Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Slice of Life: Ice cream of the perfect consistency

Tuesdays are for slicing, and all are welcome! Join us at Two Writing Teachers!

Just before I headed into my office, I took the ice cream out of the freezer. I'd tried to talk myself out of it, but alas, the quarantine has done in my dietary discipline. The ice cream was a little too frozen though. We splurged on the good stuff last night-- the peanut butter core with little peanut butter cups to go along with the ice cream. Those parts of the ice cream are great, except it has to be thawed enough in order to get some. I did what you might advise. I left the ice cream on the counter to warm up and fired the computer back up to link a couple videos to learning plans and maybe start this post...

But then I opened Facebook. Truth: I might have scrolled through some posts and even played a video or two. 

When I returned to the kitchen, my ice cream container was not on the counter. 

"So you decided to come back?" one of my daughters said. 

They all laughed. 

"You wanted your ice cream soup?"

"It couldn't be that bad," I said, opening up the freezer and retrieving my peanut butter fudge. (There must be some protein in something with a name like that!)

"Don't you dare dig out the core," another daughter said. 

I didn't give her decree a second thought as I dug into the perfect consistency of not only the core, but also the surrounding ice cream. 

It was divine-- a perfect self-indulgence for getting those last links taken care of, as well as a slice of life. 

Happy slicing,

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Slice of Life: Finding the story I can write

Tuesdays are for slicing, and all are welcome! Join us at Two Writing Teachers!

I could write about driving down the driveway and walking into the kitchen where my mother was sitting at the table, her dog Holly in her bed without the energy to stand up or utter a muffled bark, without the energy to even lift her head. 

But I can't. It's too sad. Maybe I'll write about Cecily's computer arriving, the one we were going to get her as a graduation present since she is a high school senior with plans to head to college in the fall. 

I could write about carrying Holly and placing her into my mother's lap, her body limp and without the usual protest of a ride in the car. 

But I won't. It's too sad. Maybe I'll write about Julia's video instead. The one that's on Facebook with her college soccer team doing silly things in their homes as they connect through this quarantine. 

I could write about waiting in the parking lot and watching the masked, gloved technicians deliver a happy-to-be-alive golden retriever to her owner who struggled to keep the fabric mask over her face and shared a laugh about the absurd necessity of all the precautions everyone's taking. 

Maybe I could. 

But I could also write about bringing my mother home. 

"What's the package?" I asked. 

"No idea," Mom said. "I haven't ordered anything."

She picked up the small package that leaned against her garage. "It looks like it's from Larkin." she said. 

(Some of you know my Larkin, my oldest daughter who lives in Denver.)

Inside the house, my mother cut open the envelope. Her hands were shaking, but she didn't want help, so got busy picking up Holly's bed, her dishes, her bag of food that was on the step into the garage. 

When I came back into the house, my mother was on the phone with Larkin, wanting to know how she knew, how unbelievable the timing was.

One of my mom's good friends had commissioned Larkin to make cards of Holly, and that's what was in the package. Beautiful notecards of Holly, looking more like the clear-eyed girl who hopped independently onto the sofa when a lap was available with a pattern of holly sprigs and puppy biscuits as the background.  

"They're perfect," Mom said, standing one on the counter.

Happy Slicing,

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Slice of Life: The driveway or the beach?

Tuesdays are for slicing, and all are welcome! Join us at Two Writing Teachers!

"I'm getting pretty warm," I said. "Anyone want to go in?"

Julia lay in front of me, soaking up rays. She couldn't hide the giggle in her voice as she responded. "Those waves are really big," she said. "I'll race you in."

All three of us, Cecily, Julia, and I, burst out laughing, covering up the sound of the waves Julia was playing on her phone. We were lying on the driveway, soaking up the warmth of the early April Connecticut sun. Sometimes imagination can overcome reality, and the simulated waves combined with the dirt of our still unsodded front yard created a pretty believable facade of the beach. 

We stayed out on the driveway for a little while longer, pretending that we didn't have work to do, pretending we were on a beach, pretending we knew nothing about a quarantine or social distancing. It didn't feel normal, but it was a great game of pretend. 

Happy Slicing,