“A man is in general better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table, than when his wife talks Greek.”

Today is cold but winter lovely. The sun is brilliant in a light blue sky. The wind is strong and the high branches, both oak and pine, sway. It is only 29˚, and the wind makes it feels even colder. I’m cozy and warm.

Every day I have a list. Some days I complete the items on the lists while other days I choose to be a sloth, to do nothing. Yesterday was a sloth day. Today my list says: water the plants and change the bed. I will prophesize. The plants will love the water.

I never see the neighbors who live across the street. Henry still barks when the man is in his yard. The other neighbors and I wave. The other day I saw a rental truck in the driveway of a house on the facing street. I’m still wondering why and have no one to ask.

When my father retired, they gave him a sumptuous send off complete with dinner and presents. A couple of the presents were a hand drill and saw. We, his family, gasped at visions of drilled or sawed off digits. My father and tools had one of those live or maim relationships. My mother asked one of the givers what had prompted the idea of tools. The man told my mother he knew my father liked to putter around the house. When my mother told us, we all laughed. By putter around the house, she meant he emptied ashtrays and did dishes. We had to figure out where to hide the tools.

When I was a kid, around this time on a Sunday, my mother would already be in the kitchen making dinner. The kitchen windows would be fogged from the heat of the oven. The aroma of the cooking roast would spread from the kitchen throughout the whole house. I can still remember my mother at the sink peeling potatoes. She always used the same pan to cook the potatoes. It had a dent. A couple of vegetables, including my favorite baby peas, would be in pots on cold burners ready to be turned on when the roast was finished and the potatoes were ready to be mashed. My mother used a masher with a wooden handle and a metal wavy masher on the bottom. Getting all the lumps out of the potatoes took strength of body and purpose. My mother excelled at serving smooth, lump-less mashed potatoes in which I always made a hole on the top for the gravy. This is and will forever be my favorite Sunday dinner.

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8 Comments on ““A man is in general better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table, than when his wife talks Greek.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I don’t make lists. My putting a chore on a list is a sure guarantee that it will not be done until there is no way around not doing it. My day is more like that joke where the person gets a cup of coffee and on the way back sees something that needs to be done but first another something needs to be done etc, etc, etc until finally nothing is truly done and the coffee is cold.

    The sunshine here makes it look deceptively warm. It’s 27ºF outside, it feels like 12ºF and there’s a gale warning. It’s cold. Thankfully, the dogs have been very speedy doing their business so I haven’t had to be out there for very long.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Wow, you also just described me. My coffee gets metaphorically cold every time I go to get something.

      I don’t really care if I finish the list or not. Like you, I do what needs to be done; hence, I did my laundry, my dreaded chore. I needed kick around the house pants.

      I felt how cold it is when I went to get the papers and yesterday’s mail across the street. The wind has gotten stronger. Now the middle branches are swaying. I’m glad I’m going nowhere.

      Henry is in and out quickly.

      Have a wonderful Sunday.

  2. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    I’m the kind of person that makes a list and then never looks at it again. I hate making them because I never finish them. My father was rather handy with tools but I have no ability with tools similar to your dad. I joke that the only Jewish person I know who has a set of tools is my dentist. 🙂 I have problems remembering which way to turn a screw. I have to stop and think, “Righty Tighty, Lefty Losy”.:-)

    Sundays as a kid and as teenager in NYC was our family night to eat out. Both my mother and her sister, my aunt, expected to get a break from cooking dinner on Sundays. We either had Chinese, Italian or we brought in delicatessen. We usually ate or took out from the same restaurants.

    Because of the Covid pandemic we haven’t met any of our neighbors. One next door neighbor yelled at my son, while he returned from running, that one of the sprinkler heads on that side of our house was spewing water. I’ll have to put it on my list of things to get repaired, if I remember. I kind of like the anonymity. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I’m with you on righty tighty, lefty loosy. I think that all the time when I’m opening a bottle top or using a screwdriver.

      Lists were important when I worked as I had chores to do every weekend and the lists kept me on task. Now the list get me moving. I did water the plants and also did some spot cleaning. I wasn’t all that busy but at least I got something done.

      We didn’t eat out often. It was too expensive. Once in a while, though, we drove over to the next town to Kitty’s, a loud, busy Italian restaurant with huge plates of food. We loved Kitty’s.

      Always, when it is time for the irrigation system to be turned on, my guy finds at least one broken sprinkler head which he replaces and then turns on my system. No spewing water.

      • Bob Says:

        Unfortunately, the leak is in the PVC pipe below the head. Nothing goes that easy as replacing the sprinkler head.

      • katry Says:

        It won’t take all that long to replace the pipe. I had one replaced a few years ago.

  3. Rowen Says:

    So what’s with the bean songs? I though you disliked beans.


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