Companionship

Nik is at the beach this weekend with his friends.  He left yesterday morning.  They’ve been going to Drew’s parents’ beach house for at least four (maybe five or six) years now for both Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends.  Drew’s parents cook for them, they hang out at the beach, and generally just have an awesome time.  Well, over the past few years, more and more of the guys have gotten married and I have been telling Nik that eventually the girls will have to come too! (The issue is really more of space than anti-girl sentiments!)  Anyway, Drew is getting married next weekend and so this weekend has been billed as, “The End of an Era”.

Nik called me this afternoon and after we had chatted for a few minutes, he fairly casually asked me what my plans were for today.  I said I was planning on processing the nine pounds of tomatoes, 1.5 pounds of beans, 8 ears of corn, 20 squash, and 1 pound of swiss chard that we had sitting on the dining room table and maybe making bread too.  And then he said, “Well you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to but Ryan says that Heather doesn’t have any plans and Drew says that Kelly doesn’t have any plans (and plus she’s stressed with wedding stuff) so maybe you could call them and see if they want to hang out.”  So, very sweet that all those guys were talking about their women and trying to connect us to each other!

So I called Heather and Kelly and although Kelly was actually busy for the day, Heather was able to come over.  We’ve been talking about how she wanted to learn how to make bread and so this seemed like the perfect time to do it.  So she brought the sewing projects that she was going to work on this afternoon anyway and in between making bread, I cut and blanched a ridiculous amount of vegetables and she sewed.  And it was so nice!

We both did exactly what we were already planning on doing this afternoon (with the addition of bread for Heather) but we had some companionship while we were doing it.  And it made me realize that very likely, a generation or two ago, this was more likely what women did.  They had tasks to accomplish but they also probably knew their neighbors so they could work on their every-day tasks together.  I was really getting tired of squash by the time it was all said and done, but I definitely wasn’t either sad or lonely or really even frustrated with all the work that I was doing because I was with Heather, we were chatting, and life was good.  So the bread came out of the oven at around 8:00ish, we ate it (yummy!!) and then she went home.

So now I have tons of dishes to wash and then I’m going to bed.  What a nice feeling to have added all those vegetables to our new chest freezer, to have a loaf and a half of bread still waiting for me, to know that now Heather knows (or at least is on her way to knowing) how to make bread, and neither of us spent lonely hours, isolated in our house.  So good job Nik!  Good job Drew!  Good job Ryan!  I think we have to fight pretty hard against being isolated and today was a good reminder to me of how just a phone call or two can really make a difference in that.

So, I’m off to the dishes and tomorrow my goal is to sew some bedroom curtains.  And maybe make a batch or two more of bread to put into the freezer.  Good night!

P.S I made Meggan’s bread for the second time.  It came out pretty well – the crumb is really nice although it’s pretty dense.  And it really didn’t rise at all once it went into the oven.  I think I short-changed the first rise.  So anyway, I guess that’s what making bread is all about right? Expermenting and just figuring it out?  And, I must say that I feel like I’m channeling Mom when I’m making bread.  Even though my motions are fairly new to me, they still feel so familar to me because I watched Mom do them so, so many times.  Even when I’m just putting my hand into the Kitchen Aid bowl to check the dough or kneading it into shape to put into the pan, I just feel like Mom!  So thanks for teaching me how to make bread Mom, even if you weren’t deliberately teaching me back then.  I love you!

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2 Responses to Companionship

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