Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Scrolling down the “Notes” spot on my I-Phone, to little bits and bobs jotted with a clumsy finger as I wait outside school, for Chris at a store, at the oil-change place.   Typos and odd segues intact, with one little moment at the end which, by default, should be the last thought put down, but I can neither remember nor decipher it into sense.


Not that this graffiti would be of interest to anyone, including myself, here ‘tis, just because I must have had a reason---grocery lists, random bits for the blog, reminders which are past understanding now they’ve cooled.


Straw. Lemons  Gr. Toms   Little pasta  Romaine or butter lettuce Baby carrots  Eggs  White Cheese  Sesame oil  tahini


Barbara’s voice

Department stores with tubes in the ceiling, and the way they went POP when they were sealed and sent.  Salesladies born scowling, with identical layettes of black serge and gabardine and low-heeled Latin-teacher shoes laced tight as their corsets.
Lady-clerk school must have given courses in frown and disdain and dissatisfaction, and some of the black-garbed league had earned a Ph.D in that slow-measuring up-and-down lorgnette glance which deemed us all wanting. 


Those ladies all wore severe black, with chains on their glasses, which were perched on nosetips (the better to scorn you with, My Dear) or resting on their bosoms between moments of terse and abrupt.   That lot could have joined Jon Snow at THE WALL, wiping out the Wildlings with a glance.


Our mothers DRESSED to be worthy to shop there, and some of my friends were so frightened of the ladies that they just hated setting foot in the place, no matter the fancy dress or occasion. I never shopped there myself, but only held Mother’s purse while she tried things on.   But even then, the squinted looks and palpable “don’t you dare touch anything and I sincerely hope I don’t have to touch YOU” in the air would have been enough to send my Mary Janes scampering for the parking lot had it not been for embarrassing her.


She’d never have dreamt of putting me forward for one of their pricey offerings, both for the expense and for her shame at having those strict-opined stares leveled at me, those pursed lips, poised for disapproval, directed at us both---at me for my little tree-climbing, skint-knee chunky self, and her, for her part in owning such a graceless little hoyden.


But there was always the talented, non-judgmental Mrs. Barbee, of the rustly fabrics and the powdery presence, and who made all of us little girls feel pretty as princesses, if only for that one damp-hand piano recital or festive Easter morning.


Ironman putting on his greaves.


Unknown soldier remembered with soft stroll-steps and chin-stiff reverence.  The five-note larks which never change save for volume and enthusiasm.


The exciting cold of a Winter attic when a visiting friend sparks a
a hunt for a pattern or old bit of lace or that crinoline petticoat that went with the poodle-skirt.  The freezing echoes on a dusty wood floor and the lifted lids of trunks revealing forgotten snips of past days and lives as the frigid air lends its own shivers to the anticipation and recognition from within.  Stark cold spaces have their own way of making memories warm as those in teacups.
(At an Amish Inn)
Heel-of-the-bread toast sagging warmly as I ate it ruminatively off the flat of my hand, like a child with a slice fresh from the oven.  It folded itself in two as I ate, the last two bites a butter-and-strawberry jam sandwich.   All the butter and conglomeration of spices made their coffee cake taste like Grandpa’s barber shop.
And the last, cryptic entry:
Glaciers Indiana mini muffin shooterseric one to my little refect.
No wonder I can’t find my keys.



Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Darling Rachel,

If this list of 'bits and bobs' is either representative of the contents of your handbag or, we suspect, the contents of your mind then we have no wonder that your posts are as wonderfully creative as they truly are. But how, we wonder, do you ever cope with the tedium of everyday routine when your agile mind is buzzing away constantly in the background?

And, the best thing of all from our point of view is that there is obviously no limit to your fertile imagination and blog posts really are constantly growing like leaves on a tree in the dark recesses of your head. Goody!

Mind you, the first list looks good enough to eat......!

racheld said...

Oh, you two!! That was just the hastily-picked out typing into that Lilliputian screen on my phone. Haven't carried a purse in years, except when we're traveling---then I become the repository of receipts, spare change, our books and glasses, etc.

