My youngest sister died on November 5, after eight years of living with metastatic breast cancer. And I DO mean living. She had to keep reducing her activities, but she kept the ones that mattered most: playing with her recorder ensemble, serving a weekly community supper, and lunch with her “church ladies”. Shortly before her death, she was at the wedding of friend’s child. Talk about a life well lived!
Last week was a blur – lots of driving, lots of hugs and tears, lots of family and friends, more driving. Then back to the structure of work and rehearsals. Somewhere in there I think I had a birthday. And a celebratory martini. And that brings us to November 19.
It’s Sunday morning. I blew off church, since I don’t have to sing or play this week and I felt more like being lazy and, maybe, shifting some dust bunnies around.
Friday, I did something completely out of character; I stopped at an estate sale. I’m always looking for end tables and lamps, though I really don’t need them any more. And sales of other people’s stuff generally depress the bejeezus out of me. But I stopped this time. The house is a “D,” laid out just like mine, only gorgeous. They had remodeled, doing almost everything I’ve dreamed of doing here. Nice to know I have good ideas!. As I was leaving, a Gourmet Menu Cookbook called out to me. Three bucks, what the heck? It needs a little mending, but the block and case are solid and it’s GOURMET! I can always give it to an aspiring cook.
When I got it home, I opened it and was thrown right back to Rose Hill Road. These books are lovely, even addictive, to handle. Since then, I’ve been reading it. The things some people eat! And the butter! Do you think Gourmet had an arrangement with the Dairy Association?
It’s soothing to read and to remember cooking in Mother’s kitchen. While I can’t imagine ever eating that way again, it appears I did learn something. And thinking about the care and quality that went into those meals makes me regret, just a little, all those bad calories I’ll never know! I found a recipe for “Burgundy Onions,” which look pretty and are easy enough to prepare and transport to Thanksgiving with Joe and Sarah’s family. (There will be two dachshunds!) That will be my “something new” this year. I’m also taking Mama Stamberg’s cranberry relish, which will be new to them, and a welcome reprise for me. Half the fun of it is watching other people’s reactions.
I had a nice, long chat with my Chinese friend, Alice, in Guangzhou. We write in Chinglish. If I know the pinyin, I have a magic keyboard that produces characters; all I have to do is pick the right option. And the app will translate her Chinese so I’m sure I understand her. Her English is much better than my Chinese. I’m amazed at technology that allows us to talk in real time across 12 time zones, transcend language barriers, and maintain our friendship. I’m almost as amazed that I can actually read much of what she sends in Chinese.
Last item: I got on my fancy wifi scale this morning and it said 129. Couldn’t believe that, so I tried again: 127. I changed the batteries and tried again: 125. If this body weighs 125 lbs, Americans have a bigger problem than they realize! And, no, it’s not weighing in kilos , thank you very much. I’m going to grab 129 – blatant lie though it is – and move on. Cheerfully.
Wishing you comfort and warmth this Thanksgiving,
P.S. If you ever want to know what to do with mushrooms, just call me.