Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

I am flying in a Boeing 767 American Airlines plane, flight number 52 from Chicago to Glasgow, looking out the window while most of my fellow passengers are sleeping off a viewing of Shrek 2 and City Slickers.

The clouds above the sunrise look like meringue. They make me think of lemon meringue pie. Soft golden curlicues. The last time I baked a homemade pie was twenty one years ago.

I cook when I’m happy, which is most of the time, broiling, sauteing, baking, assembling the fresh good stuff.

Sometimes when I have a temporary dose of melancholia, the lengthy peeling and chopping process necessary for making a bodacious big pot of vegetable soup or chili is cathartic, especially when a few tears spill out in the onion chopping.

The evidence suggests I only bake pies when I’m angry. There’s a story in that, but the person who lit that fire in me is still around on the fringes and my anger refreshes itself even after twenty one years when I think about that night. Nope. Like fine smoked chipotle peppers, this one needs a few more years of aging to leave the heat but tame the flame.

We made it to Scotland this afternoon, dined on scrambled eggs and toast,  bathed in a huge ancient claw-footed tub, and are about to crash out.

Don’t worry. Maggie will be fine during the hurricane. She has the equivalent of a samurai named Pauline guarding her life and limb in Pensacola, whatever Ivan may attempt. Still, my happiness here would be complete with that fine chocolate head on my knee in front of this coal fire.


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