And what a marvelously-lifting letter of your own! What sweet things to say, and you know that every comment you make to every poster, every response to every comment on your own log---all are lovely, gracious answers, totally apt to the person, absolutely on track for subject and writer.

I'm pledging to myself to reply to each and every comment, as you do. I was raised better than this.

And I must admit, if you could see my house, you wouldn't eat my cooking right now---a little girl here for four days, our packing for several days at the beach house with a great portion of Chris' whole clan, including three of our GRANDS, Dear Daughter #2, and our DSIL.

When Sweetpea assembles her own worldly goods into bookshelves and toy tub, then I'll be able to sort what's what, for there's home laundry and trip laundry, as well as stuff that can be packed ahead. The cooking, freezing and readying of "our night to cook" on the trip will be Thurs.

And there's no tedium. Ever. Not even a ladylike ennui. I don't think I've ever been lonely or bored (well, perhaps in captive conversation with a tedious person or two). I can feel the clicking of my mind like the knitting machines in our hometown rug factory, whirring and whizzing out thoughts, and so the phone bits---alas, the memory is nothing like the conjure, and most is lost before I find a pen.

And the list WAS indeed tasty---as I remember, it was tomatoes in vinaigrette all arranged on the two lettuces on a platter with sliced fresh mozzarella and basil--a sort of home-style Caprese, to go with Caro's chicken paillards and a lovely pilaf for dinner one night.

Oh, dear me---before you so delightfully interrupted, I was headed for a shower---some nice gentleman's taking Sweetpea and me to dinner.


Patsy said...

Cute and have a fun dinner.

racheld said...

Oh, Miss Patsy! It was, for we laughed and talked about our day (quite a busy one, with that lively girl in the house. The art world is plus about twelve paintings today, and Ganner's printer is minus a couple dozen pieces of paper.

Always lovely to have you drop in---my best to you and Mr. The Bennie!


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Rachel,

How marvellous that there is to be dialogue! This is a brilliant move and we shall much lookforward to sweet and merry banter here!

Just the mention of the word Caprese takes us back to Venice and a historic (as the food writers say) lunch at Florians where we both had Caprese Salads served by white coated waiters on huge serving trays placed on pristine laid tables with white cloths and accompanied with a chilled glass of white wine. However, the market fresh delight served in your garden accompanied by the most glorious gossip and laughter(we are certain of this)would be better by far.

Oh we do so hope that one day our paths will cross in the real world. Do you travel? Far? Really far?

In the meantime, let our imaginations mix and mingle with delight. And we trust that dinner was decadent, delicious and delightful in every way.

Our clothes are packed for Pisa.......we travel to our Mad Italian Boys......we may return!

Curtains in My Tree said...

Thank you for the information on my dish, I am sure it it quite old and I do love it so will glue it up again for use
I do appreciate your kind words from time to time

I enjoy reading your blog thoughts

racheld said...

Jane and Lance,

I wish you the most wonderful of journeys---you carry the ambience and the joy, to add to any company and scene.

After your marvelous description, I'm thinking I might add a platter of Caprese to our Sunday-night dinner plans. There are thirty-something of us, and tastes vary.

Jo utazast Un magnifico viaggio, con tanti amici, tanto da vedere e deliziosi piatti da condividere.

racheld said...


It's always lovely to have you drop in. I love puzzling out the history of kitchen things, or the uses for odd-to-us items of the past.

Your box is a thing of beauty, and I'll bet it might have some wonderful tales to tell.


Kim S. said...

Oh, Rachel! I love this. This is exactly what happens when I’m driving along. Bits and pieces of this and that. And sometimes a whole coherent paragraph. But gone, alas, when I sit down in front of the keyboard! I’m glad that you have the notes, because all of your scatterings evolved into a lovely post!

Kim S. said...

Oh, Rachel! I love this. This is exactly what happens when I’m driving along. Bits and pieces of this and that. And sometimes a whole coherent paragraph. But gone, alas, when I sit down in front of the keyboard! I’m glad that you have the notes, because all of your scatterings evolved into a lovely post!