Electric Grandmother

Maggie Croft's Personal Journal young spirit, wire-wrapped
spark electric grandmother
arc against the night

-- Lon Prater
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best days

These are the days where the happy little habits and small pleasures abound. Where no one has to do anything pressing or be anywhere one doesn't want to be.

I wake at 6, as per usual. I get up for a moment from my bed and look out my bedroom window, past the great Russian Olive, at the dark rain-drenched pre-dawn sky.

Avadore doesn't have school today. No one is expecting anything from me, other than the usual motherly sorts of things. The cat at the foot of the bed opens his eyes and looks up at me, as if to say, "What are you doing up?" I know he's on to something here; I crawl back into my warm, soft bed.

I sleep until about 8, when both kids show up. LD first, and then Avadore, complete with accessories: the shield we made on Tuesday out of LD's most recent diaper box, felt, and tape; a leather tie; and a dinosaur.

We go back to sleep, listening to the rain pound on the roof and the metal casing of the swamp cooler.

At 9 the children pop up and jump on the bed. I try to sleep through it. I do, for about fifteen minutes, until Avadore and LD ask for cereal and milk and bananas.

I pour cereal and milk, peel bananas, pass out cheese. I open a Diet Dew, nectar of the gods. When the kids are fed and cleaned, they run off to play. I run off to the shower, Dew still in hand.

For at least ten years now I have had the same shower routine. Previous to this, I had no routine. I like things mixed up, often unscheduled. None of this "Shower at 7:30, breakfast at 8:00, jog at 8:30" for me. But I do like my shower routine. It is so ingrained within me at this point that I can take pleasure from the shower and let my mind wander and think, usually about writing.

I could go into the detail of the showering routine here, but I suspect it's interesting only to me. But after I'm done and dry, I put on my Pee-Wee shirt (which my advisor used to refer to as my "Pee-Wee the Pervert shirt", and then she'd cackle -- an actual cackle, and tell me about how Saturdays just aren't the same without Pee-Wee), jeans, and a thick denim shirt. And, aside from the shirt (which is important because it's big and soft and comfortable), I put on my thick, fluffy socks. I wiggle my toes. I probably smile.

The Dew is done, so it's time for tea -- honey vanilla this morning. And then I cut up a juicy, sweet cantaloupe. LD's food alarm goes off and he shows up, begging for some of the melon. This kid can smell food a mile away, and whenever the radar goes off, he's hungry. So we feast on melon, and then I eat a grapefruit.

This is my public service announcement for you all:

In general, I am a fairly basic person. I prefer not to clutter my kitchen with a lot of kitchen gadgets. I use ye olde basic can opener. It's a nice one -- heavy, padded, and efficient. I actually have a really nice Black and Decker one that was a gift from Rice's aunt, that's sadly stored in a cupboard in the basement, but it just isn't the same as my more archaic version.

There are some gadgets, however, that are musts. I love my round stone, my convection oven, my heavy mixer. And I adore my grapefruit knife. If you are fond of grapefruit and eat it with any regularity and do not have a grapefruit knife, you must simply get one. They are wonderful. They make me happy. Get one for every member of your family. Give them for gifts. Mail them to bill collectors. Everyone must have one!

End service announcement.

While I'm eating grapefruit, Avadore shows up asking for smoothies. I throw a frozen banana, milk, and Ovaltine into a cup and mix it up with my drink hand mixer (another fine kitchen gadget). The final product is more frosty than smoothie, but Avadore doesn't complain. Once LD sees what Avadore has, he wants one, too. He gets a regular fresh banana.

The kids drink smoothies, and I put a squash in the oven to bake. I may make soup, I may make another pie -- I'm not sure yet. We'll see what I feel like when it's done baking.

The sky is still dark outside, and the rain is still falling, falling from the sky in long, silver streaks. I sip my tea; I make more. I light sandalwood and vanilla candles, and then exchange Rosalie Sorrels, which deserves an entry of her own, for Bob Dylan (who probably needs no link). Rosalie Sorrels isn't a rainy day sort of musician, but Dylan is.

Rainy days are for warm socks and tea, Dylan and candles, kale and leek and Dijon stew.

And for writing.

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