Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Supper and suspended animation

The movers came today and packed up Elizabeth's apartment. She is out there with one bed, two straight chairs, a refrigerator and a microwave. I urged her to come in to read, work on her computer, anything but to be in such a bare, depressing space. She hasn't yet, though she spent some of the afternoon inside, and together we helped Jacob think of rhyming words for his spelling list. He is so enamored of her that he looked to her for every word, and when I ventured something he'd ask her to confirm it. I finally demanded, "Why are you looking at her? I'm the one with a Ph.D." and we all collapsed in giggles. Come now, what can you think of that rhymes with whiskers?
I'm not sure the impact of her leaving has hit him and he will be bereft. The first thing every day when he comes home from school, he rushes out to see Elizabeth. Sophie knows. She sits by Elizabeth's side and stares at her. Funny how dogs can sense these things. Sophie had a high old morning watching the movers at work and one of her favorite people, Greg the lawn guy/neighborfriend, came to say goodbye to Elizabeth.
Tonight we had dinner together and both realized it was our "last meal"--tomorrow night I have class and she has a happy hour with our neighbors, to which of course I'm invited. I said it would probably be going when I get home at 8:30 and she agreed. But tonight we had our favorite meal--salmon cakes. Elizabeth makes them with egg, almond flour (gluten free), salt and pepper--and that's it. I usually add onion, Worcestershire, and dry mustard--but these are so good I think the seasonings are superfluous. My mom taught me to make croquettes with cracker crumbs and then press crumbs into them for a coating. She also taught me to shape them like logs. I think I'll continue to use cracker crumbs but not coat the cakes--the crumbs don't stay on and they tend to burn. And I'll make patties, not logs. Much easier. A cooking lesson from Elizabeth.
We rounded out our meal with asparagus, a bit of leftover cantaloupe, and raspberries, which I ordinarily hide in the back of the fridge and don't share with anyone. Elizabeth knew it was a special occasion. The plates were so pretty we couldn't resist a picture.
I told Elizabeth she'd have to leave something behind to insure that she'd return. So far, she's left a hula hoop (forgot to ask the movers to take it) and a rickety laundry rack which she didn't think would survive the trip. I told her that wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but she's also leaving a cute little metal pink chair. If I put a plant on it. I'll keep it in front of the apartment, with a plant on it.
We live in suspended animation. I finally told her last night that I would be glad when she's gone (she'll spend Friday night with her family and fly out Saturday) simply because the anticipation will be over and her leaving will be a fait accompli. She is anxious for Saturday and her new life because, as she says, "Let's get this show on the road." It's all a funny learning experience.
Tomorrow she and neighbor Jay (the good-looking one) will move my furniture from storage back into the apartment, so it will be less bare. Dilemma: do I want to keep those double bunk beds? They proved to be most unwieldy and they take up a lot of space. As Elizabeth kept repeating, I could do all kinds of things out there if I didn't have the bunk beds. Guess I'll poll my children and see what they think.
Life moves on, and changes are good though they may seem hard at the time. As my mom always said, all things work to some good end. But, then, Mom had a lot of sayings, like "The mills of the gods grind extremely slowly but they grind extremely fine." Go figure!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"I told Elizabeth she'd have to leave something behind to insure that she'd return" Constanza..