Thursday, March 03, 2011

Pot Roasts, Laundry, and the First Daffodils

Returning from taking in a roast and veggies to Katherine’s family, I got a phone call from Gerald who had been trying to reach me on my cell phone. He said our granddaughter Erin was coming over and wanted to take us out to supper, but he told her just to stop by and bring a pizza out to the farm as he figured I’d be tired just getting back from town.

“Oh, but I’ve got a roast with potatoes and carrots waiting for us in the oven,” I exclaimed. (I’d just made two pot roasts at once in the oven, had transferred one to the crock pot to plug in at the Cedar house so they could eat whenever it was convenient for them, and the other was waiting in the oven for our supper.) So Gerald said he’d call Erin to skip bringing out the pizza. The prospect of Erin’s supper visit brightened my drive home.

Gerald was long gone when I woke up this morning as he headed down to our home territory in Union County to celebrate his brother Garry’s birthday with breakfast at Ginger’s favorite restaurant at Jonesboro. (Garry is conscientious to take her out to breakfast since this is her best meal to consume before she tires later in the day.) Their brother Keith was meeting them there too, of course.
I did not really expect Gerald back for lunch as I knew he and Garry would have a lot of visiting to do. So I planned the roast for supper although usually we eat our main meal at noon and just have soup and a sandwich or something simple in the evening. I figured if he came back by lunch time, we’d have our sandwich at noon. As it turned out, he pulled into our garage this afternoon just as I was preparing to leave for town to go get Sam from his trombone lesson, so we had had very little communication today. It was lovely to have a leisurely supper with him and Erin to catch up on the day’s events.

I encourage our grandkids to bring their laundry when they visit since we are fortunate enough to have a washer/drier on both floors and they can finish quickly. This happened accidentally. When we built this house with a full walkout basement and its two bedrooms there, the plans were for a laundry downstairs on one end of my office, which backs up to the downstairs bathroom and the plumbing there. I figured if we sold the house at sometime in the future, another person might want to use the room for a sewing or craft room and the laundry would be convenient for that person too.

Our building contractor had insisted I needed a laundry shoot in the bottom of the upstairs bathroom vanity directly over my office, so I would not have to carry dirty clothes down. This made sense and I figured he was right, so I told him to go ahead.

I was leery of this because of very young grandkids. When we moved in, I proceeded to cover it up with a stainless steel tray I bought at Salvation Army for this purpose and put supplies there to conceal the tray. My fear came from Mary Ellen’s story of driving in Grinnell one day and hearing the story of the firemen at her friend’s house where the daughter and a visiting girl friend decided to travel down their laundry shoot—and she got stuck inside. I have used the shoot a few times and am glad it is there I’m also glad it is covered up so that now ten years later I don’t have to worry about great grandkids taking an adventure that would drop them down on the concrete floor that the carpet would not do much to soften.

As it turned out, the people buying our farm house had their own much newer washer/drier and did not want ours left behind. So we moved the machines over the half mile to this house and hooked them up in the garage on the upstairs ground level floor. With all going on with settling into a new house, the new downstairs washer and drier were not hooked up for several months. By then, I realized how convenient having the washer/drier in the garage right by the kitchen was.

After we did get the new washer/drier operating, I did not want to change my habits although I was very grateful for the convenience of doing sheets and towels there from the bath and two downstairs bedrooms there. During the two summers we had family living with us in the downstairs and during the many vacation and holiday visits, having two sets of laundry equipment has been a boon for all of us although I would not have thought to plan for that convenience.

So tonight after supper, Erin was running up and down the stairs keeping the machines running and resting on the couch reading a book between loads. Gerald and I both enjoyed her presence, and we both fell asleep while we were reading, which is pretty typical of our evenings. We woke before she loaded her car down with clean laundry telling her we’d see her at the Saluki softball games on Saturday.

Yesterday when I drove to town for a friend's funeral, I imagined that instead of the dull roadside soon I’d be seeing the large patch of daffodils that I enjoy each spring. Today I did not have to imagine. The first ones were up waving their yellow heads at me as I passed. They will be joined by a host of others and that area between the road and the woods will be a brilliant yellow in another week or so.

I also noticed yesterday that Katherine’s crocus by the front lamp pole were peeking yellow heads up from their winter’s sleep. She sent me out with a tiny vase today, and with Sam’s help I picked the first three to brighten their family room with a promise of more blooms to come from the many flowers Katherine planted when she was still able to garden.

It is too early for winter to be over, but these first glimpses of the coming spring are refreshing our spirits and lightening our moods.

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