One of the most noticeable negative consequences of the pandemic is my large collection of stained tops. How blessed am I? It’s a pain though. This morning, I had to reject one shirt after another because of a slight but noticeable grease stain, usually just below the collar. There I was at 5:15 a.m., pulling one shirt after another over my head with a sigh.
Why the stains you ask? Because K’s workstation occupies our kitchen table and we put our dining room table out in the garage years ago and (she confesses) we like to watch TV while we eat.
Speaking of casual approaches to things, our anniversary approaches. Thirty-one years. Last year was nothing. I joked just now that it’d be an occasion simply to clear the table and sit at it. Pathetic, I know, but maybe I like that it just doesn’t seem to matter all that much.
I just don’t think I should have to cook that night, is all. That’s mushroom risotto, above, by the way. I don’t know why people think making this dish is a pain. Because you have to stir frequently?
Steve Bannon this. Steve Bannon that. In the cab. In the Peet’s line at Logan. K probably would like to hear less of this. But! The pleading filed by the 1/6 Select Committee yesterday is verrrrry compelling. I plan to find it online and read in full later. Heather Cox Richardson’s summary this morning is a good place to start if you’re interested.
Otherwise, I’m reading this biography. I’ll admit I was a little more interested in Audubon when I thought he was Black. Some have suggested that he was. His father had two illegitimate children, one mother was enslaved, the other a French chambermaid. Rhodes says James’s mother was the French maid. Birthplace: a sugar plantation on Saint Domingue (later Haiti).
Some of the mystery surrounding Audubon’s birth stemmed from inheritance laws. Illegitimate children were entitled to nothing, so of course some dissembling was in order.
What’s so far fascinating are the descriptions of the American landscape just after the turn of the nineteenth century. Lush and full of wildlife. Travel by paddle boats. Camping with the Shawnee while waiting for the ice on the Mississippi to break up. Riding by horseback from Louisville to Pennsylvania with his wife, Lucy, and their one year old. Can you imagine?
Rhodes quotes Audubon’s description of the Kentucky barrens: “‘Flowers without number … sprung up amidst the luxuriant grass; the fields, the orchards, and the gardens of the settlers, presented an appearance of plenty, scarcely anywhere exceeded; the wild fruit-trees, having their branches interlaced with grapevines, promised a rich harvest; and at every step I trod on ripe and fragrant strawberries.’”
And of course, the young artist (he’s 27 at this point), is drawing birds constantly.
Well, today when I say onward and upward I mean it literally. Have a great Tuesday!