Some of the characters from Little Bookstore gathered last night to share birthday wishes for our friend Tony. Retired from a water-based Armed Forces career to become a Presbyterian Pastor, Tony’s seen everything the world can throw. Twice.
But Tony and his wife Becky provided Jack and me with a new experience: artisanal ice.
Walking up to their house last night, we encountered William (of William and Isabel) who said they’d just returned from a trip to Wise (a town about 25 minutes away) to bring “the party ice” to Tony and Becky’s house.
I envisaged sculpture, perhaps a magnificent angel in pale lime sherbet, rising with outstretched wings from a punchbowl. Since it was snowing here, and the roads had that dangerous sheen of black ice, fetching “party ice” from so far away had to be a mission of intense importance.
Nah. They went to Sonic, because “Tony and Becky like the way the ice is all the same size and crushed round to fit in glasses.”
Uh…. okay. So we went to the party and had a lovely Italian meal with Sparkling Spritzers served over Specialty Ice.
And it was nice ice. But I blog about this moment because it’s how we roll, here in Big Stone. We do not question our friend’s need to have specialty ice for her husband’s birthday party; we procure it. (Isabel says they got hot dogs while waiting in line, so it was kind of a fun outing.)
Nor am I surprised that Isabel and Will braved the roads for Becky, because Becky has been there for all of us at least once. Back when Jack and I took our first vacation in five years, and a kitten got into the plumbing between our first and second floor, I called home to check progress and another friend reported, “All is well. Becky sat upstairs in your bathtub, meowing to the kitten with a tin of tuna, until it came out.”
A woman who does this for others gets party ice when she asks for it. And so the circle turns.
One of the chapter quotes in Little Bookstore is from Epicurus: “It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us.”