Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Monday, August 9, 2010

What Was Missing

Walked out of the apartment this morning into air like a damp dishrag, and nearly missed the bus--I am not yet used to the fact that waking up ten minutes later may actually impact my morning. A single cricket serenaded my hasty progress.

But it was a lovely weekend. Saturday began with a trip to the Union Square farmer's market, where I bought--oh, lots and lots of things, and felt ludicrously happy and very much an urban dweller. L asked for a snack, was offered a ground cherry by a man working at the stand we were in line for; she wouldn't try it, so I did, and found it surprisingly sweet. I bought her a stalk of broccoli, which she nibbled at for the remainder of our stay at the market (yes, she likes raw broccoli, at least as much as she likes anything that resembles real food). There was South American flute music, and lots of people had dogs, and some of the eggs I bought are green, not to mention huge. Lunch was a caprese salad and slices from the cutest little watermelon ever. I wish I'd written down the name of the tomatoes I got, because I actually found them okay.

In the afternoon we headed over to the Mystic River Reservation--which is a lot bigger than I realized, looking at it on this map. Maybe next summer I can start running again. The background sound was a strange, constant meld of traffic and cicadas.

On Sunday my sister-in-law and her husband joined us for lunch. I had promised L cookies, so after putting the dough in to chill, I made a corn chowder that looked reasonably good, and indeed it was so. Any excuse to use my belated birthday present:

For some reason, most of what I've bought for the new kitchen is red, I don't know why, though a straightforward interpretation would suggest energizing change.

After lunch the kids dragged everyone else upstairs--I heard a fair amount of LEGO clatter--while I cleaned up a bit and got the dough out. L ventured downstairs while I was rolling out the first bit, and very soon everyone was back in the kitchen, wielding cookie cutters shaped like dinosaurs and decorating the results as soon as they had cooled off.

It was exactly what I have spent the past few years feeling that we've been missing from our lives--casual, minimally planned social contact, in which people can come over on short notice and feel free to linger, because they don't face an hour-plus drive home from our place, and I can relax and putter and feed the people I love without making into a laboriously planned Event.

The place is still coming together--I don't think we'll be fully sorted out for another month, but we unpacked a bit more, hung up the shower curtain I like so much instead of the ugly one the previous tenants left, shoved some out of season stuff into the storage zones, and Freecyled a ton of moving boxes and packing material. We have filled another box with books we might be able to part with. There's a lot left to do, but every incremental improvement in the entropy level does good things to my stress levels as well.

In the late afternoon on Sunday, the kids watched a video while I sat at the kitchen table and leafed through old cooking magazines, cutting down the stack (am I ever going to make that? what was I thinking when I turned down that corner? do I like this entire issue enough to keep it, or can I pull out a few pages and recycle the rest?). It was pleasant and restful and productive at the same time, even if reading about fall recipes makes me want to hurry the seasons forward even more.

Supper was an adaption of a pork and bok choy stir fry I found after a brief online search. I had a ton of bok choy, beautiful little plants from the market, so didn't use any other greens. I also found that I didn't have any cornstarch or hoisin sauce--I have some restocking to do. It was good anyway.

And now it is Monday, and it's going to be 90 degrees again.

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