Posts Tagged ‘raspberries’

Sometimes

September 7, 2017

Music makes me sigh.

Releases some unknown tension and I can relax.

I put on Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach Cello Preludes and it was like I was melting.

I heaved a big sigh and just sank into my chair.

My body hurts today.

My shoulder is a nuisance.

Apparently I pushed too hard in yoga on Monday or maybe it was carrying the baby as much as I did today, but ouch.

Ugh.

Getting old.

I’m sure I will look back at being 44 and laugh at myself thinking that I am old.

The fact is.

I don’t feel my age.

Oh.

I suppose my knees feel twice my age and my shoulder feels like a baseball pitcher being put out to pasture.

But.

Feeling my age?

No.

I don’t think I feel any certain age.

Although I do recall a time when I realized that all people below a certain age annoyed the shit out of me, I don’t subscribe to any particular feeling when I think, “I feel this old.”

The little girl I watch is four.

She likes to ask me about my age, “I’m 44 honey, eleven times older than you.”

And that is intense to contemplate.

I remember being four.

Pivotal things happened.

Then again.

I don’t remember a lot of being four either.

Um.

Pivotal things happened.

For the most part, however, I have an extraordinary memory and I’m good at replaying scenes as I have taken them in.

If I can hone in on a detail I am suddenly filling all the spaces with colors and sounds and emotional movement and music, with narrative, and it is as though I am watching a movie.

As I have gotten older some memories stick more than others.

Certain scenes, images, smells.

Oh.

A smell can carry so much weight in it.

Or a taste of something.

Tomatoes with salt from my grandfather’s garden.

Raspberries and milk with sugar in a green plastic bowl, raspberries I picked with my grandmother.

Apple cider.

The top sweetest part of the 2 gallon milk jug that we would pour the homemade apple cider into after running it through the press.

My grandfather unearthed an old apple press and rigged it to a lawn mower motor and we made cider using that press for years.

The house in Windsor that I moved to in 7th grade had an apple orchard, 4 Red Delicious trees (to this day I always wonder why the fuck they planted such boring ass apples, fodder for the press, all of them, we never ate them they were just such plain Jane apples) and 8 Courtland trees, plus four pear trees and one Golden Delicious–the animals and birds ate most of the Golden Delicious before they could even ripen, they were such amazingly sweet apples, almost translucent with sugar, you could see through the skin in the sunlight.

My mom would pour the cider into milk jugs and then freeze them in a giant freezer we had in the basement of the house.

The sweetest part of the cider would float to the top when it thawed and my mom tried valiantly to not let us drink any of the cider until it defrosted completely, but my sister and I often foiled her.

The cold, achingly sweet, syrupy juice taste will always stick in my memory.

Sometimes it is the smell of strawberries in the morning, reminding me of a very late night that became an early morning and it was warm and summer time in Madison and I was walking home from closing the bar and the after bar and I stopped by a vendor at the farmers market and bought a basket of strawberries and sat in the grass, kicking off my shoes and luxuriating in the feel of the soft, warm, dewy grass.

Sometimes it is a way a certain person smells.

Euphoria.

And I am smote with longing and love and desire.

Or the way someone’s skin feels against mine.

I think too, sensory, I’m going for the senses here, of a warm night, not many of them in San Francisco, a few years ago, when I walked down to the beach and the sand was still warm and the beach was deserted and the smell of bonfires wracked my memories.

And I was suddenly four-years old again, at a beach bonfire, with my mom and sister, who was already asleep, and my mom’s boyfriend, and there was the smell of driftwood fire and sea and that smell is some embossed on me, that to this day it really is one of my fondest smells.

Smell and memory are very tied to each other.

Riding my scooter to work this morning I passed a tavern on Lincoln that must have a popcorn machine, the smell was enticing and it was real popcorn, cooked in that oil that old-fashioned machines use and real butter smell.

I was suddenly in a movie theater, the old 99 cent movie theater on the far East side of Madison, that was probably actually the suburb of Middleton, that only had one screen and I was watching Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo.

Which I didn’t get at all, but the movie was 99 cents and that’s why we were there and the popcorn was cheap and plentiful and I sat in that air-conditioned movie house and happily ate popcorn and watched a movie that I was too young to understand, but I remember the feel of the back of the movie seat in front of me on the bottoms of my feet and how I would press my feet hard into the seat to stretch and then curl back up into a ball and eat more popcorn.

Sometimes smells startle me too.

One day not too long ago I was riding up 7th and I smelled the smell of a tree, a tangerine tree in my mind, although I have no idea if it was tangerine or not, but my mom’s boyfriend had an apartment that had a tangerine tree outside of it and I would pick them and peel them sitting on the back cement steps while they got high smoking pot.

I was suddenly a little girl in a sundress with sticky fingers and bare feet and I could see all the tangerines in the tree and felt satiated with the ones I had eaten and sleepy from the sunshine.

Oh.

All the memories.

The best part of getting old, accruing all these luscious things that I get to stock pile in my brain.

In my heart.

In my soul.

All the amazing things.

There are so very many.

And I am grateful for them all.

Yes.

Yes.

I am.

Grateful beyond words.

