Friends, I have news. For the first time in our history together, DH and I are completely packed and ready for a biggish trip the night before we leave! No last-minute grabbing of superfluous items! No extended fueling stop before getting on the highway! No squabbling caused by same!
We're heading for the old home place tomorrow, the land of shoofly pies and birch beer and Yocco's hotdogs. (No native Vermonter, I. In fact, of the six humans, four cats and five dogs I've lived with during my years here, only three of the cats were native to this place. Flatlanders R Us.)
I wish all of you celebrating tomorrow a very Happy Thanksgiving. There are many things I'm thankful for, and you lot (American and not) are high on the list.
I made pizza last night. From scratch. Both dough AND sauce. And I don't have a single damn photo because I was so frazzled by the entire experience. Which is too bad because they looked pretty good.
Little old Italian women don't even make their own pizza from scratch any more. Want to know why? BECAUSE IT TAKES FOREVER. If I'd paid someone a decent hourly wage to make the pizzas (there were three!) I would have shelled out like $80 for three medium cheese pizzas. Three medium, handcrafted, artisanal, mostly locavore cheese pizzas.
Who does this anymore? Stay at home moms who feel like they should have more to show for the day's efforts than one basket of clean laundry, that's who.
You know what the worst part was? Not making the dough, even though I tried being all fancy/old world by creating a well of the dry ingredients and pouring the wet ingredients in and realized too late that the well was too small and tried to make it bigger and watched the yeasty oily water spill all down the sides of the cabinets and splash on my slippers. It wasn't even making the sauce, even though I used the damn tomatoes I froze this summer and they weren't defrosting fast enough and I had to squeeze out the seeds from the half frozen pulp by hand and periodically run warm water over my fingers to thaw them out and THEN cut the tip of my ring finger while dicing the onions. No, the worst part was getting the fully loaded pizzas from the cutting board into the oven. Because we don't have a pizza peel. I'm all for making do, but this was an occasion for specialized equipment, and I DIDN'T HAVE IT.
So we kinda threw the pizzas into the oven onto a cookie sheet (that only has one side and I am only just this second realizing would have made a not-bad substitute for a pizza peel damn it all) and tried to straighten them out in the 500˚ heat. Fun times!
Whatevs. They baked up pretty well, and Sarah declared that I am "the BEST pizza maker in the WORLD!" (Tonight she also stated that Tom and I are the best parents in the world, and that her doll Gloria is the best baby in the world, so, you know, I can't say I place a lot of weight on the claims these days. Still, it was nice to hear.)
So. Lesson? Plan ahead, use the right equipment, and keep an insanely complimentary kid on hand. And never forget the camera.
I've been thinking about Sarah's haircut a lot. The whole time I was hacking away at it, increasingly desperate about getting it right as she wiggled and squirmed on the chair, I couldn't help but think about all those times my mother took the shears to my head. She had a pair of those scary long-handled barber's scissors -- do you know the ones I mean? The long, thin silver blades looked like an egret or heron's bill. I used to dream about those scissors -- I dreamt about them again this weekend before cutting Sarah's hair.
How many times did my mom cut my hair? I can't possibly guess. A dozen? Two dozen? More? I DISTINCTLY remember the last time, though. I was 13 and had hair down to my waist. It had been years -- two? three? -- since my last trim and apparently Mom had had enough. "Just a trim! Just enough to take the dead ends off!" she begged. I gave in.
I sat in the bathroom on the cold closed lid of the toilet, as was usual, with a terrycloth bath towel around my shoulders and my damp hair slicked down my back. Skrritch! Skrritch! And then (I'm pretty sure this isn't just embellished memory), "Oops."
By the time she finished, my hair was over a foot shorter. Apparently there was a LOT of fixing going on back there, Mom.
As I took my turn wielding the scissors Saturday, my only hope was not to get myself into a situation I had to, you know, FIX. Skrrritch! Skrrritch! Who knew cutting hair could be so emotionally exhausting?
Do you ever look outside, and what you see is so perfectly of that moment in time? I was at the window yesterday at dinner time. There might as well have been a big fat caption in the sky: "Evening, Late Fall, New England".
So, I got a haircut today after I dropped Sarah off at school. When I picked her up after lunch, she said, "Mom, you look like you used to!" And for a second I thought she meant I was all getting my groove back or some such pseudo-personal-growth stuff. And then I realized what she actually meant. "You mean I look like I did last winter?" "Yeah!" Right. The last time I got my haircut.
But then she later said, "You're the cutest little mom in the whole wide world I've ever seen with your new haircut!" and one of her besties, Bea, chimed in with "You look beauty-full!" (That's the way she pronounces it, which I think is a great improvement over the standard way.) That'll put a little bounce in your step, a little spring in your sprocket. I tell you, when four year olds aren't deliberately trying to DESTROY YOUR WORLD, they're the best people to have around ever.