Posted tagged ‘lobster ravioli’

‘Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused – in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened – by the recurrence of Christmas.’

December 19, 2013

Yesterday what usually takes an hour and thirty minutes or, at most, an hour and forty-five minutes took three hours and forty-five minutes. I went from the Cape to a town about 15 miles from Boston to pick up my sister to go out to dinner. Along the way were electronic signs saying things like Exit 12, seven miles-forty five minutes. My favorite was the five miles, fifty-five minutes warning. They weren’t wrong. On the radio, the traffic guy kept saying he hadn’t seen the like of these traffic jams in and out of the city ever before on a normal day. The traffic was the same the day before but a snow storm was the cause. By the time I got to my sister’s, my body was permanently molded in the shape of my car seat. I got out and stretched but to little avail.

My sister came right out as we were pretty late for our reservation and off we went. I decided not to look for a parking spot and, instead, parked in a lot right by the restaurant which a sign explained was not for patrons of the restaurant. The sign in front of where I parked my car threatened towing. I threw caution to the wind figuring I had already had my hell on Earth for that day. The hostess didn’t look up until after we had given our name. When she did, we both let out a happy, surprised shout. We hugged. She, Sully, explained to my sister we had known each other since the first grade at St. Patrick’s and then told a story about Sister Hildegard, the nun about whom we all still tell stories. Sully got whacked by her for talking in line. Sully’s mother took the stance all parents did when it came to the nuns, “You must have deserved it.”

Dinner was delicious. Mine was lobster ravioli in a light brandy tomato cream sauce. My sister dined on sautéed shrimp with mushrooms and artichoke hearts in a white wine sauce over penne. I had them make me a cosmo with pomegranate juice instead of cranberry. That first sip alone almost made the trip worthwhile.

I amazed myself by not being crazed. What could I do? I listened to Christmas music and sang along. When I got off the highway, it was to more traffic at a red light, but I was at Spot Pond and across the way I could see the colored lights from the zoo, an every year attraction. A huge lit tree with swags of lights was right next to the road. I didn’t go through town but went the back way through streets I used to walk as a kid. I saw two of the most decorated houses I’ve seen all year. They were so amazing I drove that way to my sister’s house after dinner so she could see them.

The ride home was at g-force. I was a red flash on the highway and made it home in under an hour and a half. Gracie was thrilled to see me. I immediately changed into slippers and comfy clothes. I must have had a Pollyanna moment because when I thought about the trip I decided seeing my sister made it worthwhile. Dinner too was delicious, and it was a wonderful surprise seeing Sully again. Christmas sneaks up on us in most unusual ways.