The telephone awoke us from deep, comfortable sleep. We should have been awake at 8:30 a.m., but our tardiness last night in seeking our pillow-top mattress had its consequences. So much for intelligent intentions gone astray. It was our daughter, on her way to work, puzzled and perturbed that her '98 Honda CRV had refused to start. She had just bought a new battery, had the starter replaced, last spring.
Her father said it was likely moisture in the lines or something like that. Not to worry; it would straighten out. Spark plugs, cables, how long since she'd driven it, he asked. Amazingly, for her, a veritable gadabout, not since Thursday. She hadn't parked it in the garage, left it in the driveway, and it's been raining fairly steadily. It happens, her father told her.
She was on her way to the chiropractor, as it happened, for one of her bi-weekly appointments. She was worried the vehicle might not want to start again, when she left for her office. Call me, said her father, I'll give you a boost, we'll trade cars for the day. I'll take yours in for servicing, if it's required. We've been through this routine before.
Later, another call, just as we were getting into our morning shower. She was on her way to work; the vehicle started all right. Get yourself a spray can, her father said, of a de-moisturizer, and keep it handy. She could use a new vehicle. She spent quite a bit last year to keep it roadworthy, but with 300,000 km travelled, it's in weary decline.
Another heavily overcast day, with rain imminent, once again. I had planned, tentatively, hopefully, to get out into the garden. Get kind of a head start on cleaning up things, out there. Before a hard frost really hit, and then everything would look truly dreadful. As it is, things don't look bad at all, but it's time to get tough and get moving on filling up the composters and the compost bags.
On the other hand, we might drop by the local Sally Ann Thrift Shop, we mused. We had put a bag together for recycling, there. Comprised of don't-fits, some of which represent previous choices - which we never try on in situ, just return next time we're there. And since we're there, we look around. We and a host of other people, all foraging and carefully scrutinizing the wares.
They've got their fall and winter stuff out, along with the summer offerings. Always intriguing to see what's on offer. I come across a stretch of very expensive, very stylish tops, all of which hardly look as though anyone's ever worn them. Clear to me that whoever had given them up is accustomed to clearing out all of the previous year's acquisitions to make room for newly-acquired things. Too bad they're all so large....
But then there are books to look through, titles that seem intriguing, some we recognize, some new to us. And look here, what I've got for you dear, I say, as I hand over to him a cookbook in never-used condition, dedicated to bread-machine recipes, and he's beside himself; all those recipes! In so short a time he's become completely enthralled with the mechanical bread-making process...!
Another title I see brings back hoary memories; a copy of King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard. In quite another era altogether, when we were very young, first married, we had joined a book-of-the-month club, and we devoured H. Rider Haggard's books, loved their historical romanticism. And as peculiar coincidence had it, he had discovered on another shelf, the other side of that huge chamber, a film version of the very same title.
Didn't we luck in. And, as luck would further have it, there are plenty of other books for him to assemble for his personal delectation. He's given to devouring detective novels and there are more than enough of them this day for him to select through. As for me, I pick up a hard-back titled "History of the Present: Essays, sketches, and Dispatches from Europe in the 1990s" by Timothy Garton Ash, a fellow of Saint Antony's College, Oxford.
On the way home, there's a stop at the bulk food store (used to be called the 'health food store', back when healthy types of bulk ingredients were exclusively sold at these establishments; now fully three-quarters of the product on offer is nuts and candies and dried fruits) for rye flour. The intention being to put that bread maker to use again this afternoon, for a rye bread.
He assembles all the ingredients on the baking island in the kitchen, while I'm working at the kitchen sink, preparing strawberries for tonight's dessert, and peeling and cutting up carrots as a side dish with the Shepherd's pie that has been in the downstairs freezer since last February; past time it was used. He chats as he goes along, carefully reading the recipe, deciding to double the caraway seeds.
Finally, he's good to go, turns the bread maker on, then turns back to the baking island in the realization he's forgotten to place the basket with the ingredients into the bread maker. It's silly little details like that, slipping our minds that make for a most interesting day.