This week I reflect on our last several years. Let me know what you think of these short stories. Is your life changing now that there are fewer restrictions?
Harry put a dozen potatoes in the basket. “I‘ll fix these for supper. We’ll celebrate the garden’s end”. Even Harry’s voice sounded cold. They lined winter squash in the barn floor, under where the garlic & onions already hung to dry. The temperature had been dropping all afternoon. The sun was behind the clouds, and suppertime wasn’t so far away. It was cold work, tending the garden. But the spuds and squash- they were grand. They’d last until the spring.
Inside the house, it was cool enough to light the first fire. Sharon brought in an armload of kindling and a couple pieces of cherry wood and began the first blaze of the season. She was too tired to think about cooking, and didn’t Harry say he’d be up for it?
Harry was a fine cook when he put his mind to it. He had spent an Autumn in Galicia Spain, and had a few Spanish potato tricks up his sleeve. He usually didn’t enjoy cooking, but he did have a knack.
In the cupboard, he found the end of the white wine, onions, and garlic. Harry pulled them out and sliced the spuds, and put them in chicken broth to simmer. Ahh, didn’t that smell good!
Harry cut up several more potatoes, nice and thin, poured oil in the cast iron skillet, and began to fry them, then added onions and one red pepper. By now the potatoes in the broth were soft. He gently mashed the spuds into the broth and added a bit of the onion and the white wine. He sprinkled salt, pepper, and a few peas into it, and tasted it. Delicious, and ready. Harry put the lid on, to keep it warm.
Now he pulled out four eggs and whipped them around. Pulling out the smaller skillet, he ” loaded it with fried potatoes, pepper, and onions, then poured the eggs over it all. The smell of it all had Sharon call out from her warm bath “When is supper ?” But you can’t hurry a Spanish tortilla, it takes time, and it takes a master to flip it without losing the innards. Harry flipped it out onto a plate, then slid it back into the pan. “Almost ready,” he called. He set the table, lit candles, and poured wine. Harry made a centerpiece with a statue and flowers. It wasn’t really his thing, but he was in that sort of mood tonight. Today had been good, and his feet had finally warmed up. Last, he picked out a CD and slid it into the player.
Harry sat at the kitchen table and looked out into the yard as twilight fell. It had been the strangest spring and summer of his life. Like living in a science fiction book, one that you didn’t want to read. They had canceled their travel plans early on, thinking they’d be able to visit their families in the late fall. But the pandemic was stronger than expected. Even so, only two people they knew well had fallen sick with it, thank God. But wasn’t that a funny one, too. Their hometown, 80 miles away, was a stronghold for the illness now.
Even church services were on Zoom now. Tomorrow they were attending a UTube burial service. The man had been a work friend. All they could do for his family, in his last days, was offer to pick up what was needed and leave them on a table by the door for Clare, his wife, to take inside.
Sharon came into the room. Harry lifted his head, caught her in his arms, and drew her into a dance in the dimness of the candlelit room. They moved to Mood Indigo. Harry pulled her close.