I rushed home from church at 11:00 this morning to get busy on a double-batch of dinner rolls and a crock-pot sized mound of mashed potatoes (the gravy was made last night). Some friends thought it would be nice to have Thanksgiving early this year, and added “How about if we do it before the Seahawks game?” Turkey? Stuffing? Seahawks? You don’t have to ask me twice.

1235318_403673546422731_1421063699_nWhile waiting for the rolls to rise, I thought I should use that time to tackle my out-of-control pantry. It was either that, or cut onions for dehydrating. They’ve been sitting on the counter for a week waiting for me to deal with them. The pantry won out (because it is SO bad right now), but my burst of energy only lasted about fifteen minutes, and then, looking for a “sitting down” diversion,  I thought, “I haven’t blogged for several days. Maybe I should do that instead.” I decided to first check some of my September posts over on my other website, Wind Scraps, because I’m trying to slowly move those posts over here. This one, from September ’09, caught my eye, and made me smile at the cyclical pattern in my life. How many of my Septembers have seen me dehydrating onions, and tackling the chaos in my pantry? 🙂

*   *   *

If this day could be condensed into a few brief, bright flashes; if I could gather a handful of September sun-warmed vignettes and put them in a memory box marked “today,” here’s what I’d tuck inside:

–a flock of white homing pigeons that burst sunward over our neighbor’s trees as though sharing one single thought, only to dip left, drop abruptly below sight, and rush skyward again … winged joy.

–“One day only” 50 cent McDonald’s cheeseburgers … and a slender girl so hungry from swimming that she ordered — and ate — five.

–an unexpected visit from my no-longer-here boy, and the feel of his arms around me when he hugged me hello (and again, too quickly, at good-bye), his whiskery chin against my forehead, and his cheek, where I kissed it, soft like a memory.

–a transformation in my pantry, where chaos yielded to order and left in its wake neat rows of corn and black beans, and a special spot for brown basmati, and an eye-level stack of walnuts, pecans, pignolia and almonds … bounty I will use in the coming months.

–a satisfied sigh from my husband at his first bite of dinner — plain though it was, and simple. I’m grateful for a man who is content with warm bread and corn chowder on a fall afternoon.

–an amber stream of home-harvested honey dribbling into a steaming cup of green tea.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA–the hum of a dehydrator on the counter. Five plump onions, sliced and separated and scattered inside, will be crumbled into a canning jar when they’ve cooled. And not long from now, when fall becomes winter and sunshine turns to drizzle, those crumbles will bring a bit of our garden to a waiting dish.

–the breathless tremble I felt one minute and thirty-five seconds into Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Winter (1st movement), and again at 3:04 … just like every other time I listen to this bit of splendor.

–the whiteness of my journal page before a torn bit of art found its place, pasted along one edge, and my pen met that expanse and gave release to a bubbling prayer of gratitude.

But I find, yet again, that words aren’t quite enough.


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2 Comments on "Flashes"

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Teresa Townsell

. . . “his whiskery chin against my forehead, and his cheek, where I kissed it, soft like a memory.” I have a nephew at this stage. I want him to let me give him the hundreds of kisses I gave him a day as a little boy . . . I still get hugs, but, oh, those precious kisses . . .

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