The only thing I did today that was worth mentioning was moving three pictures into our "new" bedroom. These are the pictures I feel I must have closest to me while I sleep. They are, I suppose, totems that make me feel more grounded in my own life so that when my dreams take me to places so far away, the pictures will be there, even in the dark, to call me home again to myself.
The one I took a picture of is a painting that my Uncle Jimmy did when he was a boy, taking art lessons from Frank Baisden. I've talked about this picture and my Uncle Jimmy and Frank Baisden before. Both men were well-known and well-regarded by their peers, Frank as an artist, Uncle Jimmy as an architect and designer. But that picture was done when Jimmy was very young and I remember it always hanging over my grandmother's bed and when she died, I asked for it and my mother gave it to me. I love it so. I can still clearly see in my mind my granny lying on her bed with her hands clasped together on top of the bedspread for her nap, her glasses with the hated, bulky hearing aids built in on the dresser, her tiny shoes on the floor beside her, that picture always present.
The other pictures I moved have other stories, of course. I did not take their pictures but I'm sure I have before. And now they are all back in the room where I am sleeping, keeping watch as I roam about the dream world, making sure of my safe return.
Mr. Moon should be home soon. He left Louisiana this morning. Speaking of sleep- I don't think he's gotten a good night of it since he left. I think he will be glad to come back to his own bed. Maurice slept on his pillow last night. She misses him, I can tell. A little while ago she came to me as if for comfort, licked my face and kissed me on the lips which I have never had another cat do in my life.
And then she wanted to tear my hand off. I always think of Where The Wild Things Are when she acts like this. Remember the part where the wild beasts tell Max, "We'll eat you up, we love you so?"
Now whether or not she really loves us so, I cannot tell you. But I can safely say that she is a wild thing.
When I put that picture up above the mantle in the bedroom, I had to take down a mirror that I'd put there. It had been my grandfather's. On the back of it I found this.
I think back on him and he will always be a mystery to me.
But no noodles, shaped like letters or anything else. And also no bits of diced carrots or the occasional green pea. Honestly though, we ate that meatloaf and loved it. And although going to Europe when I was eighteen and then becoming a hippie and especially eating the hippie food at a restaurant in Denver called Hanuman's Conscious Cookery, and learning to love and cook the foods that are representative of the south inform the way I cook now, there are still times when I crave the things we ate when I was a child. Sometimes I'd love an iceberg lettuce salad with French dressing and sometimes, I crave a grilled cheese made with Wonder Bread and American cheese or Velveeta or a big bowl of Kraft macaroni and cheese. Other foods bring back memories although I do not truly care to go back and eat them- bologna sandwiches for one thing. My Lord but we ate a lot of bologna. I had a friend once who said that her mother had made bologna salad like tuna salad, substituting chopped bologna for the fish. I'll be quite happy if I never eat instant mashed potatoes again. Or frozen mixed vegetables.
I'd eat a fish stick though. Or a Mexican Hat made with a slice of bologna as a base and then a scoop of real mashed potatoes, topped with cheese and then baked.
Food represents so much to us, doesn't it? Sustenance, of course. Love. Comfort. Celebration.
lovely day for you, glad you got the paintings moved to your new room. That is a lovely painting to open your eyes to at any time of day/night! Meat loaf.....ground beef or ground meats used to be considered *poor people's* food and so inexpensive in our youth.....now it costs as much as anything else....but a good meatloaf (they are never the same twice).....is pure heaven and comfort. May Mr Moon arrive soon and safely.ReplyDelete
We always have ground venison to use in whatever one would use ground beef in and it's good. Chili, especially seems to be good with it but so is spaghetti and meatloaf and, well- whatever.Delete
nearly fainted at hearing of your grandfather's fingers meeting with a saw, dear lord that can happen so quickly. Loving the memories of Gramma in bed and the painting. It is lovely and the cat kissing you...Such nice slices of Mary's life down yonder. We were never fans of baloney in our house growing up. Probably didn't have the "good" kind available.ReplyDelete
The saw was supposed to have a guard but it had not been installed yet. According to family lore, it was in a box, right by the saw. The company did pay to send Granddaddy to school to learn to be a wood-buyer for them and that was his job throughout his lifetime.Delete
Is there a good kind of bologna? We got ours mostly from Joy's store which was a tiny little mom and pop in Roseland. Joy and Ralph lived behind the store, literally, and Joy cut the bologna for us with the same knife that she cut cheese and popsicles. We never once died.
I have had cats kiss my mouth, and I wandered if they were checking for tuna, just in case..ReplyDelete
Good to have your important items in the bedroom. Well, since Mr M isn't back yet, most of them.
Heh-heh. He's back now.Delete
Such an interesting written portrait of your grandfather! So weird because I read a fascinating story today in the NY Times (I think it's going to be in this weekend's magazine) about a NY artist named John Powers who was a cabinet maker and general sculptor and world-class artist who sawed off part of his hand in an accident. He's now commissioning other artists to make him these wild prosthetics. Anyway, check it out!ReplyDelete
I'll see if I can find it. I have a subscription.Delete
I love your uncle's painting. It reminds me of some my mom has that were painted by a neighbor of HER grandmother's in Sebring, way back in the 1930s -- also depicting Florida flowers.ReplyDelete
You are clearly communing with your ancestors during this time that Mr. Moon is away!
Well, these would have been Tennessee flowers as they lived on Lookout Mountain above Chattanooga at that time. But I'm sure we have many of the same ones here.Delete
When Glen's gone, my mind has time to wander far and wide. Like my dreams.
You are doing some deep thinking while Mr. Moon is gone. I still eat some of the things that you say you would never eat again.ReplyDelete
I do love a good meatloaf too.
Lovely picture by your Uncle!
I wish I knew how old he'd been when he painted it.Delete
My mum was not a good cook and my brother and I were not good eaters. Poor woman, when she found something we liked, she would make it until we were sick of it.ReplyDelete
I still like kraft dinner when I'm sad or tired, no chewing required:)
I hope Mr Moon has a safe drive home.
My mother was not a very good cook either but better than her mother! And she always got something on the table. I give her that.Delete
Yeah. Hard to beat Kraft in the blue box.
I had not thought of instant mashed potato in a long while. Awful stuff but good when camping. Simply pour some hot water on. In England there was an instant mashed potato called "Smash". TV adverts for it featured tin head space aliens whose slogan was "For Mash Get Smash". Hippies thought they said "Get Smashed". Go here:-ReplyDelete
I remember my friend who had eaten bologna salad as a child preferred instant mashed potatoes over the real ones. Her mother must have been a fairly terrible cook. And that was a fairly terrible ad for Smash, too, but it was entertaining.Delete
Iceberg lettuce with French dressing. That made the rounds up here, too.My mom was happy to relinquish cooking when it was time. I made my girls learn to cook. One went on to own a farm to table restaurantReplyDelete