Rudy showed up right on time. It helped that AdRi went to pick him up. He had inquired if it would be a fancy dinner, and we had assured him it was not. We discovered two pomegranate’s on the front porch, left for us by our friend G., and Rudy and I cut into one and figured out together how to get the juicy seeds out. He asked what you’re supposed to do with the seeds in the center of the juicy bits, and I told him you eat them. He wasn’t so sure about that. But he was intent on cleaning out that piece of pomegranate and worked it until each seed was out. He declared he wouldn’t want to go to all of that work himself, but if I wanted to pick them out and give him a baggy with those seeds in it I could. Ha! That Rudy is a jokester.
The weather has been warm and just right for walking. Rudy said he had been outside that day, and had set up his chair in the sun. I know exactly where that chair is. A plastic white chair in the driveway, where the light reflects on the white house and the white cement: it's a perfect spot to warm up.
Rudy is worried about the winter. “I just hate it,” he says. “Nothin’ to do but sit around and watch TV.” He gets bored. As a man who lived his life fishing rivers and climbing around outdoors, winter, alone, in your 90’s, is not the best of times. I told him not to worry and we’d have him over to visit.
A green salad with a vinaigrette made from our blueberry basil vinegar was a hit. Tangy and sweetened with a little honey, I showed Rudy the bottle of homemade vinegar. Our homemade tomato sauce was used in the lasagna, and apples gifted from Mark and Rodger starred in a dessert of apple pie. Rudy had seconds of lasagna: he says his girlfriend tells him he’s too skinny.
We talked and talked, about his childhood, about his children, about growing up with a father who was once a farmer and then a longshoreman. I had never noticed Rudy was missing three fingers, and when I asked, he told the story. They had gotten caught in a mill he worked, and cut clean off.
Bringing up politics is always interesting. And I brought out the camera so his words could be delivered to you directly. I asked him who he was going to vote for and this is what Rudy said.
Obamer. I love that part.
I’m so proud to know a smart, wise, funny old man named Rudy. And now you know him too.
P.S. You can help seniors in the Portland area by eating out this Thursday at Widmer Brothers Gasthaus. Half of all proceeds benefit the Meals-On-Wheels organization, Loaves & Fishes.
Thursday, October 30, 4-10pm, 95 N. Russell.
Rudy gets Meals on Wheels and is proud to say he eats a salad every day because of it.