just ponderin'

… on the cherishability of crazed days

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Shoes at the Door

Yesterday I was out the door and headed for the combo farmers’ market/cheese shop/wine and craft beer shop/nut and gourmet food stand/florist and nursery that I properly call Idlewilde and the Nearly Perfect Husband calls a cult.

He calls it this mostly due to the moon-y eyes I get when I talk about and think about each and every item I ever purchase or see from there. And also because cults tend to suck you dry of all your money.

Fair enough.

Anyway I had to go to Idlewilde/The Cult because I needed many ingredients for cooking.

Cooking for 25.

Yes, the Groton Dunstable Boys Soccer Team was to descend on my house at 3:00 yesterday afternoon and I had said ‘yes’ to this and there was nothing I could do about it.

So.

I needed pasta, and cheese – fontina, mozzarella, pecorino romano, ricotta, gorgonzola.

I needed crushed tomatoes in a nice heavy puree, and cream – lots of cream.

And then I would finish my shopping off with many loaves of garlic bread and candy and dessert stuff and get home wicked fast to begin cooking.

Because the Nearly Perfect Husband was finishing up the vacuuming while I did the shopping…

Because he was going to Toronto.

Oh ya, you heard me.

While I was preparing for 25 or so very hungry young men to burst through my door, my dearly belove-ed was dodging the pasta party and high tailing it to Canada.

Hence the ‘nearly‘ part of his literary moniker.

So I got home and grabbed pans and shredded cheeses and opened creams and large cans of crushed tomatoes in their requisite heavy puree. And then I boiled and simmered and melted and mixed and blended.

I turned on ovens and lined up garlic breads in tin foil and broke out brownies and arranged them on a lovely orange-y fall platter.

Then the Nearly Perfect Husband came down and asked if I needed anything else… whilst standing nearby in a suit, which is not conducive to anything tomato sauce-y.

So I said ‘no’ and sent him off to his deserter destination.

Then stuff went into the ovens and I made sure there was minimal dog hair on chairs in which young men would sit very soon.

Then I texted Gabe to tell me when they were all leaving the high school, which would give me ten minutes to pop the garlic breads in the oven.

Then I realized that he would never text me on time so I popped the garlic breads in the oven.

Then I placed red Solo cups upside-down on a corner of the counter next to ice-y water, gallons of Arnold Palmer and chocolate milk with a cow and a big ‘Moo‘ stamped on the side.

And no sooner had I done that when the first car came up the driveway (nope, no text from Gabe to tell me they’d left. Luckily I know my son.)

I pulled a big tray of pasta out of the oven, and grabbed the huge salad from its chilling position on the front porch.

I pulled the garlic breads out of the oven and sliced them and put them into a big yellow bowl.

And then young men came in, laughing and punching each other and saying hello and thanking me for hosting and getting their drinks and grabbing plates and sitting all around the house in groups and eating and eating and eating.  And while that was happening, I greeted and got the dessert platter ready and made sure the first pasta tray was removed and replaced with a piping hot one when it was empty.

And in practically no time at all, boys were graciously handing me their plates and ogling and choosing from the dessert tray and heading outside for some basketball, or upstairs for some instrument playing (and video games, who is kidding who).

And then downstairs was quiet, and I was sweating a bit less and cleaning up plates and counters and cooktops.

And a little while later I walked toward the side door to see if I could hear anyone who needed anything, and came upon…

Shoes.

A bazillion of them, kicked off haphazardly at the side door.

Huh.

Currently, Mom-hood is filled with soccer games and study-prompting and arranging of pasta parties and last-minute gatherings and sleep overs.  Let alone PSATs-on-their-way-to-SATs (and ACTs) and early college identification and there is still the minutiae of dried, leftover oatmeal in bowls on the kitchen counter (no matter how many times I’ve asked him to scrape them and put them in the sink).

Current Mom-hood is loud.

But this mishmash of shoes got my attention by whispering to me.

Of my last born.

Of old chapters.

And of chapters and entire books yet unwritten.

So I took a minute to be grateful rather than harried.

Upstairs on a chilly fall day, in my house warmed by glowing fireplaces, I had twenty-five boys with full bellies, talking and yelling and playing music well (and badly) on an old keyboard.

And downstairs?

Downstairs, a jumbled pile of shoes had me smiling through tears like an idiot.

Not bad, shoes…

Not bad.

Thanks for readin’.

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Elena Peters

midlife blogger & pinterest master

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