Tomorrow makes 30

Thirty days contained. Completely home bound except for yard work, dog walks, one take-out ice cream jaunt and one produce pick-up in the Fenway. Groceries are coming on Saturday. I am absurdly excited about the delivery, measuring time in half and quarter onions.

In this house, Ocean Deep Freeze is underway.

There were two real missions called Ocean Deep Freeze. My father, an electrical engineer, was recruited to join one of them. They were mapping expeditions of Antarctica.

My Ocean Deep Freeze is more domestic. It involves a steely commitment to use up or chuck the food in the two freezers in this house. Think: Marie Kondo on ice.

In the “use and consume” category, find precooked shrimp and peas (above). Made with a jarred curry sauce, this tasty dish really belongs in the Pantry (Pandemic) Cooking File because, with the exception of the fresh cilantro, all the ingredients are canned goods, frozen foods, or root vegetables.

In the “give up and chuck it” category went the three boxes of spinach soufflé and single bag of fake “crab meat” that came out of my sister’s freezer right about this time last year. Holding onto a frozen food for a year that never was appealing to begin with is long enough, right? Even in this time of supply chain anxiety?

Seeing those boxes of spinach triggered memories of last year. Right about this time in 2019, I was scrambling to sell or stow my sister’s things and about to climb onto a plane to Italy. It’s long ago and worlds away last April, isn’t it?

Imagine that! Walking the carpeted tunnel to an airplane with only a sense of adventure on my face — no mask, no anxiety.

Writing has seemed more essential than ever since hunkering down. It’s always good to put impressions down, but there’s a heightened sense about it now. We’ll want to look back and remember.

I keep thinking I’ll post some of those scrawls but each page feels so full and then the afternoons and mornings around those pages also feel so full, that it gets exhausting to contemplate. How can a life so stripped down feel so very full?

14 thoughts on “Tomorrow makes 30

  1. Nancy

    Wow, what a difference a year makes, especially this time around. That owl pic is really something. And the foggy path…a spooky invitation for sure.

  2. Marti

    A stripped down life can feel so full because:

    … it is down to the essentials of making do with what is on hand.

    … of surviving without knowing when or what the new normal will be.

    …of realizing that we have been standing in place, not leaving our homes except when absolutely necessary and while at times giving in to stir craziness, we get up each day and do it all over again.

    …of holding memories of Assisi when release of sorrow, of weariness, came to be embraced by ancient beauty and overflowing spirit.

    …most of all, a stripped down life has its own rewards when we recognize that we are more resilient, creative, frugal and open-hearted than we possibly imagined.

  3. Rainsluice

    The anguish in these layers. The fear of fear the free fall between veils of color. The rail to nowhere from present. Cherishing the details.

    1. deemallon

      Hi Maggie. Our mailman is out til
      Monday. Hope your fabric supply holds til next week! The digital collages reveal more fear than I actually am feeling moment by moment. I find collage can do that. Find the other emotions.

  4. Tina

    Spring .. everyday signs of new life. Walking through the gardens to see what has come back .. what survived the long winter. Seems many of the plants here have .. that’s what I’m holding onto today.

    1. deemallon

      Me too! It’s one reason I make a point of getting out into the yard many times a day. The hosta sending up their army of spades, clustered in rings. The first tender shoots of comfrey pop up, giving no clue of the mighty sprawl that’s coming. The boisterous clump of leaves housing the tiny blue bluebell buds look fresh and vigorous. And the tiger lillies! Where did they all come from? It all points to the sacred. And just looking closely is a kind of prayer.

  5. Michelle Slater

    I am surprised that I have no real anxiety. Longing is what I’ve a lot of. I’m fairly sure that the lock down will drag through August and am prepared somewhat that not only Spring, but summer too will be different this year. Okay, I say…okay. Usually creative in the kitchen, I’ve gotten even more creative combining foods on hand and that’s just fine. I seem always to have enough to satisfy. Hang on Dee, this semi-seclusion will continue to bring unexpected rewards.

    1. deemallon

      I’m not feeling that much anxiety either. In the post, anxiety was associated with future travel. It’s a little hard to imagine right now. I’m glad you’re finding satisfaction in the kitchen. I have been, too.

  6. Liz A

    I’d happily eat out of your freezer judging by that beautifully composed shrimp dish!

    And speaking as an alum of the Eastern Virginia Writing Project, I quite agree that writing is more important than ever. But as I read “we’ll want to look back and remember,” I couldn’t help thinking we’ll remember the bad stuff easily enough … it’s documenting the goodness that I most hope we can do.

    1. deemallon

      Good point about documenting the good stuff. I wonder about the bad, tho. I think we might NOT remember all of the ways this went wrong.


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