My Alphabetized Existence/The Letter C
Calling Someone By Someone Else's Name (See also: anxious,
things that make me)
I often do this with my sons although their
names are very different as are their personalities. My
mother used to do this to me. My name is very much like one
of my mother's sister's names and my sister's name is very
much like another one of my mother's sisters so she often
called us by our aunts' names. Interestingly, my sister and
I have lives and personalities very similar to the aunts my
mother confused us with.
In the 1950's I read that by the year 2000 we
would all be driving flying cars. I was so disappointed
when I awoke on the first day of January, 2000 and realized
that not only were there not yet any flying cars, it did not
appear that there would be any any time soon. I felt
cheated. I truly did.
Cats, dressing up in doll clothes
When I was five my poor little cats had to suffer
being dressed up in doll clothes, including bonnets. Then
they were tightly swaddled in several blankets and put into
a doll buggy to go for walks. I can't count the number of
doll clothes I lost from doing this as the cats would
struggle to escape and run off as quickly as they could.
They looked so cute in the dolly bonnets though.
I love this perfume. John bought me a small bottle
of it when we were first married. It was very expensive--I
think $50. Twenty-five years later the bottle is still
almost full because I only wear it on very special
occasions. I do sometimes open the bottle and take a whiff.
It'll easily last me the rest of my life.
Things change: My appearance for one. I'm
always started when I see my reflection. Who is that old
woman? Oh. That's me. I still think of myself as being
somewhere maybe in my 30's although it's been a good long
while since my I was in that decade of life. I don't dye
(tint is the correct word, I think) my hair. It's still mainly dark, but I'm seeing more and more gray in in it. What matters more to me than my hair color is my endurance and energy levels and there are
times I push it and then pay for it later.
Loose change: I keep my loose change in a
small, turquoise pottery dish with wavy edges that John made
when he was a little boy. I think of him whenever I drop
coins in the dish and smile.
There's a family story about cherries and John's
grandmother, Violet. When she was girl her grandmother
asked her and her sister to pick cherries. Her grandmother
told her what a good girl she was for not eating the
cherries. Of course, she had eaten some. Her sister had
spit out the pits which is how her grandmother knew she'd
eaten some but Violet had swallowed them along with the
cherries. Grandmother Violet delighted in this story and
repeated it often.
When I was nine the man who lived in the
house behind ours had chickens and sometimes I would watch
them. Once he came out and I saw him catch one, lay its
head on a chopping block and chop its head off with an ax.
I was astounded to see the body of the headless chicken fly
off the block and walk around for a few steps, before
collapsing into the dirt, obviously dead. I thought I had
witnessed something very special and magical and didn't tell
anyone what I'd seen for many years.
We had chicken when we lived at the country house and it's only recently that we've had them again. We had a flock of
Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks when we lived at the
country house. When the boys were small, in the evenings
after dinner I would go feed them and I would often spend
some minutes watching them. This was my quiet time, my few
minutes of solitude for the day. I enjoyed their soft
clucks. It sounded to me as if they were singing
Childhood memories, lost
When my brother, Marc, died suddenly I lost someone
I'd shared many childhood memories with. He was born on my
first birthday. He was my first and best birthday gift.
When we were in high school we'd make each other's birthday
cakes. I'd always make the traditional orange birthday cake
of December birthdays for him and he'd always make me a
fantastic creation using flavored extracts and food colors.
He was the only one of my siblings who spoke French, who
remembered living in Canada, who knew our grandmother and
aunts, who saw the ball lightening when I did, who picked
blueberries in the woods and went on picnics to the lake
with me and our parents. Now, there's no one to share those
memories with, to play "do you remember when?' with. I felt
as if I'd lost a huge chunk of my childhood when he died.
Have you ever heard the joke about people who
claim they fell in love at first sight and they knew right
away they'd found the right person because "we both love
walking in the rain and Chinese food"? I've yet to meet
anyone who doesn't love Chinese food, although I mean, of
course, American Chinese food. When Nixon visited China for
the first time, then referred to as "Red China", the
newspaper listed the food on the menu at the state dinner
and it all sounded so exotic. Eel was one dish that was
served. I've never eaten eel and I can't say I regret it.
Chores, domestic (and small comforts)
In a book, I think by Ruth Rendell, there is a
character briefly mentioned, a woman whose life revolves
around "domestic chores and small comforts". I liked that
phrase when I read it and still do. My life, too, revolves
around domestic chores and small comforts.
One of my favorite household chores in the summer
is hanging clothes out on the line to dry. My wooden
clothespins are sun-bleached from years of use. The sheets
smell clean and sweet when I make the beds Hanging clothes
out on the line is one of the many small joys in my life. I
especially enjoy the private quilt show I put on when I air
my quilts at the end of the summer. Then I carefully fold
them to wait for the cold fall days.
The best smell to wake up to is that of freshly
brewing coffee. I limit myself to one cup of coffee a day
but I would miss it if I couldn't have it. The only thing
better than waking up to the smell of coffee brewing is
waking up to the mixed smells of coffee brewing and bacon
frying. To me, that is the ultimate in luxury, I think
because it means that someone else is making breakfast..
I have several favorite cookbooks. There are some
recipes I've copies in several places so I won't ever lose
them. The coffee cake recipe from the Fannie Farmer
cookbook. The pineapple upside cake recipe from the Better
Homes and Gardens cookbook. The chocolate cherry cake
recipe from the Quiltie Ladies cookbook. The pizza crust
recipe from the Joy of Cooking.
Corn on the Cob (See also: bluberries, heaven)
Corn on the cob is one of the foods I expect to
find in heaven. Blueberries are another. I'll be very
disappointed if they're not there.
I have 48 first cousins. Some I've never met
and wouldn't know if I saw them walking down the street. A
few I know well. I think I would have known more of them if
we had stayed in Canada but we didn't so I don't.
A bland food which I put in the comfort food category
along with homemade macaroni and cheese, rice pudding and
tapioca. I don't think custards are made much anymore
perhaps because they're rich, requiring eggs and cream which
one could easily find plenty of in farm households, but
which now are considered foods not especially good for one's
health. Still, I find if I make any kind of dessert with
custard it is savored and commented upon by elderly men
who'll tell me, sometimes with tears in their eyes, that it
reminds them of their childhoods and their mothers.