Staring out my kitchen’s sliding glass doors; I see the house behind us. Snow drapes off its roof and rises in small sloping drifts up the blue grey aluminum siding. A few months ago, I wouldn’t even have seen the house because of the fence, but the owners, two retired sisters who are looking to move, discovered that one of our fence poles was 6 inches on their property, and those 6 inches may as well have been 6 feet as far as the town was concerned. Yet instead of easily inching over the one pole, my husband, in one impulsive sweep, decided it was time for a backyard makeover. He removed the entire fence along with all the trees lining our yard, leaving nothing but mounds of dirt, which are now covered by mounds of snow, in between us and our soon to be ex-neighbors.
I am staring too long and the house turns ugly. I never really noticed the small windows, jutting air-conditioner or sad siding. I guess because it was never staring me in the face before. Or maybe it’s like when you say a word over and over and all of sudden it sounds ridiculous. Ridiculous. Ridiculous. Ridiculous.
It’s been a mixed blessings kind of day. Like, we played Bingo at the temple and two out of three of my boys won! Two of three. And although there were no complaints from my two boys at their basketball games where both played well, there were many from the one who had to sit and watch both games. And lastly, my brother called to say he briefly spoke with my father who told him to call him back in a ½ hour but if he didn’t answer to call 911. When we called back, he answered. So the day was like that, kind of up and down, and I rolled along with it.
Out the window I follow a trail of little footprints stamped in the snow that lead off into nowhere. I’m relieved to see them. We’ve been feeding a stray for months now and worried whether he’d make it through the last big snow. Now I’m worried if he’ll make it through the snow predicted this evening. Being a stray isn’t easy.
Sometimes I feel astray. Especially in moods and moments like this, staring out windows, feeding my melancholy. But then the chimes ring, my family barrels in and there is no longer time for musing and melancholy, or as my grandmother would say, “My head up my own ass.” My husband has made a special trip to KFC for Super Bowl Sunday and now it’s time to feed my family instead.
The kids are digging in, grease shining off their smiling lips. Well at least two out of three of them. One is a vegetarian, more accurately a ‘carbetarian’ and he is already scrunching up his face just from the smell.
I take a last glimpse of my demolished back yard that we’ll hopefully redo sometime, but the kitchen comes first and we were supposed to start that project two years ago. I no longer see the neighbor’s house. I see my family’s reflection in the glass; a bucket of chicken on the table, my husband at the head, my animated boys doing what they do; one singing, one laughing and one about to storm off in outrage.
It’s a typical evening in a typical life that is never typical, but perfect and imperfect, ordinary and extraordinary, and where at any given moment two out three ain’t bad.
Your discussion of “stray” reminded me of Cheryl Strayed and how she chose that name for herself. I loved that last paragraph. And KFC is pretty delicious!
Thanks. I’m worried about that cat. I don’t know how anything can live out there now. But hey, the strays are resilient, right? As for the KFC, he got extra crispy and I have to say, sometimes more isn’t better. Original is where it’s at.
Extra crispy sounds good in theory, but definitely leaves a lot to be desired in practice.
I think we have it so infrequently that we forget and get drawn in but the extra… but now we know. Too much of a good thing is just too much. 🙂
Oh projects. I’m sorry about your view 😦 My husband pulled up part of the patio because he was going to build a firepit. Then it sat like that for a year. Finally, he had to put the stones back when we sold the house this past summer.
So you’re saying we might be in the market for a new house soon? 😉
Ha! He got a job offer in another state (which is why I’m in the greater Boston area). My guess is that it would have stayed that way (if we’d stayed) until I called in professionals to put the stones back (or build a firepit)!
We are soooooo close to pulling the trigger on the kitchen. If we’re not in construction by May, I might send him to Boston.
Did you eat KFC? I would like that picture extra crispy of course.
Sent from my iPhone Alana Sikorski
Ha! I took off the skin. 😉
love the last sentence, ‘typical life that is never typical… perfect and imperfect…’ =) well said!
Now I have that Meatloaf song in my head 🙂
Just shake it off.. 😉
Hello, Ice Scream Mama! This is my first visit to your ice cream parlour, and must say, I relished the array of flavours you have on offer! 🙂
You are correct…the life we feel is typical, is never really typical.It is never perfect, or imperfect, but a mixture of it all, yes?
Welcome to the Parlour! Pull up a stool, relax and enjoy a double scoop. It makes all the good better and all the bad better. Win win. 🙂
You write with so much heart, you know that? I could just visualise that scene of the snow-bound dirt and the house across from yours. To literally paint an image of the ‘Up and down’ nature of life in such vivid words, that is quite the gift.
Thank you. That is so nice of you to say.
I loved this trip through your thoughts. I often find myself staring out my own kitchen window, thinking whatever it is the view prompts in me, all of which is often interrupted by my family just as I’m pondering whether I can translate my thoughts into a post. It rarely works, or I forget what I’d been thinking about. But you bring it all to life, and you brought me along with you. Love the philosophical ending 🙂
Usually I stare lost in thought and never even notice the view. But this time I really looked both out the window and all around me. Thanks. 🙂
The melancholy was palpable in this post and I can taste the KFC. I’m with you about the original recipe. And two out of three isn’t bad at all.
Right?! Extra Crispy seems like it would be soo much better but it’s really too much of a good thing.
I love the contemplative mood of this whole essay, especially considering some of the emotional things you’re talking about – things that normally inspire exasperation, frustration, or panic. 🙂
It’s all how you ‘view’ it, I guess. 😉