Trust


Oh, my.

I don’t remember exactly what it was that I hoped my grandchildren would ask of me. I don’t clearly recall what dreams I had back in the days when my teaching colleagues used to call me “NonniWannabe”. I know that I wanted my grandchildren to love and trust me. But I’m not sure that I had a really clear idea of exactly what I wanted the kids to want from me.

Do you know what I mean?

But I think that today showed me exactly what I’d hoped for.

It was a typical spring morning in New England. We live far from the coast, so the mornings here are still cold. Our son-in-law arrived, as usual, with his two kids in his arms. They came into the house dressed for the sixty degree day that was forecast, but the morning was frosty.

The kids came in and sat down for breakfast. I had put out fruit, as usual, but also made nice warm toast. I offered oatmeal or waffles. Both kid wanted pineapple, clementines, milk, and nice cold grapes. By the end of the meal, our Ellie was shivering.

“Snuggle me, Nonni,!” she asked. “I’m freezing!”

I held my girl, wrapped her in a blanket, snuggled her as she had asked.

“I’m so cold!,” she told me. “I need your warm snuggles.”

My heart started to melt. I had intended to vacuum the floors, but I was forced to sit still and hold my sweet little girl in my arms. Her french braid tickled my chin, and her bony little bottom wriggled on my leg. It was heaven.

As we finished our breakfast, I told the kids that I had some leftover chicken to give them at lunchtime.

“No thanks,” said Ellie. “I want some nice hot soup for lunch.”

I blinked. I answered honestly, “Honey, I don’t have any soup ready.”

She turned her head and gazed up at me with her deep brown eyes. She put one hand on my cheek.

“Nonni,” she said sweetly, “Just check your ingredients. I bet you can make soup!”

Holy trusting child.

She was cold. She had the shivers. She was trusting me to warm her with my loving arms, but she was also telling me that she was completely confident that this old woman could whip up some homemade soup in no time.

Naturally, I pulled out some frozen chicken stock, added some garlic, onions, salt, pepper and bay leaf, and let it all simmer. Of course, without a doubt, Johnny and I pulled apart last night’s chicken and added it to the pot. We let it simmer while we played all morning, and then I cooked up some ditalini and added frozen peas to bring down the temperature.

I served it to the kids, who were starved after an hour outside playing in the cold, wet yard.

“Oh, yum,” said Ellie. She slurped up a big spoonful of hot broth, and smiled at me. “See? I knew you had some soup around.”

And now I know.

THIS is what I wanted my grandchildren to think about me. I wanted them to think, “Nonni will keep me warm. Nonni will be able to cook up the best food to keep me healthy and warm and safe.”

I wasn’t even sure what I wanted them to think, but you know what?

THIS is it.

It’s about soup.

Other Grandmoms, do you get it?

Food is Love


I first heard the phrase “Food is Love” from a colleague who was laughing at me gently on the morning of Sept.12, 2001. After the horror of the terrorist attacks in New York, and the long, terrifying night lying awake and watching endlessly repeating news, I had arrived at school with two dozen home made muffins.

I didn’t know what else to do. The world was out of control. I was sad, upset, scared, confused. I didn’t know how to react.

So I cooked.

Food is love. Food is comfort.

Food is family and warmth and security.

I guess that’s why I have raised three kids who are all exceptionally good cooks. My daughter makes the best pizza I have ever eaten. She makes Indian foods, Asian foods, and delicious focaccia.

My two sons are such good cooks that for Christmas I tend to give them ingredients as gifts. They went to college fully prepared to cook for the entire apartment. Now in their mid twenties and in serious long-term relationships, they love to cook for their partners and friends. They grow vegetables, they seek out organic foods, they browse through recipes for inspiration knowing that they will add/change/delete build upon whatever they find.

So I guess it’s no surprise that one of my favorite parts of every day is cooking with my grandchildren.

I get so much pleasure out of those moments when the two kids are seated up on my counter, helping me to mix, chop, stir, mince, sautee and simmer.

OK. Full disclosure and all that: when we’re cooking, I know where they are and I don’t have to chase them. The chaos is contained.

But that isn’t the whole story.

I just love sharing good food with them. I love sharing the history of our family recipes. I love teaching them how to handle foods, how to measure and pour and stir. I love letting them know that spilling is allowed, mistakes are expected and eggshells can add a little crunch to a cake.

