You wake up and check the temperature:
Well, it’s going to be one of those, isn’t it? Every year - if it’s normal - we get a week of bone-aching cold, and that is what we pay for the perfect spring days (May 17th and 18th) we will get in a few long months hence. I don’t mind. It’s something to struggle against, something to stare down. And then turn away from, since your eyes are watering. I had to leave to pick up daughter and friend at a Soccer camp, and the world just seemed drained of all color, naught but white, frozen corpse under a blanket of blue.
Day off from school, again. Good just to hang out with my daughter, even thought she did this and I did that. Casual occupancy of the same space is a precious thing. I declined the temptation to make her lunch, as per wife’s instructions that she should do these things herself and gain Life Skills, including those that involve self-nourishment without burning the house down. But it makes me feel less useful! Big deal. But . . . but I remember - Oh, don’t. But i do: making those horrible Mac-and-cheese microwave things, where I’d pick up the big chair with her on it, carry it over to the microwave, and let her punch in the buttons. Seriously, that’s why you want to make her toast?
No. Not entirely.
Since I did nothing but stay warm and perform an ordinary array of tasks and obligations, I’ll spare you the rundown of life. Some notable things, though:
Watched “Ripper Street” on BBC America, which was good. Look forward to the rest. The period - Holmsian England, all the usual trappings (fog, mobs, clip-clop hansoms, rakes in tall hats with sin on their mind) plus the desaturated grime and grit we have come to expect of the era. Damned sight better than that other Ripper mini-series just aired, which was British enough but didn’t have anyone walking around saying things like “damned sight better.”
Going through some magazines for scanning and disposal, i came across an ad for a kitchen.
That was my home. Before my father sold it, I took a couple shots of the appliances.
Now that I think of it, the clock stopped working, and it was never fixed. That seems unlike my mother, unless she decided it was an Expense and hence unnecessary. I couldn’t bear it. One of those signs of decay and disorder. Odd how you accept these things as kids - oh, that never worked - only to think upon them decades later and wonder hey, wait a minute. Was that the only thing that didn’t work?
The door to the fridge. It was a turquoise Frigidaire with a chrome handle, which broke. It was taped together and put in the basement, where it served for a while. This was due to frugality, as was the fact that the kitchen cabinet doors never really stayed closed. They were held in place by a screw that went into a plastic sleeve, and after 20 years the sleeve was loose and had no interest in keeping the doors closed. My mother complained; my father said “let’s get new cabinets,” but she never could pull the trigger. I have no idea where the difficulty spending money came from. Depression era! you say, and you’d be right, except she grew up on a farm, and they did okay. Her brother had no such constraints.
It might be something else. I’ve no idea what. Fear of change. Perhaps that kitchen had so many good memories - memories of being useful, of being necessary - that she hated to change its physical appearance. They finally redid it when I was in high school, i believe. To the extent that the wallpaper was changed.
The doors were never fixed. The clock never advanced another second.