Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter Idyll

A winter ice storm has kept me home from school for the second day in a row now. Pure luxury! To stay in where it is safe and warm, a perfect excuse not to leave the house. For a fairly social person like myself, that doesn't happen very often.

Making the most of it, I spend time in the kitchen. So far, I've made a batch of ginger snap cookies for Derrick, two loaves of seed bread, carrot bread, and banana bread. A roast chicken with orange and carrots for dinner last night and a lasagna with garlic toast for dinner tonight. Not to worry! I'm not eating all of this (well maybe the seed bread) . . . I'll most willingly share with my school friends upon return. And hopefully have enough left over to take to the lake this weekend. How I love the smell of baking, the sight of raw ingredients mixed together, and the actual tactile exercise of mixing. Without a doubt, I get the best deal when I'm the cook, not the ones I share with. They only get the end product. It is the process of cooking I love so much.

The gift of this extra time off has also let me work on a sewing project. I'm determined to have the purple dress ready to wear Saturday! Not to mention the time to fuss over the current mixed media piece, wanting to get it just right. Other teachers are spending their time doing taxes, working on lessons, progress reports, and such. A glimmer of guilt runs through me when I think of those things I also need to get done. But it fills my soul to work on some creative projects instead, something that doesn't happen for work projects.

Last night, eating our roast chicken in front of the television, Derrick and I watched Dr. Zhivago, one item on my "Things To Do List" before he leaves home. Wanted to do it over Christmas break, but never had time. I knew he'd like it! And he did! Such a treasure to have a son like him. Not at all what the stereotype of a teenage son brings to mind. Now he wants to know what other movies Omar Sharif was in. So watching Lawrence of Arabia gets added to the list.

These days of idyll are so precious. I hope they get added to Derrick's storehouse of memories. Much as my memory of spending time with my family in late January of 1978 fill mine. Everyone deserves to have those memories to call back, days filled with simple nothings and the comfort of being cozied in with those we love.

Watching Dr. Zhivago before bedtime sent my romantic mind to dreaming. I dreamt of a long ago love for the first time in years. He was quite present to me in the dream, in the way that was the best with him. Thankfully the dream didn't include all the angst associated with him and the torture of letting go. Must be a good sign, ready for a new love to take root. Bright days ahead.

(Photo of the steps via my niece Jessica, downtown Chicago.)