Mostly, I love looking at them. I love seeing their big, dark brown eyes gazing into the bowl of dough. I love the way they listen to my every word, even as I realize that they don’t understand it all.

I mean, how many three year old really understand the difference between slicing and mincing the red peppers? How many 19 month old kids know how to crack an egg, crush a clove of garlic, zest a lemon?

My grandchildren do. Or at least they are beginning to.

Someday, when they are living on their own in small, drafty apartments, I hope that they will pull out a pile of ingredients, start to chop, and tell their gathered friends, “My Nonni taught me how to cook before I was old enough to talk.”

I hope that they think of me when they add a dash of crushed red pepper to a pot of soup. I hope they recognize, on some deep level, that they dare to experiment with spices because their Nonni helped them to feel at home in the kitchen.

I hope that they one day they will gaze with devotion at someone at their table and that they will say, “You know that food is love, don’t you?”

Yum. Can we crack some more eggs, please?

Food is love


The idea that food equals love is not an original one. Years ago I had a friend, a teacher colleague, who used to talk about her own nuclear family growing up. They were Italians, like my own family, and her Mom raised her, as mine did, with the idea that feeding people is a way to show that you love them.

I totally live that way.

One of my favorite hobbies now that I’m retired is going through old, old cookbooks and reading about the delicacies of the past. I’ve been collecting old cookbooks that I read the way other people read a novel.

One of my favorites was a wedding gift to my Mother, given to her in 1950. The book was first published in 1901. It has tips on things like making a roast chicken. Step one? Kill the chicken.

Anyway, I was thinking today about the whole cultural idea of food as a show of love. And I think that feeding a hungry person is absolutely an act of love.

In my 61 years on this earth, I have brought food to friends who are grieving, family who are sick, friends and family who are celebrating milestones. I have made soup for fellow grad students on a snowy night. I’ve brought muffins to school on the morning after terrible and shocking events like 9/11.

And I’ve learned, slowly, to accept tortellini soup when I was the one in need. I loved it when a friend at school gave me a gift of lasagna for Christmas when I was a working mother of three little children.

So in the past few weeks, as Ellie has had her first bad cold and ear infections, I found myself thinking about “food is love” once again.She had the chills; I made her ginger lemon tea. Not from a tea bag. With actual grated ginger and lemon and honey.

I made soup. I had frozen chicken stock, made after we had eaten our locally raised, organic, sustainable birds. I cooked down the carcasses, peeled off all the meat, froze it into small cubes. Which I then cooked with garlic (antibiotic properties), onion, carrots, the herbs I dried from last summer……

It was good. She like it. She ate it. No biggie.

Except that I felt fabulous. I felt like Nonni of the year.

Why? I didn’t make her better; she still had to take her antibiotics and her nose drops. She still had her fevers and her chills.

But I COOKED for her. I showed her how much I love her. I gained a totally false but somehow satisfying sense of control over the microbes of the universe.

It was great.

Today Ellie and I roasted a big pan of beef bones, which we then put into a stock pot with veggies and spice.

It’s simmering on the stove right now. Just waiting for the next cold or flu to hit someone I love.

Food. Is. Love.

That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

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Sausages As A Metaphor For Life


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I know there are all kinds of sexy ideas that could go along with this title, but I don’t mean a single one of them.

I’m talking about actual pork and beef and spices and goodness on your plate kind of sausages.

As a metaphor for the stages of life.

No.  I have not been drinking. Stick with me for a minute.

Way back in time, when Paul and I were very young, we were both in graduate school. We lived in a cozy apartment in Highland Park New Jersey. We both had part time jobs along with our full course loads, but we were really poor. I used to go to the grocery store with a small plastic counter to keep track of how much I was spending. I had coupons, I shopped the sales, and I made very careful weekly meal plans. When my counter got to $35 dollars, I was done shopping.

That’s all there was, there weren’t no more.

It was hard, but this was many years ago, so a dollar went further than it does today. Also, our local pub had fabulous happy hours with free appetizers and two for one drinks. We survived!

Anyway, one night I planned to serve pasta with marinara sauce. Paul wanted to have a sausage in his. I said no. The sausages had been defrosted for the next night! He insisted, saying he’d go meatless the next dinner.

I had a nutty, as I recall. We had a BIG old argument. Big. Furious on both sides.

I think he ate the sausage.

