Karen’s kitchen has every gadget in the known world. I don’t know what half of them are for, and don’t know how to operate the other half. That’s okay though; I don’t need to use them. I’m eating simply. She left a gallon pail of chopped vegetables and those, sautéed, have given me three suppers. Her fridge and freezer are full to the bursting point, should I wish to dig in. There was no need to bring any groceries with me. There were three outdated bags of microwave popcorn that I have relieved her of, though … the first bag popped about half the kernels, the second popped just a handful, and the third popped none but made the microwave spark bigtime. I won’t be using that particular machine again for fear of damaging it.
The house is very comfortable and I notice, in comparison to mine, that’s it’s extremely FULL. My sister has been in acquisitions mode for a while and there are many nice things – pretty luxuries – while me, I’ve been trying to pare down my possessions and it’s a hard slog. I feel sorry for Karen if she ever decides to do the same, for her job will be a much bigger one. I don’t have a quarter as much stuff to find new homes for or discard.
In one of the two book bags that came with me are a bunch of old journals. Yesterday I got through a notebook from 1977 and a binder from 1987. I’ve removed letters from friends, which I’ll send to them – after all, many don’t keep journals or letters but they may find their own old letters of interest now – and made little stacks of photographs to give to people who probably don’t have copies. Sometimes I type out excerpts and text them to people who are mentioned, or whose relatives are.
What a lot of memories, and what a lot of things I would not have recalled if not for these journals. For instance, I was a bloody heartbreaker! Who knew? And I had several offers of marriage before I was 30. If you’d asked me, I’d’ve said none.
I also would’ve said I’ve always been a social butterfly who enjoyed being with people. My old journals tell a different story. Needing lots of space and solitude is not something that only developed in the past 20 years. Having people around – even those I love – all the time made me crazy even at age 20. Everett clearly comes by his preferences honestly. Emil’s got my butterfly inclinations. If he could spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, visiting and going places, that’s what he’d do. I did a lot of that too, by the look of it.
Then there are the less pleasant reminders. Like how angry Dad was when I turned up pregnant at 28 and chose not to have a father in the picture. I’d been a disappointment to them all my life, he said, while Mom didn’t add a word; I’d never done a thing I was told, I’d buggered around all over the country without a thought to how much they worried about me, and so on. I had listened to all this through tears (hormonal ones, at that) and it was all true, but it wasn’t anything I knew how to change.
The papers are in a packsack, ready to be burnt. Goodbye to the past. Hello to the present. The best is yet to come — something often said by a much older man who stepped up close behind me as I stood at his kitchen counter, put his arms around me and gently bit my neck (his way of making a pass) when I was 19 and whom I remember with fondness, and whose precise way of making that pass was misremembered till I read about it last night. By the way, that “pass” only shocked and confused me, probably embarrassed him, and nothing came of it but we remained friends. He would’ve been in his fifties or sixties — ancient, to my mind at the time. We were still friends when Shelly and I took a road trip to surprise him on his 90th birthday.
Wisewebwoman: Reminds of that other sign I’m too pretty for math which would appear on girls’ tee shirts. I’m so glad I bred a mathematician (naturally blonde) daughter. You can imagine the derision she received in university. Not pretty.
Glad your wee DD went with you. I hope they’re all getting along.
They’re getting along great and today another one will be added to the mix while his owner takes off till Tuesday.
I also get the blond jokes all the time. They’ve never bothered me. I’ve been too busy having more fun! Hee.
Lorna Cunningham-Rushton: Dave really is a wonderful partner We’ve been together since 1974 and he’s been a great dad to my kids and to our Emily, and there’s nothing for me to complain about. I used to be upset because he’s always late but now I just keep a book with me and the timing takes on a whole new perspective .And yes, Pollyanna always lurks where I am.
Nobody is 100% perfect but Dave seems to come close!
Also, complaining is just a nasty unnecessary habit.