An ordinary weekend preceding a Monday holiday. And yet extraordinary if you think hard about it.
The house is awash in the aroma of vinegar. I am turning uneaten greens into a sauce. Put the greens into a pot with sugar, vinegar, and spices, and lots of curry powder. Cook with wine for about an hour, and the result is perfect sauce for meat and sausage.
Tonight we spread food for the wife, son, and grandson of an old mining friend. His father was mine secretary of the East Geduld mine, north of Springs, Transvaal. They lived in house number 2. We lived in house number 13. That was as wide a spread in social rank as one dared breach. Yet we were friends on the basis of intellect (he was smarter than me), common interest in things real–ultimately careers in mining engineering–and that undefinable quality that makes you like a person.
He and his wife now retired both, live in Cape Town. His son, daughter-in-law, and two grandkids live just across the river from me here in Vancouver. His wife is visiting to see the new grand-daughter. So they came around for supper.
The talk was light. Kids, grandkids, Welcome, Orange Free State (an old mining town in South Africa), political change, and the ills & pains of old-age.
He will come at Christmas, for he cares none for travel. Yet the call of a three-year old grandson is too much to ignore. We will meet and talk of old memories of growing up on a mine. And of kids and grandkids who are accountants, naval officers, municipal civil engineers, and seismic soil-structure interaction specialists.
We will speculate on grandkids who can be anything they choose: architect, CIA investigator, speech therapist, farmer(ess) in Iowa, Jewish Scholar, dress designer, actor, or rebel.
I rather like the potential rebel. He is ginger, blatant, obstreperous, defiant, seeks adventure, and is confidentially bold. He may fail; but if he succeeds, let the world look out.
Mining gave us, our kids, and our grandkids there opportunities. How can we not support mining–at least the right kind?