I want to say it took me a full two weeks to get used to the back to school schedule, but truth is I’m not even close. I simply tolerate it, and consider the juggle associated with the school year to be one of those things in life I can’t avoid (like death and taxes). After a lazy summer of no alarm clocks, the early morning routine has completely thrown off the girls’ eating habits. They’re simply not hungry for breakfast at 7:30am. Even their favorites, like pancakes and waffles, have been met with a lukewarm reception. The pep talks about needing their energy, and how it’s not good to go to school on an empty stomach weren’t cutting it either. Continue reading »
I made my way to Paris feeling a bit broken and exhausted. Lately, I’d been feeling as though I were running from place to place, but never going exactly where I wanted to be. I needed a few days to reconnect with myself, go at my own pace, and let life just happen, instead of trying to orchestrate every minute.
In just a couple of hours, I’ll make my way back to New York City feeling stronger than I’ve felt in a long time. My heart is not carrying a weight of worry; it is full of peace, and love. My mind feels rested, and I’m making a promise to remind myself that “it’s just a bad day, not a bad life” when things aren’t going exactly as I wish. This latter part will most definitely be a challenge, but I will try my best.
When I first met M, I was struck by the fact that he didn’t wear a watch. I can honestly say he was the first adult I’d ever met that didn’t wear one. Isn’t keeping track of time, and plotting every moment, what it means to be an adult? He often laughed at the obsessive nature with which I checked the time, too. Early on he suggested I read Harlan Ellison’s short story “Repent Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman”. Without revealing too much, the Harlequin is the voice inside of us all, rebelling against the carefully calculated structure of life. A structure that is exceedingly harder to shake as we progress further into a technological age. Why do we feel the need to plan everything to a “T”? What is so wrong with trusting our internal clocks, and letting them find a natural sync with our wants and needs? Continue reading »
To say I’ve been feeling overwhelmed would be a severe understatement. It’s just been one of those weeks where all that I’m responsible for in my life is apparent. Back to school routines have been like a jolt of caffeine to my schedule. I certainly welcome the undisturbed work time while the girls are in school, but that morning crunch of getting two kids ready and out the door by 8:20am has tipped the balance of calm at my core. Back to school was yet another reminder that I’m alone in this job as a parent. I may be used to it, in terms of the delicate dance, but my heart is just not into being a single mother. I don’t think it ever will be, truthfully.
I’ve clocked over 1,200 miles in the last week and a half, between my journey home from Cape Cod and the four trips I made upstate to deal with my annoying, and unwanted, house guests. All those hours in the car offered much time for reflection. Not always good when I should be focused on the road, but I mastered crying and driving in the early months after M died. There’s something about the act of driving that is very freeing. Perhaps it’s the feeling that I’m actually going someplace; the perception that I’m moving, doing something. The act of driving is powerful because it’s filled with the illusion that I’m steering my own course, instead of just standing around waiting for life to choose what happens.
I burned a pot boiling water today. I’m not joking, and, thankfully, was able to laugh when I realized what I’d done. There I was, yapping away on Skype with a friend, wondering who was grilling a steak at 10:30am. After I hung up, I looked into the bottom of my empty glass, and remembered I had been in the middle of making more Moroccan mint tea before I got on the Jetson’s version of the telephone. More specifically, I had been in the middle of boiling water—in my little copper pot. So, that’s what it smells like when water has completely evaporated in a copper pot, and said pot continues to cook at medium high heat. Apparently, my brain and attention span have been on vacation too long. Continue reading »
It happens like clockwork every year, that moment when the first whisper of fall comes crashing in. The calendar may not have officially changed seasons yet, but the breezy winds, and cooler nights made their way to the Cape a couple of days ago. This has been the pattern for most of the 18 years I’ve been coming here. Of course, summer doesn’t disappear without a fight, especially back in New York City. I’m sure we’ll be swapping sweaters for swimsuits again next week.
The change in weather gave me a bit of a panic attack the other day. We’ve had some wonderful trips this summer, but all the packing, unpacking, on and off planes, means I missed a good deal of my local growing season. Translation: my cupboards are dismally low on home-canned goodies. Thankfully, I stumbled upon some incredible peaches at the farmers’ market in Provincetown this past weekend, proving the window has not yet closed on my canning opportunities. Continue reading »
I’m offering an apology before I go any further. The zucchini hazelnut quick bread you see above isn’t making it into this post. I don’t know when I will be ready to share it; I just know I’ll feel it, that moment when I’m ready to cut the apron strings and set my little recipe out into the world. I know, it sounds so dramatic. Mikey would’ve surely rolled his eyes at that one, albeit with a teasingly, mischevious smile, the kind where his thick eyebrows would stretch to the sky.
Then why did I even pop in here, you’re probably wondering, right? Well, someone asked if I could share the recipe for that quick bread, and while I’m not ready to give that baby her wings to fly into your kitchen, I do have a few other favorite zucchini recipes here on the blog. I figure we’re all scrambling to use up, or just plain enjoy, the end of summer bounty. Truth be told, my heart is tightening a bit at the thought of saying goodbye to the summer growing season. As I perused my archives, one post in particular struck me. I wrote it exactly one month before M passed away. It was incredible to read myself talking about the book proposal. Just two years and two months ago, Homemade with Love was still in utero. It boggles my mind to think of all that has happened during that time. Continue reading »
My eyes stared in bewilderment as I read the words “I rarely bake on vacation”. This last week in North Truro alone, I’ve baked four loaves of bread, two types of muffins and a zucchini hazelnut quick bread. And yet, those words from three years ago, they were true. I wrote them on August 24, 2010.
This is our ninth summer in the same cottage. The location is perfect beyond words, the house nestled in the sand, just a few hundred feet from the bay. The kitchen, however, is better suited to cooking up simple meals. It’s stocked with pots and pans that show their scars from the many renters that have come before. I’ve learned over the years to bring some essentials from home, my kitchen bags always outnumbering the rest of my luggage. The year I snuck my cast-iron skillet under the front seat, I knew I was pushing it. Mikey rolled his eyes, but I stood my ground, demanding if his guitar got to go, then so did my favorite instrument. Continue reading »
I’ve been a moving target the last two years, running, trying to dodge the reality of learning to live without Michael. I lost much more than just my husband when he died. With one felt swoop, fate came in like a thief and also stole my sense of security. I’m afraid to trust in being happy again. Terrified at settling myself somewhere emotionally, and plant roots, for fear they will be ripped up again with no warning.
I’m tired of being on the lam, though. That’s why I bought the house upstate. This doesn’t mean I’m staying in NYC for the long term, but it is a huge step in taking chances again. No matter where I go in the future, I will always have a little house tucked away in the country to call home. That’s if the fleas ever leave.
Yes, the biting little bastards are back, and they swarmed around my ankles and legs the moment I stepped inside the house yesterday. The plan was to spend a relaxing two days there, and finish setting up the house before we travel onward to Cape Cod for our annual vacation. If the neighbors were watching, I left a lasting impression, no doubt. I did one last body check before getting back in the car to head home, to make sure there were no fleas clinging to me like De Niro under the car in Cape Fear. I saw one jump off my dress, and did what any irrational, and emotionally worn down person would do. Continue reading »