Saturday, March 03, 2018

Erma Bombeck Lives On!

            Erma Bombeck’s classic lines stay in my mind forever. For years I saved a clipping of her column about never wanting to lose the child in her at Christmas. But perhaps her line most memorable to me was her confession that faced with a blank piece of paper in her typewriter (dates her, doesn’t it?), she’d rather go scrub floors. I felt that way this morning.
I have the climactic scene in my novel-in-progress to write, and it’s pretty well mapped out in my head; I have an article I’m fiddling with for a writers’ publication; and I have a brief essay I’m editing. So what did I do this morning?
I tackled the two big drawers in my kitchen, a chore that needs to be done with discouraging frequency. One is designed to hold pots and pans, but because it is commodious, everything get put in there—crackers in baggies, small bottles of wine, vinegars and oils because it’s close to the hot plate. It’s sort of like my closet which, because it’s large, ends up as the repository for everything we don’t know what to do with. I need a good closet redo.
Back to the kitchen: I moved the crackers—we tend to forget about them in there anyway. And I took everything out and put it back in neat order—well, as much as I could. I culled out a disposable icebox container for which I had no lid—Jordan later found the lid in her kitchen and slipped the whole thing into a small space in the drawer.
Then I moved on to the drawer that serves as my pantry. You know things have come to a sad pass when a drawer is all the pantry space I have. Once again, I took everything out, which was good because it reminded me of some things I forgot I had. I’m a hoarder of sorts—well, let’s say I don’t like to be caught unprepared. So there’s some bulgur wheat tucked away and lentils—aha, I’ll make soup this week! —and four kinds of pasta, plus countless cans of tuna, some canned chili I bought in a fit and may never eat, enough cans of anchovies that I don’t need to ever buy again—but I do love them. Now it’s all neatly arranged.
The problem, of course, is that all that neatness will disappear with daily living, and I’ll have to do it again.
But there’s more to my domesticity. When Jacob was selling cookie dough for band, I ended with two boxes. I was down to the bottom of the chocolate chip box, so I baked those cookies. My daughter-in-law Lisa reps for a line of organic products called Wildtree, and I especially liked the ranch dressing mix, so I made up one of the packets she gave me for Christmas. So tonight, I’ll have left-over shepherd’s pie, salad with ranch, and a chocolate chip cookie (and then I may hide them from Jacob).
Nice outing at noon today. Christian was puzzled when Jordan told him we were going to the hardware for onions—why not the grocery? —but when I said starter onions, he understood they were for my garden. I got basil, a trap to catch food in the sink (one of mine disappeared into thin air), and dishes to sit under plants when I water them. Then we went to Carshon’s for a good deli lunch—I had lox and they each had designer sandwiches, the Rebecca and the Ruthie.
Good news of the day: the sight in my right eye was markedly improved this morning. I could distinguish each piece of furniture in the living room. Tonight, after a day of movement that stirs things up, I can still see the furniture, but it’s pretty blurry. Still, I am so grateful for progress!
Happy weekend, everyone.

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