It seems appropriate upon the heels of the firing of Republican conservative and paranoid madman Poor Little Tucker that we should have settled this evening in the thick of Confederacy amid the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley. Highlighting our ephemeral stay here was the fortuitous discovery of a nearby gas station where we filled the tank of our car (in anticipation of another long drive tomorrow to Binghamton, New York) and then arranged a purgative car wash. Upon arrival moments later at the hotel we went for a relaxing swim, followed by an invigorating shower in preparation for our tapas and crudités at the rooftop bar.

Charcuterie is actually a French word referring to cured or cooked meat, and today a lot of charcuterie boards are filled with deli meats, cheeses, breads, spreads and olives of all kinds. In most boards in America, there is no exact derivative or specific nation to model charcuterie boards after. We’ve seen breakfast boards, dessert boards, even ones strictly made of candy.

“Tapas” is a Spanish word for snacks that are normally served at a bar with drinks. There is rarely anything sweet on a tapas board and contains many savory snacks and finger food to enjoy. This list contains more popular Spanish dishes that would go on a tapas platter that will give your next dinner party a Mediterranean twist!

Our focus throughout the day was not entirely self-absorbed.  Somewhere around noon when we were on the road from Lumberton, North Carolina to Harrisonburg, Virginia we received a telephone call from an ancient friend in Canada who shockingly reported that he had lately been ejected from his remote country home to a downtown urban tenancy as the result of a flash kitchen grease fire from which he was lucky to escape with his life.  With the muster of incomparable strength and resilience my friend continues to remain buoyant and exemplary.

Completely unrelated to this distressing news was the more uplifting account of our server at table this evening.  She is a sylphlike 24-year old Vietnamese native who was adopted (presumably by Americans). During our casual tête-à-tête between courses she informed us that upon completion of her summer employment at the Ridge Rooftop Tavern she intends to return to school in September to complete her degree in environmental science. She is illustrative of that supremely complimentary feature of humanity which flatters those of any descriptive; namely, dedicated and improving in spite of childhood difficulty or lingering accommodation.

Upon reflection I suppose we have today touched upon every level of fortuity and serendipity and everything in between.  It pleases me no end that the summary metaphor of these poles of occasion and opportunity should have transpired so favourably for those of us still here to reminisce and to expostulate upon them. The actors are a credit to mankind in general and to themselves in particular.