Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Now the Dogwood

The redbud are dropping off their pinkish blooms and are greening for the rest of spring and summer. Meanwhile the flowering white dogwood has come into its own and has decorated lawns and the roadside woods. Gerald’s tulips have replaced the hyacinth, and the iris bed is getting ready to strut its stuff. A large circle of mayflowers in a neighbor’s meadow promises that soon there will be a white flower beneath those green umbrellas. People have been bouncing between turning on their heat and then the air conditioner. Today it was likely to be air on. Schedules are full with end-of-school plays and concerts, graduation events, and bridal and baby showers postponed for pleasant weather. For many of us, softball and baseball games keep us busy.

My friend Marilyn Schild and I exchanged notes on our Christmas cards that we must get together for lunch as soon as the Christmas rush was over. It seems to me that we’ve not really had much slow time since even though winter is usually a breather before spring. So finally on Monday, Marilyn and I met up for lunch. Usually we meet at a Mexican place in Marion, but I had been wishing to try to the new bed and breakfast in town that serves lunch for the public. Marilyn had not been there yet either but had heard good reports from her neighbor, so we met up for our usual two-to-three hour lunch there.

The historic house at 1414 Main Street has always been attractive to me. After standing empty for a few years, it was offered for sale with a large enticing sign on the lawn. Each time I would pass that corner on the way to pick up our grandson Sam at the junior high, I would fantasize about how much fun it would be to live there. It was not a real desire—just something fun to think about.

Then I read it had sold to Debbie Hayes last March and she planned to open a bed and breakfast there. I can’t remember if the feature article said she had Marion roots, but she came here from the East with some New York recipes to share. The name Jasones was in memory of her son Jason Rowcliffe who died on Christmas Eve 2002. Jason had a dream of someday opening a 5-star restaurant after he attended Jjohnson & Wale Culinary Institute to become a Master Chef. Debbie explains on her menu: “All my love and passion has gone into this house, and I am pleased to share with you the joy of Jasones Bed & Breakfast.”

We had the tomato soup with basil first. We both tried the Beef-On-Weck so we would not have to envy the other one’s choice as we might if we had ordered different items. The sandwich was labeled a New York delicacy with this description: “Tender and juicy aged angus beef, sliced thick, soaked in au jus, piled high on top a kimmel weck roll, served with a side of au jus, ketchup and horseradish." Our waitress thought we must try the white pie, and Marilyn ordered a piece with the idea of splitting it with me. I said I’d just take a bite to sample it, but she insisted I needed a half. I am glad she did because it was good, and that also gave me an excuse to ask for the third coffee fill-up as we continued our conversation catch-up.

Even though we did not get around to talking about politics as we usually do, we had a very satisfying conversation. We shared problems and sympathized with each other. And I was thoroughly entertained hearing about Marilyn’s latest adventures and activities which are always interesting and vastly different from mine. There is nothing like a long talk with a good friend to brighten one’s life and to stimulate one’s mind. I left Jasones refreshed and hoping (probably vainly) that we would not have to wait as long the next time to meet up for lunch.

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