Full and happy

Los Angeleno by birth, Northwesterner by choice, Second-hander by nature. Librarian, housebound chef, father, and lowly subject ruled over by the needs and whims of a very old house.
Partial to Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese cookery but will eat damn near anything. Collector of many strange things..the result is chaos and anarchy and a very pleasant place to live.
There is pleasure in accumulation, not just "collecting": music, books and film, in all their multi-formated glory. Outsider artists and those kinds of prints you would recognize if you took liberal studies classes in college. Cooking implements and gadgets for recipes still untried or those ventured. Glasses for most types of libations. Flowers in the garden, herbs in the pot.
It's a life of the senses and a good home life reflects that. Walking helps take in all the rest. Requires no special equipment, opens up the pores, brightens the taste buds, clears the decks for further adventures, puts on the miles, widens the eyes and helps fuel the imagination.

Live boldly, play graciously and love with all your heart knowing that true love comes only once or twice in this lifetime. Speaking of which..donde estas, Empress of my Heart?


"Lack imagination and miss the better story" Yann Martel

"Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result....the worst of all fears is the fear of living." Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you
You must travel it for yourself" Walt Whitman

And above all, friends should possess the rare gift of sitting. They should be able, no, eager, to sit for hours-three, four, six-over a meal of soup and wine and cheese, as well as one of twenty fabulous courses.

Then, with good friends of such attributes, and good food on the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask,

When shall we live if not now?

-From Serve it Forth,
M.F.K. Fisher

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Let's all slow down a bit, shall we?

I had a great things to do list going for the day: sweep and mop out the kitchen, scrub the bathtub, do a bit of cooking, take on the back house in order to get that pigsty into shape before spring break. I knew that I wanted to get in a bit of baking, as I've had a half a pound of butter sitting out for a day getting soft. I also knew that I had to crank out a loaf of bread or two, as I've been pretty low on cash and figured that kneading a loaf of bread would reduce my need for bread at the dinner table tonight.

But wouldn't you know it! The sun came out today and that completely and totally blew up any and all initiative to get things done, least ways, for the time being. It wasn't quite a "go out and fly a kite" kind of moment, but that sunshine did tell me that I was way behind on one of my annual things to do list points, and that was to go walking as often as possible. I figured a good brisk trot down to St Vinnies to check out the day old bread scene would qualify, so off I went. That is, after a presspot of coffee, and a small breakfast, and a chat on the phone with The Painter. Priorities are important.

But it was good thing, that walk. I love that my car is down, and I love that I have no cashflow at the moment. I truly am glad for that credit card moratorium, and I infinitely happy that The Boy has a weekend off in Boise so that I can have a weekend to myself. When he is here I feel a distinct obligation to get out and about and do something as not to squander our time together. Today I felt all those old "selfish" muscles were being stretched. I didn't mind that all too much, but it did remind me of that very long year I had last year that I got to know myself again. And that was one year, while instructive, that I am not too keen on reliving again any time soon.

So I took my walk and realized that the little trot that I had planned was not going to be enough. Somehow I have let my walking jones atrophy, and I knew that I needed to break it in again with a longer walk in the sun. I took in the sights at St Vinnies, and wrestled for a moment with a Vita-mix commercial mixer for a hundred bucks. I can picture what it goes for new but then I knew that I had to come to terms with the fact that I had no way of paying for it or no way of getting it home. Thank goodness for both of those things. But I must admit I did do some psychic jujitsu on a mom and her kids over a Tupperware popsicle maker. They hemmed and hawed over it and finally put it down and walked away. It was all of a quarter and pretty much new. I can see them now in the summer time, arguing over which flavor popsicles to get on a shopping run at Safeway. Too bad for them. I figure I will send it along to my kids in Boise next week. It's too cold at the moment to appreciate it, but come summer it will be a godsend.

The sun drew me out of the store and down the highway and up towards Goodwill. I had a buck and two quarters left to spend for the day. Amazing what you can find to buy with that kind jingle burning a hole in your pocket. I didn't really care for hauling much home, so I spent it on cassettes, which of course I have precious few of. Twelve tapes, a buck thirty. I felt good and took that bag filled with a popsicle maker and loose tapes up over the highway, past the high school and down the road towards home.

What I loved more than anything about that walk was how cozy it made this little town feel. Sure, it's a small town to begin with, both in size and population, but when you work close to home, spend your money close to home and keep a lot of your activities near by as well, well, you tend to run into folks that you know on a pretty regular basis. I ran into Ross, my local used book merchant, and Ernie, my old barber and Rod, a landlord and former owner of a downtown pawnshop. I saw my United Way handler, Jo, pass me by on the highway, waved at a number of shopkeepers as I passed, said hello to clerks here and there, and checked out the pulse of the local economy as I walked.

I found out that that new juice bar and vegetarian restaurant is now open on Bay Street, that Pedro's Sombrero Taqueria is now serving an all you can eat buffet, and that the local cutlery shop is going out of business. I got to walk in the sun and feel the heat, check out the lay of the land and appreciate the gleam of sunlight on the water. It was a good walk and has helped make for a mighty good day.

Sometimes those things that we think are true hassles turn out to be one mighty fine gift. I may not have had a car to drive or a bank account to exercise this weekend, but my heart is a lot happier and my soul a bit lighter for the lack of it. All well and good. Hope your day was swell as well.


1 comment:

Thaydra said...

It was a beautiful day to be outside today, and I'm glad to hear you got to get out and relish it!

There is still a ton of work to be done before the garden is ready, including more raking and hoeing and such. Hopefully I can get my hands on a rototiller soon.

And alas, no, the electrical situation is still a puzzle. We shall figure it out though!