Last night Noah and I dined at one of Winston-Salem's finest restaurants, Noble's, courtesy of several wonderful friends. Although slightly out of our element—it's the kind of place where you don't flush with your foot, if you catch my drift, and the disposable hand towels were better in both nap and thickness than many of my regular towels—we had a fantastic evening.
Noble's encapsulates a truly charming upscale nonchalance, as thought it's where the wealthy go to get in touch with their Southern roots without also having to get in touch with pigs feet and a deep fryer. A sophisticated Shrimp and Grits is a menu staple, for instance. For our part, we ordered Hushpuppy style shrimp in a dijonaise, Caesar salad, tomato bisque with local goat cheese, filet with roasted veg, salmon with fingerling potatoes in an onion sauce, a side of gourmet macaroni and cheese (listed, classically, as a vegetable), and a Moravian bread pudding. Folks, it was superb.
"Don't eat crumbs of the table," I hissed at Noah as I picked garnish from my teeth.
"Look at all that good batter left on the shrimp tail," Noah replied, longingly.
* * *
For the past couple of weeks, Cody's reticence for "hopping up" on the bed at night graduated into something more: a general creakiness and delicacy that makes me suspect arthritis. Consequently, he's been sleeping on our bedroom floor a lot—that is, when he doesn't stand by my bedside staring pathetically directly at my face until somebody hoists him up.
Last night, he settled by the floor vent, so Noah suggested we give him a couple blankets to snuggle. You'd have thought I was asking him to sleep on a hot skillet, so suspicious of those blankets was he.
"How's it going?" asked Noah. Bonnie was on the blankets and Cody was pressed against the nightstand several feet away, glancing distrustfully toward the pallet.
I led him over and commanded him to sit, then lie down, which he did with a surprising blend of decorum and self-pity, an unusual combination he's mastered through the years.
"Come on up, you big lug," Noah said, performing a dead-man's lift on that ridiculous canine.
* * *
I can't blame the dog, really. I'm no good at change either, particularly to my home life.
Yesterday afternoon, about two hours before our dinner, Noah called from the Navy recruiting office with news. His job training in Pensacola, the 11 weeks immediately after his 8-week boot camp, had been extended to six months.
We've certainly been thrown for a loop. Fortunately the Navy will now temporarily relocate Ethan and me, so we'll be with Noah the entire time, which is fantastic. And after a few hours of processing the information, I realized I'll finally be able to use the phrase "Oh, I'm wintering in Florida."
This temporary relocation has brought a hurricane of things to do (see how I'm picking up the lingo already??), including finding extended-term housesitters. I'll miss having our families literally minutes away, and I'll miss our church family tremendously. And while I love vacations—and winter on the Gulf Coast is a grand one—I never quite sleep right when I'm not in my own bed. I'll miss our home. But it's just for a short time.
I think Cody and I will adjust to our new Florida bed. After all, we'll be in it together.