Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September 10, 1950

Vintage Formica table, resurfaced chairs, Fiestaware
Serving tray, gift from M &D, Pyrex Casserole Dish. 
Where does the time go?  Last night I sat down for dinner with only one other member of our household.  I grabbed a cookbook to peruse while we ate.  Silver Spoon jumped out at me, and while I picked it up, fondled it, and opened it to the page I had last marked, I wondered…"Didn't I buy this book, say, a while ago, and didn't I make/read almost nothing from within it's pages?".  Well, yeah.
And I wondered, when, exactly I bought it, and why I had done nothing with it (kitchen remodel notwithstanding).  And, yup, sure 'nuff, there it was within the archives of Instagram, no less.  I posted a photo of said book (along with a few others) forty-six weeks ago.  I bought this book forty-six weeks ago, and here I am, not reading it for the first time, but let's face it…the pages are still spit-clean.
So, who cares?  Am I just like every other dilettante kitchener, claiming some foodie lifestyle but actually winging it on Trader Joe's and restaurants? Maybe so, but, LF, you also know that we lost Mom in January and everything else unravelled from that place.  So, although I, too, buy too many cookbooks and cook not enough, this year I'll give myself a pass.  In fact, so much so that I wasn't mad at myself when I saw the book last night, but I felt like I had just pulled myself that much more out of the fog that is much of 2014.  We made it through a summer of no training, we quit a job that was leaving me emotionally and physically drained, we said goodbye to Mom and her home lovingly and without turning many stones, and so, now, only three days after Madison Ironman, I can envision an even more exciting, invigorating life (cooking, crafts, friends, fun).
Dinig table, chairs, Bamboo china set. GO!
And then, there's this.  Today, September 10, 2014, would have been my parents' sixty-fourth anniversary.  Here I am, in my pristine Oak Park Bungalow.  Not an antique, not a paint chip, is out of place.  Our living space is just about perfectly staged and so many objects connect me to Mom and Dad.  It was the two of them who hunted down our kitchen table and sent it to California, in 1994 or so.  It was Dad, himself, who suggested that Fiesta Ware (California Pottery, as he called it), would be a worth collecting, given my "interests".

It was Mom's keen sight on Heywood Wakefield furniture so that her own dining room set would be mine, finally, after a lifetime of waiting.

 And so, for a brief moment I pull out Mom and Dad's wedding book.  I love just about everything about it.  I love the white leather binding, I adore the pictures that I saw for many many years in my parents home.   I love that it hearkens to a day when someone would host a wedding that entailed a reception of cake, punch, in a church activity room, then a change to day clothes and escape amidst torrent of rice and laughter.

Many thoughts crossed my mind today, about losing Mom and how 2014 has been defined by that piece of our world.  And of course, that Dad, we lost, only two years ago, and so the both of them parted within this now, seemingly short amount of time.

But as I sat at my Amazing kitchen table yesterday with a dear friend, who is embarking on new love himself, we discussed the notes that Mom and Dad had left on an indoor/outdoor thermometer, purchased at Radio Shack (where else?). On one page, we noted the purchase date, and my friend asked who's handwriting it was (Mom's, and a battery replacement).  I flipped through the pages and commented that Dad's writing was also in the booklet, noting installation date.  We chuckled, and I was touched by that very memory, the memory that is eternal of one's own handwriting mark, but friend added, that it was a positive, that my parents shared such a thing.  He asked, did they agree on the importance of keeping such records?  I replied, yes, it was in both of their natures, although my mother mastered total organization more than my father, that they keep meticulous care and records.

 He smiled, and so did I.  For a moment, I was able to honor a partnership that didn't always look perfect, but one that was in synch in so many ways, for so many years.  I miss them both.  I miss them each in their own way.  My father's passing was a relief for us all but a gushing hurt.  Mom's passing has crushed me to a little bit.  I still can't imagine that she's gone.  I feel even more guilt when I think of the people who lose loved ones at untimely times and here I lost both parents after a long, luxurious retirement.  Nonetheless, that's the way it goes.  So, we reflect back to the sixtieth anniversary when we gathered at the Elks Club and cut a cake and enjoyed friends and family.  Loving both Mom and Dad, KSN...