Thursday, August 24, 2017

house dressing

I notice our former neighbor is back in the cul de sac visiting so I run out to say hello. 
As we chat I keep sweeping my hair out of my eyes and realize I haven't combed it yet today. 
And I look down and see I have my "yard pants" on, 
which also double as painting pants, and an old faded top. 
But never mind, the neighbors are used to seeing me dressed to work in the yard.
I love days when I can stay home all day in comfortable
old clothes and not wear make up.

 But then of course, someone usually comes to the door.  
     My grandmother in her housedress

My mind rambles to "house wear" and remembering 
what my grandmothers wore at home--what we called "house dresses." 
They were sturdy and basic. I remember my grandmother changing
 to go to town, but I never saw either of them in anything
anything but a dress, usually topped with an apron. 
My grandmother as a young mother   

   My mom (and dad) on their honeymoon

I don't remember what my mom wore around the house; 
she was usually at home except for Wednesdays 
when she had the family car to run errands and drive us to piano lessons. 
I assume she wore a dress or a skirt.
 I found the top photo of her in a skirt at a Memorial Day picnic.

In her later years, my mother wore slacks around the house, but before that? 
I skimmed through her photo album and realized how few photos there are 
of her unless it's a formal family photo 
because ... like me ... she was the family photographer.

I remember friends' moms' house dresses. Very plain, usually gray or beige
with a small print. Maybe they just were faded. Set in sleeves,
buttons up the front, maybe a collar. 
What we called back then "serviceable."

What do you wear around the house? 
And do you remember what your mom wore if she stayed home?
A favorite picture of my mom and aunts in my grandmother's kitchen.

Incidentally, I don't remember even thinking about such things 
until we moved to the south. When we first arrived I remember 
being amazed to see southern women "dressing" to go to the grocery store. 
But in more recent years with the influx of many northerners,  
clothes have definitely gotten a lot more casual here.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

by ear

Got some good soup at the market recently and then realized I had gotten the no salt version. It needed help. I added this and that and by the time I had it tasting as I'd like, there were like 10 items on the counter--various cheeses, spices, etc. I love making up recipes or fixing up established ones. After 45 years of cooking I've come to know what additions will make it tasty for us.

It reminds me of playing an instrument "by ear." My father used to tease us with an image of a head lying on the piano keys with the ear doing the playing. My father was my first piano teacher. He played beautifully as did most of his siblings. In those early days he would tell me piano stories. The black keys were the rooms and little people would fly up and down the keys from room to room.

When I got a teacher that we paid, I had to perform in recitals which I didn't like very much. I studied with her into junior high school. Then one spring came the recital in a downtown Chicago building overlooking Buckingham fountain. I gazed out the window at the fountain so much as I played that I made a little mistake. It was enough to humiliate me and I decided it was the end of piano lessons for me.

But what made it easier to give up lessons was that I  could play things without reading the music. I just needed to hear it or see the words and I could play it. I see in my mind what key to start on, and the less I think it through, the better I do. The downside is that I began to get lazy about reading music and now I find that challenging for me. But I do love being able to play so many things I would not have music for. It's relaxing and I enjoy it when I have time.

Apparently "playing by ear" runs in the family. My father could play that way and I have a cousin who never took a piano lesson but plays beautifully. It's a strange thing. Maybe playing by ear is on the same gene as cooking by taste. At least I began this by talking about a pot of soup. What I need to do is read labels more carefully rather than relying on a familiar picture or color on the label.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Intentional Summer

 We rushed summer a bit this year. Made more definite plans than we usually do,
wanting to enjoy some things before the end of July when life would change for us.
It's easy to take little road trips where we live--to the mountains, to Charleston, to the beach,
and a favorite dinner picnic spot--by a fountain up in our beautiful city. So we did, enjoying
times with family and friends, and with just the two of us.
There was lots of "nesting" going on at home--some projects, 
some big cleaning, checking off "to do" lists.…
All in readiness for another knee replacement.
Now I'm recovering at home and it has gone very well.
I keep busy––walking, exercising and napping. Slowly building up my new
 knee and looking forward to being free from nagging pain.
And, always grateful.

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