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I Blame It On

March 21, 2017

The hormones.

It has been an up and down day.

I re-started my day only an hour and a half after it started, I was already annoyed and yelling fuck in my kitchen while I was stirring oatmeal on the stove.

My boss wanted me to come in early.

The kids had an unexpected day off from school.

Dude.

Ugh.

Of course, I said yes, I was able to do it, it just threw a little loop in my day and I had to adjust, get flexible, and just suck it up.

Besides I would be getting out of work an hour early and all the things that I didn’t do this morning, writing and reading for school, I could do after work.

Except the mom got stuck in bad, rainy coming home from work traffic.

In the end it didn’t matter, as I ended up being late to work.

Worst driver I have ever had on a shared ride.

I actually complained for the first time ever.

I am not one to kick up a fuss, but the guy ran stop a sign-passing on the left to go around a car that was stopped at a stop sign on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in the park, scared the crap out of me as there was oncoming traffic, missed turns, then cut across traffic to make the turns, had an argument with one of the other passengers about directions and was horribly inconsistent with his driving.  I actually thought are you high?

Then right before he drops me off, asks with a really big, forced smile, how my day was going?  Dude.

A little too late.

I’m late for work and overwhelmed with annoyance by the three near death experiences I had while in the car.

I looked up at him, startled, and said, “fine, thanks,” in a flat tone of voice.

God damn.

It was creepy.

But yes, I did actually complain.

Of course, no response, but I’m not going to freak out, I know it’s one of the things that you just have to account for, once in a while getting a bad driver, I actually found myself laughing a little at my obvious desire to have control and my realization, that shit, there was nothing to do, but get through the ride, be grateful and get out of the car and go to work.

I was resigned to not being able to do any homework at work either, so I brought one of my meditation coloring books to color in with my charges and that was a hit.

Lots of coloring on this rainy, rainy, rainy day.

Clay, stickers, paper dolls, and drawing as well.

Robots, jet engines, race cars, stuffed animals.

Pancakes for lunch.

They were so cute about it, and insisted it was a special day and I was happy to indulge them.

I made them homemade pancakes, from scratch, not a box, with raspberries, butter, powdered sugar and maple syrup.

They were in heaven.

I had some of the raspberries later with my own lunch and got knocked over by a wave of nostalgia.

If I haven’t had raspberries in a while, and I don’t often have them, they are expensive little beasts ad I prefer to spend my money on blueberries, inevitably the first bite will always remind me of my Grandma Munz.

My grandparents had an amazing garden in Lodi, Wisconsin.

My grandfather cultivated and cared for most of it, but the raspberry vines were grandma’s territory, or so it seemed to me as a child, and I have a memory of picking raspberries with her–perhaps my favorite memory of my grandmother.

I don’t recall how old I was, but elementary school seems about right, 4th or 5th grade, and it was summer and my mom had taken my sister and I out to Lodi to visit our grandparents.

Grandma wanted to pick raspberries and she and I went out to the brambles to pick carrying 5 gallon vanilla ice cream buckets.

I remember my sister mostly ate the raspberries.

I ate quite a few too, but I liked to see how they gathered and grew in heaps and piles, the luxurious spill of berries a kind of abundance I didn’t often see in my life.

We picked for a while, quiet and serious and when my grandmother deemed we had enough for whatever project she was working on, we brought the berries back to the kitchen to be washed in the sink.

She scooped up a big bowl of them for my sister and I, one bowl for each of us, poured milk over the top of them and then sprinkled them with sugar.

I don’t think I have every eaten anything so glorious and simple and intoxicating in all the rest of my life.

I can taste them still.

Perhaps that’s why I haven’t much bothered with them since.

When one has had the pen ultimate tasting experience of an object most other things pale in comparison.

Sort of like my grandfather’s sweet corn, nary a corn on the cob since has done his justice.

I am lucky to have this appreciation for simple things.

The pure joy of a small bowl of warm just off the vine raspberries, cool, creamy milk, and a heaping teaspoon of fine granulated sugar, C&H Cane sugar, in the white paper bag with the pink label and blue ribbon badge with white writing.

Somethings, small things, are utter simple and glorious in their perfection.

I think that bowl of raspberries is what heaven tastes like.

I had tears prick at my eyes when I ate that first raspberry.

I felt the grass of my grandparents back yard underneath my bare feet, I could see my grandmother’s kitchen, I could taste the cold water from the tap, they had their own well and the water there, the best in the world, seriously, I could feel the breeze coming in through the big screened in windows in the dining room.

I could almost hear the laughter of my mom and aunts smoking cigarettes on the front porch in the big aluminum lawn chairs, waving at passing cars and gossiping about the rest of the family that wasn’t there.

I could feel  the moment pass as I sat at the table drawing with my charges, I did not try to hold onto it, it will come back when I need it, this beautiful thing, my sweet memory that colored the rest of my day.

It reminded me of my roots and also of that there were many, quite a few, moments of bliss in my childhood, simple, exquisite, and etched into my heart despite, or perhaps because of how hard things were at times, I appreciate so much when I got to experience beauty.

I still do.

Ah.

Perspective.

You got me again.

 

 


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