Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Today I am grateful for my mom’s rolling pin and pastry cutter. We found a beautiful assisted living place for mom. It is just lovely, with great people and good food. And she can take her cat! It is as if the burden of a thousand lifetimes has been lifted from our shoulders.
Tomorrow the movers come to take the heavy stuff, so today we packed up her apartment. I opened several windows and started tossing anything cloth in the washer to get rid of the nicotine smell. Wow. If it was from pot we’d be second-hand-high for a week.
Himself and I tackled the dresser drawers and took pictures off the walls. My sister attacked the desk and Himself and her husband disconnected electronics and broke apart the pink bed. Yes pink. With a fantastic, huge Betty Boop painting above it that my niece painted for her.
I donned a flak jacket and headed for the kitchen. Magnets off the fridge, towels that would serve more as rags and just enough silverware to keep her from bitching. Her kitchen at the new place is smaaallll. When I opened her old cabinets I about fell over. Was the woman running a soup kitchen? She had enough Tupperware, Glad Ware and bowl-hats to go on The Apprentice and start a small business.
The same gnarly pots and pans and baking tins that I used as a kid when I was at home 45 years ago spilled out of cabinets. I helped pack them when she moved to Arizona and I helped pack them when she moved to Wisconsin. How sad. Like mom their time was almost up. Now I was packing them for the their last trip to the thrift store.
Except for her rolling pin and pastry cutter. I can’t even bear to put them in a box. I just want to look at them. How many pies did she make with those two simple tools? Millions. . .and I’m not exaggerating. My dad loved lemon meringue so he always got it on his birthday. She loved apple and so did he, so she made it all the time. My sister and I loved rhubarb and mom’s favorite was mincemeat. . .yuk! She’d make pumpkin and cherry and chocolate and banana cream. Using the same rolling pin and pastry cutter.
She was famous for her pies in Arizona and as proud of that as anything she’s ever done. “When I make a pie for a potluck, they don’t even get out of the kitchen.” Those running the event would squire HER pies away in a secret spot to have after everyone was gone. . .and put the store-boughts on the table for the guests.
When a dear man moved to her mobile park, who had lost his wife on the way to Arizona, she said, “I think he’s lonesome” and asked me if I thought it would be okay for her to bake him a pie every now and then. Of course. He loved her pies. . .and he loved her. . .and she loved him, until he, too, left her too soon. I am still friends with his children, who probably also remember her pies.
So there they sit, with little crusts of decades old, hardened dough in the groves, in a cluttered mess of gee-gaws and boxes and errant utensils, next to out-of-date spices and enough canned goods for Armageddon. A rolling pin and a pastry cutter. . .and the hugest ever. . .BING! Heartprint!