Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Year Ago

A year ago, probably to the week, I was anxiously awaiting my last final, so as to anticipate a symbolic new beginning as I crammed boxes and made countless trip from my college house rental to my fiance's house. Though we wouldn't be living together for yet another two and a half weeks, I was ready to start preparing for the move. More than anything, all these changes and moves moved me closer to that wedding date, and that was most exciting of all!
Now it is a year later, and I'm remembering that time and, for my own entertainment, doing some of the same things I did during those two weeks preceding the wedding (maybe its a bit of ocd but i like rituals). Not only am I treating myself to some highlights as I did during finals week last year, but I feel this newly awakened sense of housewife surfacing again. Not that this went away necessarily, but with school wrapping up and work piling up and lots of "this time of year" activity, the house is frankly not that pretty. It doesn't smell good, the dreaded pink ring is around the toilet bowl, papers strewn about, and if I live like this any longer I will go crazy. Written in my planner is my finals schedule with Friday, once completely open and available, now-as if it were some kind of treat- is, "CLEANING DAY--YAY!!" I really can't wait, and I'm looking for ways to begin early.
I feel like this impulse towards what I will refer to as domesticasity? is purely just a want to refocus on what it is that I really feel is valuable to me and my family's life. Sure, getting an education and studying is great too (bla bla bla bla bla-shouldn't i be studying renaissance art right now?), but I am happily responsible for taking care of things at home too. I want to be making good meals at night (we've slipped-partially in part of pregnancy laziness--to lots of boring food, taco night, pasta night, left-over night, sandwiches, repeat) and I want to clean up the kitchen afterwards. I want to learn new healthy, good things in order to practice good and necessary tools before giving birth to this little guy (who's seemingly doing flips in my tummy as I write this).
This brings me to realize how things have changed, how I have grown. Sure, I may feel like I'm slacking a bit now, but what student isn't? Seth and my forever goal is to make our home a house of production and by trying to grow our food, being conscientious about what we buy, and conscientious about how we live, I feel we are doing our part to bring up a family who hopefully, really knows the Good Life (different from the American Dream life). Last year, I tried to plan out a garden, but it's hard to do such a thing when you don't live near your plants and, well, when you start late. We planted in May last year, and had some success with growing somethings but this year, having interacted with our plot, our compost, and the weather all fall and winter, we were prepared to plant as early as mid-march. We already see the bounty of this planning--we have rows of greens and radishes and onions already!
In terms of our home, I've been decorating and rearranging all year in order to get the most out of our small space without spending, well, virtually any money. Sure, maybe a mess and eyesore to others, but I'm telling you, our house is so cozy, and I never want to leave it. The biggest luxury in our home is our 80.00 diningroom rug (wedding giftcard!)--once a crisp white and blue--now worn, faded, showing the signs of all the diners and people who have passed through. My new challenge, however, is to organize an effective guestroom in a very small room, and a wonderful nursery to welcome our highly anticipated new family member.
And like I've said before, I want to keep our house a healthy and good place for all, and that of course includes what we put in our mouths. I'm not going to say we're the best at this (I bought a freaking box of hot tamales the other day, why? absolutely no nutritional value), but I will say, I try. But all this brings me to this book I got for my birthday. It's beautiful, and though some of the recipies are "too foody" for me, others are just so wonderfully rustic and deceivingly simple. The emphasis, though, is to cook according to season and locale--a good challenge.
Unfortunately, there is a recipe for "Gratin of Bay Scallops with Jerusalem Artichoke Puree" or "Lobster Mac and Cheese" which kind of calls for a second trip to the East Coast.
(New Bedford, Mass., WHALES!)

I love May, and I love the curious reawakening of all things during this time: the flowers are out, and plants are flourishing, and I am filled with a surge of energy to make and do.

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