail for the wounded (especially since I pushed him off the chair) not in this blog. I have my reasons. Tim’s snowshoes are twice the size of mine. So in front he will trudge without complaint. When I finally do get up I don my running attire and pad into the kitchen for some pre run coffee. My mom and I whisper in hushed tones as I inform her I’m trying to let Tim sleep. Yesterday I ran 6 miles while Tim slept. Upon my return I woke him up and begged him to go snowshoeing. We whisper mostly of how great Tim is and what a good match we are (minus the chairlift incident). I stretch in preparation for my run. I plan to complete another 6 miles before Tim awakens.

“Boom, Boom, Boom” my brother Tom thunders up the stairs with cheerful morning greetings. I know Tim will be awakened in mere seconds.

Tim shuffles out in his recently arrived sheepskin slippers. My manipulation tactics of guilt and smug are destroyed. I haven’t run one step. No runners smug to cast upon Tim. Oh well maybe I can find some other way to sucker Tim into snowshoeing around Emil’s property. My mom spoils us with a breakfast. She presents an assortment of fruits, jams, toast, and offers of anything else a tummy could desire. I decide to concentrate my efforts on finding someway to contribute to the banquet table we have at each meal. Hmm, I ponder “What I can bring to the table?” My best skills consist of baking a variety of cookies. This has been well covered by my mother. Tim bakes bread for dinner. It’s delicious and warm. My Dad provided us with “UP tech support”. Tom can provide us the answer to any question we have by consulting Wikipedia via his Crackberry….I mean Blackberry. Hmm, how can I contribute?

Tim's beautiful and delicous bread.

Too bad it goes bad quick.

My mom's homemade lasagna (center), rhubarb cake (left)

Aha. I know I can be the barrista. Everybody loves coffee. I decide to wow everybody with gorgeous cappuccinos. Yes. That will be just the ticket. I might even impress Tim so much he’ll go snowshoeing with me. I use the stovetop espresso maker and the Illy coffee I gave my parents for their anniversary. The espresso machine is shiny and new, gleaming with excitement. Now that the milk foamer is here I have a chance to contribute smething to the feasts. The milk foams beautifully, which is not always the case. Over the rich Italian coffee I place dollops of foamy milk. For the final touch I add some chocolate sprinkles. I offer my artful creation to my father. I’m bursting with pride as I pass the cup towards him. His face crinkles at the site still stunned the from yesterday’s strong espresso. I had to make it san foamy milk as the milk wand was in Tim’s lost bag. “None for me thanks” Oh well. My mom will be impressed. A former home economics teacher and a true rival to Betty Crocker, she always emphasized the importance of presentation. I try to share the delight with my mom as well. She humors me and takes a pretend sip stating, “I’m good” and declines another. I turn to Tom. He accepts his cappuccino and downs it in one sip. He nods his approval but I am not convinced he is impressed. I am not sure he could have tasted it, it went down so fast. Tim accepts his cappuccino with a smile. Other than with Tim my cappuccino efforts were a dive. I realize I have nothing to bring to the table. Then it dawns on me. I have love. Love is the ultimate gift to bring to the table.

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