I think it was Wednesday today. Each 24 hours around the sun blends into another. Told to not go into work, my mother, Marigold and I bugged out to the country, not quite a week ago.
I’ve spent this time planting my big garden. G90 corn under planted with contender green beans: 2 rows. Almost half a row of squash: zucchini and yellow crooked neck. The rest of the rows will be zinnias, cosmos, bishop’s flower and a multitude of sunflowers. Pink flamingo whirlygigs mark where I’ve planted what. Plus, detailed notes are kept in a notebook. A gentle rain for most of yesterday (Tuesday?) graced the turned ground, making it perfect for planting.
Early evening, after a simple supper of braised chicken tenders and tossed salad, I sat down at the piano and right hand pecked out old hymns. I have trouble reading bass clef. Marigold was on the porch and she started barking, when she heard my feeble notes. Everyone is a critic.
Gardening. Writing. Music- kinda. What’s keeping you from going stir crazy?
Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen while hunkering down at Flowers Proper.
I didn’t cook anything this weekend. It’s been rather busy. Another road trip-this time to Petal to celebrate my brother’s birthday. I put together a coffee basket for his gift: Community Coffee, Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, Almond Joy coffee creamer and an insulated mug.
My brother and I are only 17 months apart. He gave up his baby bottle for me, so the story goes. We have always been very close. I was two years behind him in school and when I reached 9th grade he was a cool 11th grader and wanted nothing to do with me. I was persona non grata. I was ‘she who was not to be spoken to’. When we passed one another on the high school campus, I would say, “Hi.” Older brother would shoot me that look that only brothers give their sisters, as if to say, “Get lost, twerp!”
Well, let’s just say that he should have known better. He just thought saying hello to me would cramp his style. I remember it like it was yesterday…
It was a warm, early afternoon and first lunch break. My friends and I were sitting under the live oak trees outside A-Hall, when I saw my brother and his group of cohorts changing class. As they sauntered down the sidewalk, I called out to him, “Hi, Chris!”
No response. So, I did it again, a little louder.
He kept on walking, ignoring me. I thought to myself, ‘Oh, I’ll fix you.’
“Hey, there, Chris! Hey, Chrissy. Oh, Chrissy-kins. Hi! Hi!” All spoken in a sing-song voice.
His friends erupted into laughter.
“Ha!” one of his group poked fun at my brother, laughing. “She got you-Chrissy!”
My brother, who had ignored me for weeks, stopped on the sidewalk with his arms akimbo. His expression was one of disgust. I held my ground, matching his stance and purse of his lips, the squint in his green eyes.
“What, Chrissy-kins? Can’t speak to your sister?” I kept on, tauntingly.
He kept looking like Mr. Bigbad, staring a whole in me. Then the bell rang.
“Alright, Mandy,” he said, trying not to smile. “Or should I say Mandy-kins? You win. See ya.” And he went on to class.
Wow, that was, let’s see…1979? Maybe. We called each other Chrissy-kins and Mandy-kins for years after that show down on the high school campus. Both nicknames got shortened to just ‘kins’. He’s now endearingly named Unc, by my three boys.
Today is Unc’s birthday. I’ll let you do the math to figure out how old he is. He has a sweet young family (we didn’t think he would ever get married, but he finally found someone to put up with him). Unc got to sleep in this morning, and his little boys and I were hungry, so I went to the Golden Arches for sausage biscuits and fruit and yogurt parfaits for everyone. Remington (Remi for short – even the dog has a nickname) is their mixed breed and he is allowed in the kitchen. During meal times, Remi hangs out under the table waiting for something to hit the floor. The dog is a freak for yogurt! We finished our parfaits and then the cups were offered to him to lick clean. The dog was very appreciative.