That was long ago. We’ve always joked about the sausage fight, because it summed up so much of what was hard for us at that point in our lives.

Flash forward, way forward, to two days ago.

I no longer carry a clicker in the grocery store. I no longer have to stop shopping at a certain dollar amount.

Now we buy all of our meats and most of our veggies from a local food coop called “MassLocal Foods.”

Food is no longer a problem. But there are other issues popping up at this point in our lives.

Sometimes I tease Paul about his slipping memory. He keeps losing his keys and forgetting to shut doors. Old man!!

I won’t be teasing him anymore, and its all because of a package of sausages.

It was evening, Paul was just home from work. We needed to get organized for a big family reunion that we are attending this weekend. He went out to mow the lawn and I pulled a package of delicious, local, organic sausages out of the freezer for dinner the following night.

Just then Paul called me to come out and help him put away some lawn furniture. I did. First I put the sausages down, then I went out. We puttered around, put things away, and I did a little weeding.

We had a nice evening, a good dinner, and we went to bed. I woke up at 3 AM thinking, “I need to grab those sausages and bring them upstairs.” Then I fell asleep again. I woke up and went through a normal day without EVER remembering the misplaced meats.

Finally, when it was time to cook, I remembered that I had never retrieved the sausages.  I went down to get them. They weren’t there.

Huh?

I looked in the freezer in the garage. I looked all around the garage, on the lawnmower, on the workshelves, even in the folded baby carriage.  Nope.

I looked in the upstairs freezer and in the fridge. Nope. I looked in the oven, the microwave, even in all the drawers. Nope, nope and nope.

I checked bookshelves, underwear drawers, dog beds. Nothin’.

Finally I sat down and googled “Alzheimer’s Disease.”

I texted Paul, just to fess up and give him a laugh. Then I started defrosting another package of sausages (I already had the rolls and wanted my delicious local treat!) I went down to the garage to throw something away and moved a pile of dishes and bowls that I had set aside for our camping trip.

And there they were. The missing sausages. Nestled in one of the plastic bowls and covered, for unknown reasons, by a plate.

Pretty funny, huh?

There are times in life when eating one little sausage seems like the greatest possible indulgence. Then there are times in life when you can buy all the sausages you need, but you keep forgetting where you put them.

 

Food is Life, Food is Love


I am such a ridiculous foodie.

Here I am, in the United States of America. I live within an hour and a half of a major city.  I have never, ever gone hungry, or even had to live without a favorite food. Ever. One look at my waistline, and you will know that I do not lie.

I am a terrible gardener.  All 6 of my tomato plants died this summer, for no apparent reason. I got 4 peppers out of 6 pepper plants.  The berries were out of control, but I didn’t plant any of those.  That was all Mother Nature.

So I don’t know where I get the nerve to envision myself as Ma Ingalls, but for some reason I have become completely 100% OBSESSED with local foods.  Like, insanely obsessed.

I belong to an incredible food coop called “Mass Local Foods”, where I go on line every month and order fresh, sustainably farmed, organic, local cheese, eggs, meats, chicken, grains, vegetables, honey…….  I can’t tell you how fabulous it was for me to discover the taste of FRESH pork…..holy deliciousness….. And fresh chicken, flash frozen and kept that way!  Wow. Like a whole new world of food.

The thing is, though, that I seem to be taking the locavore thing to a slightly crazy extreme.

We are approaching “peak harvest” here in North Central Massachusetts, and I am bound and determined to preserve these wonderful foods for the winter.

Why, you may ask yourself?  Given the fact that I can just run to Hannfords and buy canned tomatoes and frozen corn, why am I doing this?

I dunno.

But this is how I spent my Saturday:

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I canned a dozen jars of fresh tomatoes, complete with my own fresh garlic, local onions, my basil and oregano.   I burned my arm, made a mess of my counter, broke a jar and burned all ten fingers.  But I have at least 20 meals set for the winter.  Take that, Martha Stewart!

And I did this, too.

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I made two batches of vegetable soup base, two batches of carrot/ginger soup, and one big batch of tomato basil soup.  All fresh.  All local.  All made by me.

For the past three weeks, I have blanched, frozen and stored enough local sweet corn to last until next year’s crop.  Yummmmm.  I’ve made blueberry jam, blackberry preserves, strawberry jam and jars and jars of cucumber and zucchini pickles.

