Another excuse to use the word “penultimate”

Last Thursday, I used “penultimate” to describe my next-to-last interview on our local NPR affiliate, and discovered that using such a word gets attention.  So naturally, I have to use it again.

I also have to write down this day, because it’s been pretty overwhelming.

I’ve had a summer cold for almost a week now, so waking up is not a pleasant experience, with the sore throat and scratchy voice and all.  Not that waking up is ever that awesome for me, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, today I woke up to my penultimate day at work.  8 years of my life, and I have only one day left at a place that has defined me, more or less, since I moved to Arkansas.  And I woke up grumpy (normal), tired (not normal) and hoarse (crappy and not normal).  After rescuing my voice with tea and OJ, I zombied my way to my final KUAF interview, to be greeted by a lovely bouquet of flowers below my usual microphone.  Seriously, is that not the nicest thing?

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My friends who I do the interview with said super nice things about me, and even gave a shout out to my dad, and then I headed, coughing and sneezing, off to my last board meeting with our local tourism association.  That meeting ended with a possible part time job (!) and then I raced back to the office for another meeting that, well, let’s just say it wasn’t awesome. After a delayed lunch with a friend, it was back to the office to be greeted by presents on my desk.  The first was a fantastic old book about silent film from a dear colleague and the second was…wait for it…a 1942 bottle of tequila from another colleague.  I do believe I swore out loud a few times when I saw those gifts.

Next, I got to sit onstage and hear the incredible Artosphere Festival Orchestra rehearse Rach 2 (that’s Sergei Rachmaninoff”s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C-minor, Opus 18, for you novices), which was awesome for approximately 11 minutes before I was seized by a coughing fit and had to run offstage.

Then it was gift time; gifts for my staff, wonderful little inspired creations that I made myself (sort of) that were pretty much a hit, and then off to the bar for drinks and colleagues and more gifts.  Holy crap, the gifts, y’all.  Too many to name, each so thoughtful and awesome.

There were also speeches, including probably one too many by me (I blame fatigue and alcohol), and a few, ok, many tears, also mostly shed by me.  But when I describe my ultimate gift, I think you might agree they were warranted.

As I’ve said on here before, I’m a lousy and generally unmotivated cook.  So what did my inspired colleagues give me?  In the pretty decorated box shown above, I found dozens of handwritten recipe cards.  On the cards are written favorite recipes (they are supposed t0 be easy), including ingredients, directions, tips/nuances, fun facts and the occasional “you can do it!’ exhortation.

I wish I could explain what this means to me, but I’ll bet you can figure it out.  Each card is a treasure of it’s own, with bits of the writer’s personality in both the penmanship and the tips/fun facts; some of the recipes are family traditions passed down over generations and some are just really good “impress your guests” recipes.

And some are just laugh out loud awesome.

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Anyway, it’s been an emotional rollercoaster of a day.  I am tired and a little sad, but also humbled and grateful for my friends and for the memories I’ll take with me into my next adventure.

And, I’m ready to start cooking.

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