Livia had been up for hours already. She’d done a load of clothes, unloaded the dishwasher, and had been in the garden cutting daffodils to set in a vase on the kitchen table. Looking out the window at the sunrise it occurred to her she should be hungry.
Mornings without Greg were difficult and she was aware she filled them with activity to keep from thinking. But the sunrise caught her attention and she allowed herself to remember.
Sunday. Today was Sunday. Greg would be in the kitchen separating eggs, slicing chives, and grating gruyere. Opening the refrigerator to get the heavy cream, he would burst into song. Probably an aria she wasn’t familiar with. His love of opera confounded her.
Don’t even think about feeding me a beet. It’s not going to happen.
Tom Robbins is a favorite author of mine. Tom thought highly of beets. Let me just quote him for a moment:
The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.
Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes, their smoldering inquietude from radishes, their seriousness from beets.
The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip…
Jitterbug Perfume, Tom Robbins
Yes, Tom thought highly of beets.
So did my father, I think. Although I don’t remember ever seeing him eat a beet before that fateful summer. He may have initially planted them for my mother who liked pickled beets. Which are, arguably, the worst of all the beets.
I have written before about my dislike of vacuuming. It’s not just dislike, it’s a visceral hatred that suffuses all of me and makes my hair stand on end. Inevitably, the machine will clog, the belt will break, and I will end up cursing. Every time. Every single time. For now, and always and forever. This is true. I no longer fight it. I try to roll with the flow.
I am also not fond of putting laundry away. I don’t mind doing laundry so much, but right outside my laundry room door is an 11-foot old oak church pew. Fresh from the dryer clothes seem to end up there. And even if I do fold them, they tend to stay there. I often dress from the church pew in the hallway that is right in front of my windowed kitchen door. This is flirting with disaster. I am someday going to flash somebody.
Dusting also annoys me. I live on a dirt road. I have 3 dogs. I have laundry sitting on the church pew. I have dust. And it accumulates at warp speed. I often say I’m running a retirement for dust. Just as soon as I carry some of it out to the bin, a new crop arrives to take its place. It’s maddening. I can wield a can of Pledge for hours and admire my sparkling furniture and shelves, but by the next morning, it looks as if weeks have passed since anything has seen a dust rag.
Suffice it to say there is not much I like in the vein of housecleaning aside from making up a bed with clean linen sheets and a freshly aired duvet.
There’s nothing better than standing in the kitchen of a rented beach condo eating a peanut butter, potato chip, and butter sandwich on plain old grocery store wheat bread.
Wet hair, damp bathing suit, sand between the toes. Slathered peanut butter, thick cold real butter, crispy salted potato chips on bread with barely enough oomph to hold it all. Superb.
So much so that two are better than one. The second one should be consumed in a chair on the balcony. Maybe wash it down it with a Coke or perhaps an afternoon cup of coffee.
After a day at the beach, the body needs what that sandwich offers. Salt after sweating, protein after swimming, fat just because it tastes good. I love love love a peanut butter sandwich after a day at the beach.
I also love a frou-frou umbrella drink at the beachside bar. At about noon. I used to always have a daiquiri – strawberry — frozen, one shot and twice as much strawberry mix as usual – two drinks worth with half the alcohol, an all-afternoon sipper in a thermal cup.