LONGLEAF STORIES

full circle in the hundred acre wood

Hot and humid, followed by tornado warnings, lashing slantwise rain, thunder rumbles that seemed to go on forever, and lightning strikes that lit up the chain link fence and scared hell out of the dog.

I spent most of the day pondering and wandering. One of those days where I started in the foyer, opening drawers and wondering how we accumulate such unaffiliated flotsam and jetsam; knowing that soon as I toss the odd widget, tomorrow sure as the world Buck will come looking for it (and it will turn out to be the absolutely critical whatsit he needs).

I filled up two boxes for the Easter Seal store: a lesser light pair of binoculars, rice cooker no longer needed since I discovered The Splendid Table’s method for cooking rice, two Harley Davidson shot glasses, a pair of kitten-heeled black and white shoes that I adored looking at but couldn’t imagine shoe-horning my hiker feet into, a pair of mauve napkins that are now and have always been hideous, a How To Attract Birds to your Backyard book (as if that ever were a problem good grief), and some handmade doilies crafted by someone’s long-dead relative which I’ve only hung onto this long because it feels like a sacrilege to say the words “I don’t want them,” and two Green Bay Packers beer glasses given to Buck as corporate tchotchkes when he was a corporate public affairs exec more than twenty years ago.

Eventually, we came to supper. Despite snapping and popping of lightning and Lou too scared to eat her own dinner, we settled in with scotch and water (me) and Manhattan cocktail (Buck) with a few roasted almonds and plain Renfroe (this year’s crop) pecan halves. Lou buried her head in her chocolate brown dog bagel bed, her suffering palpable. It led us to drink wine with dinner. Which brings me to the money shot of the evening: a lovely plate of jumbo lump crab, chopped tomatoes, a boiled egg, two Yukon Gold new potatoes, and salmon salad with caper salsa on a bed of lettuce.

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Yes, that’s my foot, off to the right. I’m curled up on a couch, lightning flashes blasting through the window wall. Earlier, I crawled under tables in Buck’s study and my desk in my own, and unplugged our computers.

It’s still raining a waterfall, and it sounds like the local militia boys are having a dressed rehearsal.

Me? I’m sitting in bed, eating dark chocolate, listening to the rain that reminds me of that time in the salon noir at Habitation Le Clerc in Haiti, and talking to you.  All in all, a terrific evening.

3 thoughts on “Notes From the First Monday of 2017: Stormy Piney Woods Edition

  1. dclaud says:

    I did a story a few years ago about a couple who downsized. The criterion the wife used for whether to keep something or toss it was, “Would this item be meaningful to my niece and nephew who will have to go through our stuff when we’re no longer here.” That’s a little radical but I do think we need some sort of overriding premise when throwing things away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth says:

      I’ve had to curate the house museums of Buck’s late mother and his late ex-wife (a story there), so I’m the brutal one in making these keep, give away or toss decisions. It’s harder for Buck. There’s the ancient 60 hp Case tractor that’s been around longer than I have and the old red building, signifiers of the rural life, perhaps, for him, of freedom and endless summers.

      Like

  2. Wally Jones says:

    We could use a little of that rain here and a whole lot of that crab! Our selection process for the inevitable but all-too-often-postponed winnowing project has devolved into the “close your eyes and toss” method. If we haven’t gone looking for it in x-number of years, we very likely won’t miss it.

    Like

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