‘Would you like to stay for dinner?’ I asked the Sotheby’s auction specialist who was examining and discussing Chinese and Tibetan lacquer with my husband. ‘We’re having lamb’. She responded ‘I love lamb, but no thank you ‘.

Jane, a graduate school friend of mine that lives in Wisconsin, and I had just returned from a few hours stroll to Belvedere Park.  As many of The Ark readers know, I’m in a wheelchair with my broken leg sticking out front, not able to bare weight, and rolling to the park with a playground seemed like a happy thing to do.  The subjects we talked about went from “Do blondes really have more fun?” and “Why did we decide to travel to Baja?” and “I knew you would be in the Madison City Hall rotunda during the Scott Walker Wisconsin governorship Teachers Union strike.”

As she rolled me back into our home, I could smell and see the bunch of rosemary I had asked a neighbor to bring me since we were cooking lamb.  I had a pleasant first exchange with our guest, an invitation to stay for dinner and then moved to my desk with ear buds.  As time progressed, I realized I needed to cook the lamb, it was going to take 2 hours so I turned on the oven.  Normally, my husband is the cook.  I got out a baking dish, rubbed the lamb with olive oil, salt and peppered and placed the rosemary everywhere on the lamb and set in the oven along with brown potatoes.  As the meat began to smell, our guest mentioned she had changed her mind and would enjoy staying for dinner.

I was proud of myself, given my mobility limitations, cooked a delicious meal with  a green salad and talked with my educated guest.  I could still be spontaneous.  My beautiful indigo Japanese cotton furoshiki became a tablecloth and the Giant’s blanket moved to cover unsightly health aides.  It was a beautiful clear evening, the perfect time to sit outside, eat and enjoy the view.  We spoke of her move from academia to becoming a specialist with Sotheby’s.  Her BA she got from the University of North Carolina, her MA. from Cal Berkeley and PhD at UCLA.  As we spoke, I noticed how fluidly she moved from her cell phone to our conversation and back to her phone.  It was not obtrusive, but more of noting how she handled many things at once, including private texts and professional updates.  When a particular art subject would come up, she quickly found an interesting relevant site and would forward the information immediately.  The same was true of images of a particular art object.

She asked me about my own career moves.  I was a hippie and loved to travel and barter, and that took me to South America, then Afghanistan and then to Japan.  But Japan, and her indigo threads, beckoned me over the next three decades.  Then my health dictated another move to Asian Art Appraiser and here I am today.