And I don’t really know why.

I mean, I guess it will be delicious on a rainy, icy December afternoon to simmer a pot of those tomatoes into a good pasta sauce.  But I don’t think that’s the whole reason.

I think that for some strange, innate, Italian Momma reason, I feel incredibly competent when I can feed people.  And I feel safe when I know that I have a kitchen full of healthy, fresh foods.  In case of an ice storm, a power outage or a Zombie Apocalypse, I’ll be ready to serve a healthy dinner to those I love.

How nuts is that?

My favorite kitchen decoration.  From the local farm, natch.

My favorite kitchen decoration. From the local farm, natch.

OK, Mother Nature, you win.


Every spring, without exception, I am overwhelmed by the desire to create a fantastic garden.   I imagine myself growing enough vegetables to last us through the winter.

Every spring, I turn over the earth, Google “Tomato plants in New England” and “How to grow beans in Massachusetts”, and go out to buy 300 pounds of composted cow manure.

Yep.

I aspire to be one of those self-reliant old Yankees, canning my tomatoes and freezing my beans.  Ready to take on the winter, even if the grid goes down.

And pretty much every year, round about July 8th, I start to think, “Oops.”

That’s when I notice that the tomato plants are turning all yellow, and the beans never came up and the row of lettuce got eaten by some kind of little wormy thing.   That’s about when I start to think about the Farmer’s Markets and the local farm stand, and I start to repeat that old Red Sox slogan of many years past.  “Wait till next year”, I tell myself.  “Next year I won’t put the tomatoes in the garden with all the manure (too much nitrogen).  Next year I’ll remember to spray the lettuce with a combination of dish soap and water.”

Yep.  Next year.  The elusive next year, when the bounty of my backyard will be enough to insure survival for Pa and me over the long snowy winter.

I’m an idiot.

And here’s how I know that I’m an idiot.

I have huge areas of my yard that I completely ignore.  One part used to be a rock garden, until I ran out of steam and stopped chopping back the vines.   This year it is so full of ripe delicious raspberries that the birds and I are both filled up.  I picked enough in an hour to make a pot of jam.

Another section used to be the home of a grand old white pine.  We had to cut him down about 5 years ago, as he was getting mighty old and brittle, and he was threatening our roof in every windstorm.

Two years ago, I noticed that a whole bunch of blueberry bushes were springing up around the stump of that old tree.

This afternoon, I went outside and shooed away a couple of robins.  I picked about 2 cups of sweet, ripe blueberries in 20 minutes.  Enough to make a pie.

And here’s the part that gets me.   Its only in the parts of the yard where I haven’t done one single thing to grow a crop where there is a crop worth harvesting.

I am clearly NOT the Farmer’s Daughter.

Momma Nature, I give up. You win.  Again.

Picked all this in about 20 minutes.

Picked all this in about 20 minutes.

Sigh.

I can hardly wait for the acre of blackberries to ripen in a few weeks!

Abbondanza


My son Tim came home today.  We had a wonderful time chatting, catching up on news, having a bit of lunch.

Then we headed off to our local Farmer’s Market, just to grab a few goodies.

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Wow.  We drove up the hill, into the small town center.  We parked along the town green, parking on the grass across the small road from the old white houses and rambling farms. It was raining hard, for the first time in several weeks. Tim held an umbrella over our heads, but the rain streamed down over us nonetheless. We were chilly and wet by the time we got to the first vendor’s tent.

As we stood shivering under our small umbrella, I gazed at the incredible array of fresh, organic, locally grown foods.  There were baskets filled with beets, kale, onions, garlic, red and gold potatoes, lettuce, beans, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, turnips, parsnips and fennel.  Tim and I chose a few items to take home, chatting and laughing with the young man behind the counter.  No need for garlic or tomatoes, or carrots: I grew those at home! No need for beets or onions, I just bought those at the farm stand in town.

We chose some eggs, some lettuce and small, crisp cukes.  Some broccoli and a few sweet red peppers.

As we walked around the rest of the market, we bought some fresh, colorful eggs, a loaf of crisp fresh bread and a local package of goat cheese.

We stopped at the freezer truck where our friend and local farmer was selling fresh sweet corn and all kinds of local organic meats. We bought a dozen ears of corn and two pounds of freshly ground beef.

