Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bastille Day

Actually, Bastille Day is tomorrow, I think.

The middle of the summer, I always think.

I may have to travel soon to Arkansas and it will REALLY be summertime there. They are housebound in much the same way as we New Englanders are in February. You can't play tennis and I guess people play golf, but I don't see how. HOT HOT HOT. My father proclaims every morning that "it's cool outside. Let's open up the house." This means let's turn off the air conditioning!!! Pretty soon everyone is sweating to death, whereupon he will allow it to be turned on and then pretty soon, because it's set to 72, everyone has beads of sweat on their upper lips. Home sweet home, eh?

Is every family weird?

I guess they are. My parents came of age in the Depression so to them, the wolf is always potentially at the door. That's why they keep bags and bags of Cool Whip containers in the kitchen. The vista of these containers in the refrigerator is vast, although usually my dad puts masking tape on each one and labels it. PEAS. CHICKEN. PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE (his favorite, though Mom and I don't like it). Each LeMenu tray is kept and stored. Someday a LeMenu tray will answer the door and my parents will be under the sink. How many can a house hold?

I accused my mother of watering the salad dressing last year and she said, "well, it goes a lot further if you do that." I'm sure she's right. I guess that's why she waters the mashed potatoes too. Have you ever eaten spaghetti sauce with kidney beans in it? That may have broken up my first marriage, haha. And the spaghetti itself, the pasta, is frozen and thawed, frozen and thawed, over and over again. The closest thing I can think of is rubber bands.

But from them I have learned how to live small. It's a skill I hold close. I have also learned to throw things out with abandon. Dare to throw!!!! That's probably why my house is so spartan. I like to think I can pack up and get out of here in 15 minutes. It would take my parents two years.

My mother is ill and not getting better.

Nothing will ever be the same again when she is gone.

Sorry for sad thoughts again.

La plume de ma tante
becky

2 Comments:

At 3:48 PM , Blogger sandman1 said...

I don't know that many families, but I think most are weird.

My own frugal grandmother, who would have been 10-20 years older than your mother, was said to have set out fresh bars of soap to harden and dry before use so they'd last longer. I never witnessed that, but I do remember the stacks of board-stiff old washclothes in the bathroom cupboard. At their house, (hand) washing dishes meant soapy water and a drying rack as usual, plus a boiling pot of water to disinfect everything, in case someone with the plague got into the water supply. Hmm, maybe we should revive that one in this day and age...

Don't your parents have mildew trouble with the A/C off? When we lived in the south my New Englander parents didn't like A/C either but would keep it on to avoid mildew. Or is that just weird?

 
At 6:09 PM , Blogger BeenThereDoneThat said...

I just read about your mom: remember when we all visited during spring break and it snowed and your mom wouldn't turn on the heat because "it isn't supposed to be cold at this time of the year"! My grandmother couldn't bear to throw things out - she'd send stale bread to us saying "you can use it for french toast". I don't think anyone who lived through the depression came out unscathed.

 

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