... when you realize that you've become your mother. Yeah, I just had one of those.
Mind you, the Scallion (She is called thus because I often wear Many Layers that I successively peel out of or put back on to keep my reptilian body temp about right. So Arizona calls me the Onion, and my maternal unit, being smaller and skinnier than I, yet having the same tendency, is therefore the Scallion.) is an extremely cool person, practically a force of nature. I want to be parts of her when I grow up. Just maybe not *exactly* like her.
Take, for example, apples.
This past weekend was one of those "ermagherd, winter's coming" fall weekends when native New Englanders are genetically programmed to start lining their nests. For Arizona and I, who are constantly waging war against our kW/hr reading on the electric bill (alas, our Little House In The Trees is a bummer for solar conversion because it's, well, In The Trees), this entailed shoring up the caulking and weatherstripping around our doors and packing away our two small window AC units. Which meant *removing* the weatherstripping we had used to airtight them four months ago.
Weatherstripping ... sigh. You can't get the stuff to stick when and where you want, and when you finally do, it's in the place where you're going to want to peel it off six months later while preserving as much of your wood finish as possible. Amiright?
Enter DocJess, a wallpaper scraper, a butter knife, a bottle of nail polish remover (in the house expressly for such purposes, as I can't remember the last time my nails saw polish), and a whole lot of contortionism (no Autocorrect, I don't mean 'a whole lot of contortionists', though that would've been entertaining). And let's just say that after a couple of hours of painstaking, finger-cramping work, getting out of the house and doing a different chore sounded really good to me.
Me: What do you say we blow this popsicle stand and go get some supplies? We're running pretty low.
Arizona (makes face): On a Sunday? Yuck. Let's just eat what's here and go shopping some night this week.
As an up-until-recent-years lifelong bachelor who's been through some lean times, he's often perfectly content to subsist on whatever his environment provides, until the kitchen looks like it's been stripped by locusts and dinner consists of microwave popcorn and a mustard sandwich, hold the bread. Whereupon, he'll go hunting, slay a mammoth, and load up his cave for the next round. Me? Not so much. I want what I want in the food department, especially when I'm feeling a little put-upon by chores.
Me: I'll just run down the street, then, and pick up a few things to hold us over a couple of days.
Since Arizona (bless his father and general life view for this one) believes that Real Men Go Grocery Shopping With Their Wives, he grumbled only a little and said, "I'll get my shoes."
Me: We can buy beers.
Arizona (perks up): I'll drive.
So we went down the street to the expensive market where we don't do our big shopping (because, yanno, expensive), and we did the sort of supply run I usually associate with blizzards. You know--milk, bread, eggs, beer. (We've got batteries stockpiled.)
Arizona: All set?
Me: Just need to a quick run through the fruit section.
And by 'quick,' I mean twice the time it took us to do the rest of the store. Because ... APPLES!
You see, apple season in New England is a wonderful time, when the selection of apples expands from the year-round Mac-red-delicious-golden-delicious sameness to offer new and interesting names. Gala! Braeburn! Fuji!
Now, fifteen years ago, when I lived up in Massachusetts nearer to the Scallion, there was a neighborhood orchard that offered all these beauties (and more) fresh off the tree. Me? I lived on pizza, Dunkin' Donuts and Lean Pockets, and when my maternal unit waxed enthusiastic about the different apple flavors and her efforts to uncover the formula for a Perfect Pie (was it three Galas to Two Braeburns or the other way around?), I would nod and smile, and think, "Dude, they're just apples."
Mind you, I was more than happy to taste test, because she makes a killer pie. But apples were apples to me. Until yesterday, when I found myself jumping up and down in the Expensive Market and whooping, "HONEYCRISPS!!!"
Arizona: Dude, they're just apples. Aren't they?
Which they are, of course. But they're super yummy, too. What's more, they mean that the good parts of fall are here--like pies, gorgeous days, pretty leaves and dubious cornstalk decor. And we'd better remember to enjoy them, because pretty soon the world is going to be cold and white here, and the honeycrisps are going to be gone.
So, dear ReaderFriends, enjoy the moment, eat an apple (or the seasonal indulgence of your choice), and remember to look around yourself and find something that makes you smile. The big things in life are important, but it's the little things that set the mood. I wish you a happy one today :)