I am cooking up a big pot of dog stew in the kitchen: soft meaty pork neck bones, chicken hearts and gizzards, mung beans, barley, celery and sweet potatoes. In my efforts to eat up all the food in the house, I'm having to actually shop for food to complete recipes and meals. Meh. It's stretching my kibble out, anyway. I love cooking for my dogs. When the high-end kibble that I typically feed my dogs started basically doubled in price from what I'd paid for it on the mainland, I realized that there was no obstacle to my going out, shopping the farmers markets and Chinatown, and cooking up stews and brews for my beasts. Everything that comes here by boat, in a container, is expensive. Local (or local-ish, in the case of chicken and pork) is fairly affordable.
It's been a tough week. Last week, as we were gutting out the rotted wood in the bathroom, we found live termites crawling up and down the doorframe. I'd hoped to avoid this scenario, particularly as these guys were identified as subterranean termites, as opposed to drywood termites. Our house had been fumigated for drywood 'mites and we had a warranty for that type of treatment. Naturally, this particular infestation wasn't covered by warranty. Arrgh. Another spendy step on the road to selling this house!
Social insects fascinate me.
The 'mites, the continued rat trapping, (which has been successful, I suppose) and endless grind of sorting, purging, packing and cleaning, without feeling like I've yet turned a corner, is a grind. The corner will come, soon, I think, as we resume some contracted work later this week. Lacking a corner, combined with the endless chipping away, has made me sad. The sadness has been layered with the sadnesses of deaths, hither and yon. The passing of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson - icons of my teen years, the death of a dear friend of my mother, last week, and today, the passing of Jake, Reya's beloved gold puppy... Death draws lines, divides our lives into eras. The "before" and the "after" phases.
I want sweetness, light, gentle healing, for my mother, my friend, myself.
I want this:
Honey At The Table
It fills you with the soft
essence of vanished flowers, it becomes
a trickle sharp as a hair that you follow
from the honey pot over the table
and out the door and over the ground,
and all the while it thickens,
grows deeper and wilder, edged
with pine boughs and wet boulders,
pawprints of bobcat and bear, until
deep in the forest you
shuffle up some tree, you rip the bark,
you float into and swallow the dripping combs,
bits of the tree, crushed bees - - - a taste
composed of everything lost, in which everything lost is found.
- Mary Oliver
I keep my pictures on iPhoto as a screensaver for our desktop computer. The other day, I walked into the office, after the termite discovery fiasco, to see the unexpected picture of my dad on the screen, looking particularly sassy. The shot had been taken the day we moved from Virginia; we'd stopped by my parents' house to spend the night before we drove west. The old man seemed to be saying "buck up" and after the momentary stunned gasp (I so am not prepared to see his face these days, and yet, I cannot remove him from the screensaver - I need this) I guess I bucked up. It's advice that keeps coming 'round. Reya says people are resilient, even as she survives the most awful loss imaginable to a dog lover. I hope to be. Resilient. I embrace the creaking-yet-lively Ella, and savor the moment, her sweetness. She moves away and asks "where's my ice cream?" Dogs are so in the moment, really.
I pine for the pines of Georgia, for the reunification of my primary pack, all under one roof again. For closeness to my family. And I mourn, in advance, already, for the goodbyes that are coming up.
Bucking up here, as best I can.