I have been home for a month now with few responsibilities beyond being a mother and keeping house. If only it could always be this way, I think.
The house is mostly put together. I have been cleaning like a madwoman, and finally have the downstairs in a state that meets my cleanliness standards. It’s been at least two years since this has happened. The upstairs is also mostly fine, though my bedroom is still a travesty. My mother and I have been making the backyard safe enough for a small boy to run around in while I tend Tomatoes this summer. It’s like I have my home back, with things to look forward to.
My home with some additions, as a result of a big subtraction…
My grandfather passed over the holidays. I assume that sometime I will write about it, but it feels like too much right now. How is it possible to memorialize someone who was a weekly part of your life (at least) for the entirety of it? I’m not sure it is. Still, the family went through his things, and my grandmother’s too (who passed, oh, 7 years ago? I purposefully didn’t remember the date or year), which was cathartic and wonderful. And now my house is peppered with little remembrances of them. I had time to reorganize the knick-knacks and rehang the pictures on the walls to fit them in.
I even had a little time for some historical cooking, which I realized that I missed horribly when I was watching them make Figgy Pudding at Jamestown over an open hearth. I made a Carolina Snowball – a desert “pudding” (not at all like we think of modern puddings, by the way) that consists of rice cooked in milk surrounding a spice-baked apple in a butter/wine/sugar sauce. It was CRAZY good, and the first time I made a recipe with dubious instructions and no measurements. Swell the rice in warm milk, it said. Boil until Enough, add a Glass of wine… But it turned out and not only was it edible it was darn good! The butter/wine sauce might be one of the best things I’ve ever had ever, even.
I am starting student teaching again next Monday, which feels a little like the end of the party after how hard I worked at it all last semester. The beginning of work, the end of cozy homeyness.
Still, I do think it will be different this time. I have notice about what and where I will be teaching. I am not taking any companion classes to fill my nights with panic and my weekends with homework in addition to lesson planning and grading for my own students. I have reliable child care. I have a (mostly) clean house.
I’m ready for the chaos, and determined to cling to the domesticity in the middle of the rapid stream of work to follow. If only because I need more of that butter/wine sauce in my life. Yum.