Thursday, July 19, 2012

Back Home in Texas


I found a big roach the size of a Medjool date on my kitchen floor this morning. Is there any more definitive way to know that you’re back home in Houston, TX? Not wearing my glasses or contact lens, I assumed the roach was dead, lying face up, just waiting for me to scrape its carcass from the floor with a paper towel and dump in the trashcan.

Black English breakfast tea was my focus as I pulled a favorite mug from the cupboard. Hearing the tea kettle whistle, I stepped across the kitchen floor in flip-flops. Where was that dead roach? Not on the floor. As I checked the bottom of each flip-flop, the roach fell from the hem of my Mexican dress. That was a bit much. My long time remedy for doing away with roaches was to drop a heavy phone book on them. They pulverize. But phone books are no more. Should I have saved one, just for roach smashing? I chose to put the recycle can on top of the dazed roach and finishing making my tea.

Each of my three daughters would have screamed for help and fled the kitchen. They always did and always will. They are thankful to live in the Pacific Northwest where roaches do not appear in the house during hot, humid summers. They all know the phone book trick, but they find it easier to shout for Mom. And Mom answered the call and resoundingly dropped phone books. As Queta says, “We each have different strengths.”

My breakfast this morning was the cabbage, radish and sardine salad I made in Paris the night before flying back home. I’d planned to eat the salad in flight, but once airborne, I decided the smell of sardines might waft throughout the aircraft. United were feeding us, so the salad remained in my carry-on. Then, of course, I fretted that my simple French salad might be declared plant material at customs and thus, be confiscated. However, when the inspector asked about plants and I answered, “Homemade cabbage salad,” he simply waved me through. I’d have hated to give up those aged Rodel sardines spread across the top of the salad. I don’t know whether I like sardines because of their flavor, or became they appear to be gilded with gold and silver leaf. Perhaps a bit of both.

Well, it’s now nearly noon. I’ve drunk my mug of breakfast tea and eaten my cabbage sardine salad. ES called to say he’s had his morning physical therapy session for that hip surgery he underwent yesterday.  While I was flying across Iceland, or perhaps Quebec, he was in surgery at Memorial Hermann. Seems that July 18 was the only day that worked for his chosen hip doctor and that would give ES time to recover before classes begin in mid-August. Daughter Chrissy was to have been with her dad, but darned if her state examination for nurse practitioner licensing didn’t fall on July 18 too. Dear friend Bill took ES to the hospital and others in his Friday breakfast group rallied, so when I visited last evening, he had a happy face balloon on the end of his bed and a new metallic drawing pen and was quite cheerful.

My message from Bill was to take ES shorts, a tee shirt and athletic shoes when I visited the hospital. ES needed proper clothes for his physical therapy sessions. Seems he left the house with only a drawing pad, colored pencils and watercolors. That’s my man, relentlessly following his craft.

Time to scrunch up that roach in a paper towel and finish unpacking my bags. On the dining room table, I’ve laid out maps, museum brochures, guidebooks, cards and all the other snippets of printed information I collected as we wandered through Paris. Aggie and I plan to create a picture book of our meanderings, so we can reminiscence and share with family and friends the wonder-filled days we spent in a magnificent city.

Au revoir.

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