A Lovin’ Spoonful

We’ve  been back home going about our normal routine for a few days now, though the post-wedding bliss continues unabated. It’s still a novelty to refer to Tara as “my wife,” and I’m sure that will give me a thrill to say for some time. Coworkers joke about “the ol’ ball and chain,” but they also greeted me with a round of applause when I walked through the door on Tuesday and were genuinely happy for me, so I’ll forgive them their cynicism. Apparently, the guys who saw pictures (male coworkers and the husbands of female coworkers) wanted to know why they didn’t get to wear tuxedo t-shirts to their weddings, so my attire made quite the impression. Maybe I’ll launch a new casual wedding trend?

I doubt it, but it’s a nice thought.

We are also still reaping the bounty of our wedding weekend; Monday, Scott and Esther made us fish tacos using some of the sea bass we brought back, and last night, Tara and I enjoyed steamed Dungeness crab. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m starting to get seafooded out. This doesn’t bode well for our freezer, which is stuffed with plenty more fish and crab. Maybe in a few days it’ll sound appealing again.

One thing I forgot to mention in my wedding post: Friday evening, we started noticing spouts of water offshore, visible with the naked eye from our beach house. Turns out we were witness to migrating gray whales! Well, all but my mom, who was either always looking in the wrong spot or turning away at the exact moment they breached the surface. It was still pretty cool to see. I miss the sights, the scents, and the sounds of last weekend. I have a white noise machine and the first couple of nights back home I played the ocean sounds, but it’s just not the same as the real thing. A few weeks ago Tara asked me if I could ever see myself living on the Oregon coast, and I said at the time, probably not. I’d miss Portland too much. But after last weekend, I do in fact think I would be quite happy in a coastal town. Probably Astoria, which is much less touristy and stripmallish. A nice old Victorian perched on the side of a hill with a view of the Columbia River and/or Pacific Ocean? Yeah. I can see that. Plus, Astoria has both a Fred Meyer and a Burgerville, so I’d be set. And PDX is less than two hours away. If it was good enough for the Goonies and Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’d be good enough for me, too. Even Newport or Lincoln City have their charms. If we ever come into a lot of money and can afford to take the plunge, I’d like to do it. It helps that I really like gray skies and clouds, and detest hot weather. In that regard, I’d feel right at home.

This is the restaurant Tara and I would love to reopen!
This is the restaurant Tara and I would love to reopen!

We have even joked about opening up our own restaurant. There’s a boarded-up place in Lincoln City called The Lovin’ Spoonful that would be perfect for us. It’s even got a peace symbol on the sign! It’s small and cozy, and we could decorate it with our lava lamps and others 60s and 70s kitsch. I looked them up on Yelp, and they were open until April, 2012. Too bad we missed out on going! It got pretty good reviews, was decorated with old rock ‘n roll album covers, and served comfort food like “Simon and Garfunkel’s Chicken Pot Pie.” This, my friends, is right up our alley, and a concept we could have fun with. We’ve even discussed a menu, and talked about what some of our signature dishes would be. Tracy’s clam chowder, for one. My mom’s chicken paprikas. Tara’s chicken chimichangas. My fried chicken. We could do some fun themed burgers: the Woodstock burger (with lots of ‘shrooms), the Purple Haze burger (grilled red onions), the Apollo burger (served with a tiny American flag poking through the bun and described as “out of this world!”). The possibilities are endless. I know that restaurants are a LOT of work and we’d probably get burned out after a couple of years, but I also see it as a fun venture. Again, dependent on coming into a lot of money, though.

Dare to dream.

Not much else new to report. My employer’s annual symposium is a week away, and I’ll be glad when that is over and done with. I’m not exactly looking forward to giving a presentation in front of a crowd of strangers, but I’m less thrilled about giving up three whole days of quality time with Tara. We’re newlyweds, dammit! Just having the conference finished will allow me to breathe again.

On a positive note, fall has apparently arrived early this year. It’s been a cool week, and this morning, it was a downright crisp 44 degrees. Plus, rain is in the forecast 5 out of the next 7 days. This usually doesn’t happen until October, but I for one am not complaining. Fall is my favorite time of year!


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

11 thoughts on “A Lovin’ Spoonful

  1. “wanted to know why they didn’t get to wear tuxedo t-shirts to their weddings, so my attire made quite the impression. Maybe I’ll launch a new casual wedding trend?”

    See Mark, what did I tell ya in my last comment, your TUXEDO shirt was the BOMB. I LOVED it!

    Oooooo….and I can SO see you and Tara opening your own restaurant! And I freakin’ love your menu ideas! A blogging friend of mine and her husband always wanted to own their own restaurant. So about a year ago, they finally did it and it’s been very successful. And they are both so happy to be working for themselves. They live in Georgia.

    “This usually doesn’t happen until October, but I for one am not complaining. Fall is my favorite time of year!”

    Same here, Mark! The weather here has been faaaaabulous! In fact two days ago, I had to wear a light jacket because there was a slight NIP in the air. LOVED it!




    1. Thanks for sharing that, Ron. It’s nice to know that some restaurants are successful…I know the odds are against them, but with hard work and perseverance – especially if you’re following your dream – I believe anything is possible.



  2. Yet another great post!!

    Thanks for including me in on your restaurant. I think it sounds great!! I, myself, have always wanted to open my own place but not only is it a lot of hours and days upon days of working (which I’m not afraid to do) but it’s also not a guarantee that it’ll last. It’s hard to make it nowadays.

    Anyhow…don’t forget to bring some of that crab up here. I’ll be more than happy to take some off your hands! If it will stay in your freezer that long!!

    Wishing you and Tara continued marital bliss!! Love you both!


    1. Hmm…we’ve already used half the crab we had saved, and next Wednesday is Crab Meat Newburg Day. I don’t think there’s going to be any left! But we can always stage a raid on my parents’ freezer.

      We had to include you in our restaurant. Your chowder is amazeballs!!

      Love you, too!


  3. Sorry I’m late to the party. Been a long crazy week here, but I couldn’t be happier for you and Tara. *big hugs!* I loved your wedding “cake” from Voodoo and the whole spirit of it. Looks like a wonderful time for all and the smiles on both your faces were so big and contagious. Cheers to the happy couple!


  4. Fall is also my favorite time of year! I love the colors & the cooler temps. I don’t even mind the rain too much. I’d say ix-nay on the estaurant-ray if I were you. Way too much work, lots & lots of pressure, super stressful on relationships.


    1. But it’s not work if you love what you’re doing.

      Then again, I’m pretty happy writing for a living. It’s much less stressful than creating menus and balancing cash register tills at the end of the day. And probably more lucrative, too.


      1. Been there done that Mark – the store in NW Ont was Kelvin’s dream & we gave it our best effort for over 7 years. But I gotta say I grew to almost hate the store in the end when we were so burned out we could hardly look at each other. We had a very strong relationship & it’s the only reason we came out of it intact.


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