Thursday, November 20

It’s sort of a lonely morning, dreary and rainy. A horrible day for a funeral. After dropping James off and driving Alex to school I wanted to be around people. Bar people. I wish I knew where the Crow’s Nest people are at 8 in the morning. I probably should have checked the Crow’s Nest.

Drove through Manchester hoping to stop for coffee. Everything looked too just-so for me. Continued on to Café Sicilia. An hour later than usual, all the spots at the tables near the front were taken. I ended up at the table near the door and with no knitting and nothing to read I sat there, alone. Left lonely still. Considered going to Trupiano’s for meat for stew. Changed my mind and headed home in a round-about way through Rockport.

Went to the hardware store to wait for the yarn store to open. Considered light bulbs, paint, hardware for shelving. I should have measured something before I went. I could have measured anything. I ended up buying a little chopper that was on sale to replace my mini Cuisinart that died during Christmas candy making last year.

With my new chopper’s help I talked myself out of yarn. Went to IGA instead. Lots of root vegetables for stew. Home through Lanesville, one last chance to end the loneliness of the day. Postcard stamps from Lenny at the post office. Into the café where a new girl was working and the old postman who was arrested a couple years back was there talking to her. He makes me uncomfortable. No comfy coffee time for me, I left soon after I got there. To the package store, a bottle of burgundy for the stew and cabernet for drinking.

Browned the meat, turning first with chopsticks then a metal spatula. I hate using metal utensils, prefer wood, but with flour sticking to the pan and meat sticking with it I gave in. Onions and celery and carrots chopped super–fine with my new chopper into the pot, just a couple minutes ‘til the onions are soft. Meat back in, bay leaves, salt and pepper, cover it over with wine and a little broth. Amused by the new appliance. Chop mushrooms until they are barely mushrooms at all, sauté them, toss them into the pot. Using finely chopped vegetables for thickening.

Waiting now for the meat to turn fork-tender. Bowls of hand-cut root vegetables are on the table, waiting to go in. Turnips, potatoes, carrots and parsnips. Those little boiling onions, which I have never used before. Maybe more mushrooms, halved or quartered. Cutting by hand is ultimately more satisfying. Toss some rosemary in on a whim.

Don’t know what to wear to the service. Should I walk to the church? If I can find my umbrella. Not lonely anymore, it doesn’t take much for me. Just a comfortable feeling.

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