Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Sunday was a Sweat Lodge day at Fritz's. We had eighteen men including ourselves, too big a group for the Lodge. Three elected to go hot tubbing with Fritz and the fourteen of us who remained were delightfully but not unbearably close. When there's that big a crowd, it's much more comfortable to sit with arms around each other's shoulders, which we did, the fourteen of us linked in one big circle of men around the steaming rocks.
It was largely a wordless Sweat with some chanting and a few remembrances of men no longer with us, then it fell completely silent until the soapstones had given up their heat and we all left for the pot luck at the Center. It was extremely cold Sunday, but one of the interesting effects of the Sweat process is that when you emerge from the Lodge, the body is insulated with stored heat for up to five minutes and that gives you time to towel off and dress before you feel the temperature.
At dinner we were finally able to close the deal on an event we've been hoping to hold for some time. In April one of our close friends will arrange and officiate at a Passover Seder for gay men of all spiritual orientations. We're excited and pleased to be able to host this at last. There will be a Sweat on Saturday night and the Seder on Sunday, with guys invited to come to one, the other, or both and stay with us the entire weekend. Spring should be well underway by then and the weekend a beautiful way to celebrate it.
On Monday M, our guest director at MIT and T, his partner just arrived from Ireland for a visit, came up by bus from Boston. The weather was brilliant. We took them to lunch in Exeter, one of those architypical New England towns with the bandstand in the center, the row of Victorian shops, the river cascading over the mill dam as it runs through town, and streets lined with handsome 18th and 19th century houses.
At the Loaf and Ladle, started years ago by a good friend of Fritz's, $5.95 gets you a generously sized bowl of beef and swiss chard stew, cream of portabella mushroom soup, gypsy stew, or squash and sweet corn soup along with your choice of two thick hunks of homemade bread chosen from among four varieties.
We hiked Fritz's thirty-six acres, then had a mid-afternoon tea break. In the late afternoon we set up the maple sap boiler and showed our guests how to tap a sugar maple properly. After wine and appetizers and dinner of seafood-stuffed haddock, M, T, and I drove back to Boston. It had been a lovely weekend.
And, yeah, the L&L is great!