As we headed back to the car with our treasures, I kept telling Tim that I was feeling overwhelmed by the bounty all around us.  We had enough money to buy as much fresh, safe, healthy food as we could use. We had a choice of fresh foods that was almost an embarrassment of riches. I wished that I could buy and save enough of this wonderful food to see us all the way through the winter.

And two things struck me then: One is that I absolutely CAN buy and preserve enough fresh food to last until next spring. I only have to put in the effort to cook and can or freeze it all.  The second thought was more profound: how is it that I find myself surrounded by more food than any of us could ever consume, when the world is filled with so many hungry families? I thought of people far away, suffering in Syria and Iraq and Gaza and Ukraine. And I thought of people in my own community, young families with hungry children, who are unable to access the incredible bounty of the summer in New England.

I don’t know how I can share all this wealth. I don’t know how I can manage to feed those hungry children.  But I do know that I am committed to buying, saving, cooking, eating and sharing as much of this fresh, nutritious food as I possibly can.  And I will do whatever it is that I can do to bring these wonderful treasures to hungry people wherever they may be.

In praise of local farmers, who work so hard to bring us the beautiful gifts of summer!

 

A VERY serious side note


Today was my daughter’s bridal shower.

It should have been a perfect day.

The very happy couple.

The very happy couple.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous.  The sky was blue, the sun was warm and the breeze was fresh and clean.  My slightly disorganized garden was blooming and bright, the color of the rhododendron blossoms nearly matching the wrapping paper from Bed, Bath and Beyond.

My beautiful girl was in her glory; gorgeous in a long yellow dress, she was basking in the attention of so many friends and relatives who love her.  Her handsome almost husband was charming and smiling and full of fun as he introduced his family to hers.

It should have been a perfect day.

Everyone had fun. The food was abundant and delicious.  The gifts were generous and incredibly thoughtful, and everyone was impressed with the wonderful start that our kids were given on married life.

Yes.  It should have been perfect.

But.

Eventually, the day came to a close, and the guests began to make their way to their cars. As usual when a big Italian party winds down, there were leftovers to disperse. And that was when the trouble began.

Oh, its not what you think. There were more than enough grilled sausages to send home for everyone, and more than enough rolls to hold them.  There was enough pasta salad and potato salad and orzo salad to sink a small ship.  There was leftover mac and cheese (Holy cheesy goodness, that Reverend can cook!), leftover baked beans, leftover cupcakes and pie and brownies and cookies.

It wasn’t a fight over the good stuff that made the day a less than perfect success.

No, my friends. It wasn’t any human issue that caused the day to end on a sour note. Nope.

It was the damn Tupperware.  Or Rubbermaid.  Or Snap N Go.

It was the desperate and impossible task of searching for matching containers and lids that almost made me toss a saucepan through a window.

There I was, trying to thank everyone, clean up the dining room and quickly pack up little batches of goodies to take home.  I’d reach into the container drawer, grab a 3 in by 4 in rectangular container. I’d fill it up with potato salad and grab for a 3 in by 4 in rectangular lid.  Oops.  Nope. Wrong shape. This one has a slightly rounded corner.  Reach back into the drawer, while attempting to chat with the relatives around me. Pull out another rectangular lid.  Nope. This one has sharp corners.

I tried round Tupperwares with round Rubbermaid lids. Nope.  I tried round Rubbermaids with round Tupperware lids. Nopienopenope.  I eventually gave up, and tried to pack the goods into recycled yogurt containers.

Gah!

Who knew that a Stonyfield Farm container wouldn’t be a good match with a Chobani lid?

Seriously?!?!

I know that there are many issues in the world for us to be worried about right now. Violence and civil war in Iraq. The rapidly rising seas.  The missing honeybees and monarch butterflies. Dick Cheney still getting airtime on national networks.

Still, if you ask me, the biggest problem facing the world today is the lack of uniformity in leftover container law.

If I am ever appointed as Queen of the World (What? It could happen.), the first thing that I would do is pass the “Every container has to match its lid” law.  There would be ONE set of containers, and only ONE. Each lid would be marked with a symbol that would match it with its container partner.

Anyone who created a leftover container that did not follow these specifications would be thrown in jail for a thousand years. If he tried to escape, he would be fed to an angry alligator.

I. Am. Not. Kidding.

I know that we all fear and loathe big government, and we don’t want more regulation. But let me say this about that: You can take the government out of education, out of religious worship, out of marriage, out of health care.  Whatevah.   But it is definitely time for us to have leaders who are willing to take on the difficult question of container-lid misfitting.

