memorial for a brilliant woman

Saturday, December 28, 2013

American Housewife Haiku #271, #272 and #273 and an anecdote...

From a page in her November notebook:

Two cars and a bus
pass through the toll booth ahead
Is there a punch line?

It doesn't matter
if you're coming or going,
you still have to move.

It doesn't matter
If you think you want to stay,
nothing here will last.


My mother's legs must be tired, what with all the running around she's been doing in my mind, and I know mine isn't the only one she's been visiting. Everything is a reminder, and I'm sure it'll be incessant for... probably a long time. Today, it was this upcoming New Years.
Every year, every single year that I can remember she would make black eyed peas for New Years. I have no clue how long she'd been upholding this tradition, just that it was the same every year.
They would be soaking in a large glass bowl the day before, getting in the way of everything in our small kitchen. Dad would sigh his overblown sigh as he got glasses of tea, wine. He's always been like a Siamese cat, though. Jimmies rustled if you interrupt his naptime. Jimmies rustled if his routine is altered in the slightest, even by something as simple as a basin of soaking beans.
The day of. A pot far too large for the family (or our desire to eat its contents) would sit on the stove for hours. It seemed like forever, as no one would bother with this vat but her. She would make cornbread, cabbage. This simple stew of black eyed peas, various vegetables and ham was a big deal to her. "Alia, eat your stew! It's LUCKY!"
I escaped her demands the first two years I was a vegetarian, then I got my own hefty pot sans the fatty chunks of ham. Then, "here! I made this separate! HAVE SOME FOR LUCK, ALIA."
Even after moving out, I would get a call. "Come over! Stop by for just a minute and have your black eyed peas! They're LUCKY." A state away, "I ate extra just for you! You should buy some, cook them there!"
I resolved to make them this year. I can already hear her telling me not to cut vegetables on the counter top as she was oft to do. I was usually using a cutting board...

Keep reading,
Alia Radabaugh

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