21st century date

The other day my husband, who is feeling lonesome for me a whole lot right now since I’m not going to see him until mid-May, suggested that we have another Skype date, like we did on Valentine’s Day. He’s an hour ahead of me, which meant ending my day’s plans a little earlier than I’d planned, but I’m so glad we did that.

that’s him in his kitchen on the laptop over my shoulder.

We got online together on Skype at 4:30 my time, 5:30 his, and talked for a bit, caught up with each other like you’d do when you come home from work. Shared stories, checked in. Then I took my laptop into my kitchen, and he trained his camera into his kitchen, and we started cooking together. We’d decided to make salmon, rice, and asparagus. My kitchen is very small, a galley kitchen, so whatever I’m doing, wherever I go, I’m squarely on his giant monitor. So we cooked, piddled, talked to each other, asked how the other was doing the salmon (I put herbes de Provence on mine and baked it, and he put cayenne on his and broiled it). We made jasmine rice. We made our asparagus, and then sprinkled grated parmigiana reggiano on it for the final hot flourish — really so good with the asparagus. I moved my laptop to my dining table, he reoriented his camera, and we sat to eat together. We were facing each other directly, so we’d look up and look at each other, we showed each other our plates, we talked and talked and talked.

After we put away the food and put the dishes away, I moved my laptop into my bedroom and he set up his movie, and we stretched out and watched a movie together — Short Term 12, really beautiful (and the SXSW winner last year). Watching a movie together is very tricky, because we have to start it at exactly the same moment or I hear his and he hears mine and the lag makes it impossible. It took us a couple of tries, but we got it synced. We could talk about the movie, or ask each other questions; the only thing we couldn’t do was rub each other’s feet, which is what we usually do when we watch movies together.

The movie touched on a lot of things that resonated with me, so we talked about it for a while after it ended, and then he said, “hey, do you want some rice pudding?” That’s so him. So back to the kitchen we went to make rice pudding. While it was cooling, we were talking about our vacation, and he started telling me about some map apps he found that download the entire map into the phone. So we sat there, each holding our phones, downloading apps and playing with them and talking about it. Once in a while he’d hold his phone up to the camera to show me something, and I’d do the same. When our pudding was cool, we brought cups of it back to our laptops and ate and compared the recipes we used (we decided mine was better, but probably because it contained a Parker egg, that gorgeously luscious deep gold yolk….). We talked more about our vacation. We talked about the bad thing in the background. We talked about Oliver, and Katie. We talked about death; he is taking a meditation class that focuses on impermanence, and they are assigned to meditate on death. Finally, around 1am, I was too sleepy — and it was 2am for him. We’d hung out together for 8.5 hours, easily, happily. We talked, we cooked, we ate, we watched a movie, we laughed, we got scared, I cried.

He’s flying in very late the evening of Friday April 4, and heading home extremely early Monday, April 6, so he can meet Oliver, and so we can be together in person a little bit. It’s a long gap from early February to Mid-May, which is how long I’m here in Austin, so we’ll have to squeeze in a lot of time in those two little days. He always holds my hand when we go anywhere at all, and he sleeps tucked against my back all night, and he rubs my feet after dinner. As wonderful as Skype is, as wonderful as technology can make a long-distance relationship, it can’t allow those things.

My mission today is to get Oliver’s quilt pin-basted so I can quilt it on Tuesday. I’m meeting some girlfriends later today to see The Grand Budapest Hotel, which will be fun — especially since I’m going with them. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday, whatever you do! It’s kind of gross here in Austin, muggy and overcast, heavy clouds, and the wind is going to fly in around 1. Not my favorite kind of Sunday, but then again, any Sunday I am alive is a good Sunday. 🙂

work day

Today, no work for me beyond getting Oliver’s quilt top made, sewing a couple of crib sheets, and doing some writing. It’s another gorgeous day here, although not 82 degrees like we had yesterday (“only” 71, I’ll take it). A side-by-side comparison of my place in Austin yesterday and NYC yesterday:

Marc and I had such a Valentine’s Day blast yesterday. My day started with valentines in my email from him, and then a knock on my door and there was my daughter Katie, standing there holding a box of Krispie Kreme donuts and a container of chocolate milk. Ah, my sweet girl. I started making spaghetti sauce around 11am so it could simmer all day. At 6, I took my laptop into the kitchen and turned on Skype, and Marc and I made our dinners together.

that's him on the laptop, cooking in NYC while I cook in Austin. We talked to each other the whole time.
that’s him on the laptop, cooking in NYC while I cook in Austin. We talked to each other the whole time.

We both had spaghetti with homemade sauce and big salads. When we were ready to eat, I moved my laptop to the dining table and we faced each other and ate dinner. We actually looked at each other and talked more last night than we would’ve had we eaten together, because we usually watch The Daily Show or Colbert while we eat. It was so great. We cleaned our kitchens together, then we stretched out to watch a movie together. The timing was tricky because we both had to start the movie at the same moment but we did it. The laptops were there so we could see each other, talk about the movie. (We watched the Robert Redford movie, All is Lost. Almost no dialogue, and only him on the screen. Amazing movie.)

When the movie ended, we talked a little bit and then wished each other sweet dreams and logged off. It was actually a wonderful Valentine’s Day, even though it was very nonusual.

Today I’ll open up my house so the fresh air can flow through, and in addition to sewing and writing, I’ll make a lemon cake to take to brunch tomorrow. Busy day for me, but every bit happy. Sunshine makes me happy. Making things makes me happy. Writing makes me happy. My sweet little home makes me happy. Daydreaming about Oliver makes me happy. My children make me happy, and my husband. My family, my friends, all of you “out there” living your lives make me happy.

Happy Saturday. xox