The madness must stop.

A hard working middle class American woman should be able to throw her daughter a bridal shower without having to panic about the lack of a lid to fit on the containers of leftover home made baked beans with maple syrup.

Enough is enough. Fellow American women, we must act now.

Perfection


When my kids moved out, I read a lot of advice and information about the Empty Nest Syndrome.   I learned that I should look forward, not back, and that I should take on new challenges to help me grow.

So, as part of my “Get over it” therapy I am learning to bake cakes.  Its fun!

Fattening, but fun.  I made a chocolate cake during the blizzard, and when my daughter and her boyfriend were here for dinner, I made a really tasty peanut butter and chocolate cake.  They were good!

Except that they were a little lopsided, which bugged me.  And the frosting was great…fluffy, sweet, swirly….but the cakes were a little on the tough side, since I probably beat the batter too much.  I’m working toward fluffier cake, with a more tender texture.  I’m working toward cakes that stand up straighter.  Better, more perfect cakes.

Crooked, yet tasty.

Crooked, yet tasty.

And I’m not only learning to bake, I’m teaching myself how to knit, too!  Aren’t you impressed?

For my first project, I bought some yarn and some needles, and found a YouTube knitting video.  I cast on way too many stitches, with no idea of what I was going to make.  Two weeks later, I had a little lap blanket!  TaDa!!  Soft, blue and white, pretty warm.  It is draped over my nice blue couch right now.

Where every dropped stitch, knot and hole catches my eye a hundred times a day. I’ll keep it, of course, and use it to garner some laughs.  But it irritates me to see such imperfection.

Now I am on to my next project. I bought a skein of multicolored yarn, just because it was so lurid and eye popping.  Perfect for knitting with a group of fifth graders, right? I thought maybe I’d make a hat for one of my sons (Don’t cringe! They actually like crazy colored knit hats. They do!)

So I bought some “round needles” and tried to learn how to “knit in the round.”  H’m.

I tried to keep count of the stitches, but they were really tight and they didn’t slide the way they should.  So I pulled them off and started over.  Now they were too loose, and they kept slipping off the end, even though they were theoretically knit together.  I pulled them off and tried again.  Lopsided, lumpy, not even looking like a hat at all.  Pulled them off and rewound all that colorful yarn.

OK, I thought, I’ll knit a scarf! So I cast on 50 stitches and got started.  The stitches were just right!  Stretchy, neat, they kept popping out in beautiful little rows. And the yarn made an incredible pattern! Like a stretchy, kitchy Navaho blanket. I loved it!

Except that it was going to turn out to be a big rectangle, not a scarf.  Oops! Too wide, too short.

I pulled them all out and started over.  Again.

Now I am almost finished with a nicely shaped, good sized, supremely colorful scarf. But this time there is no lovely pattern. Just a random sprinkling of colors.  It looks like this:

Yikes. My eyes are melting.

Yikes. My eyes are melting.

I am absolutely not going to start over again.  But I’m not sure that anyone will ever wear this…..scarf.

So here I am in my empty nest, baking and knitting. And neither endeavor has produced perfection.

And that’s bugging me.

And the fact that its bugging me is kind of bugging me, you know?

Why do women do this?

We have a funny little habit, we women.  We seem to think that if we just try hard enough to eliminate every tiny imperfection in everything that we do, we will gain control over this messy, unpredictable world.

We watch commercials that tell us to clean deeper and more often so that we can wipe out every speck of dust, piece of dirt and invisible germ. They tell us to buy make-up that will “erase tiny imperfections” on our faces.  We use “Magic Erasers” to wipe out every smudge or smear that might indicate the presence of actual life in our homes.

And what I’ve noticed, after all these years, is that the harder we work to achieve perfection, the more anxious we become about every tiny flaw. The more we clean the floor, the more each muddy dog print impacts our peace of mind. We get caught in a spiral of chasing the impossible, believing that just one more burst of effort will get us  to a place that does not exist.

There is no perfect. There is only real. Humans are flawed, life is messy, we actually don’t have control.

So its time for me to embrace the dropped stitches and the crooked cake. Its time to wrap up in the patternless, randomized scarf and just go with it.

Right after I wipe the muddy paw prints off the floor.