Monday, January 24, 2011

Cloudy and Warmer

It drives me nuts (like most things I can't change) that it's warmer in the winter when it's cloudy and colder when it's sunny. Today it's gray and dreary, supposed to be all day, and the temps are supposed to zoom up over 20. All weekend it barely got into single digits even though the sun shone like crazy both days. Illogical.

January 23--Turkey, Ottoman Period, Dish. Carol stood on the step stool, a descendant of the one she remembered as a child, pulling stacks of dishes out of the top cupboards of her mom's kitchen. Her sister Joann stood at the sink washing the dishes and stacking them in the drainer. "You always had the knack of fitting so many more dishes in there," Carol said. "Mom said you took after Aunt Cele but I think you're better than she ever was." Joann smiled, her hands sunk in suds nearly to her elbows. "I used to love to sit at the table in Grandma's kitchen when Mama and the aunts did the dishes." She lifted a handful of silverware out of the water and rinsed it. "Pretty soon they'd forget I was there and then the gossip would flow hot and heavy. I learned a lot I wasn't supposed to hear." Carol wrung out her rag and wiped the shelves. "I was doing the same thing outside. Dad, Grandpa, and the uncles would be talking crops and markets, and pretty soon they'd be talking about the neighbors. Very illuminating." They laughed. Joann picked up a brightly patterned dish and showed it to Carol. "Remember how we used to fight over who got this plate?" "Yeah," said Carol, "I never really cared. I just did it for the fun of arguing and to make you mad." Joann flicked suds at her. "Oh, very nice. Half the time I ended up crying and Dad had to eat off this ugly thing." "You want it? You should have it," Carol said. "I'll take the long spoon." She pointed at a worn silver teaspoon with an elongated bowl in the drainer. "The long spoon? Oh, no you won't." Suddenly it was as if they were eight and nine again.

Was there a special plate when you were a kid? I fought with my brothers for the "long" spoon. Mom could never figure out what was better about it, but I think it was real silver, not stainless steel, had a narrow rather than round bowl, and felt better in a kid's mouth. I wonder whatever happened to it. Oh, it's Monday, isn't it? That means it's payday--and I worked extra this week. Yay!

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