A Simple Question

Archived | February 28, 2013 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Learned a thing or two about great horned owls, and I like that. Learning new things. There’s not enough time in my life to just take in information the way I’d like and that’s a bit of a frustration. I had the real pleasure of paging through a Smithsonian Magazine at the orthodontist’s office yesterday, and read about Darwin and venomous animals (I’m happy to never in my life encounter a black mamba) and Komodo dragons. Some people devote good chunks of their lives to the study of one thing, and I admire that. My brother was an expert on martens for a while, and my father on sewage treatment plants and my mother on geriatric care, and my other brother on biochemistry. Mr. Sundberg knows a good amount about motivating people, and all of that knowledge around me is something to behold.
“What is it you DO, Mom?” my son asked the other day and I was pretty much speechless. I’m not an expert on anything in particular, and I don’t have the kind of job where I leave at a certain time and return at another time each day. I’m a writer, I said. “But what do you DO?” Well, I pay attention to the world, and I write about what I see. I guess. I felt a bit odd, as if I had to explain myself, maybe defend myself, but that’s more about me than him. He was asking a simple question.
What do I do, son? Well. Today I will finish doing taxes, and clean the house (the quick version) and visit the post office and the bank. I will fill the tires on the car with more air, and fill out your ACT test registration which I am told will take an hour or more but I will finish it faster than that, and I will clip some coupons for a weekend grocery trip. I will fold four loads of laundry, pick up some milk and buns for tonight’s sloppy joe dinner, and I will schedule one hair appoint, two eye exams, and a visit to a college. I will help you with your homework if you’d like, too. At some point your dad and I will talk as he’s away for the week, and I will do some writing along the way, and read something interesting just before I fall asleep, sometime around midnight. As for tomorrow, well, that’s another day. I’m sure there will be something. And I’m happy to do it. All of it. Every day, for as long as I’m around.
The Irish girl in me is hungry for soup and sausage and a Reuben piled high. For now, here’s a recipe simple enough to make between now and dinner, hearty and creamy and just the recipe for chilly gray days.
Irish Potato Soup
3 cups diced, raw potatoes
2 ribs celery, chopped fine
1 small sweet onion, chopped fine
1 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 T flour
2 cups milk
3 T butter
Place potatoes, celery, onions, water and bouillon in saucepan, and cook until vegetables are tender. Combine flour and milk until smooth, and add to vegetable mixture. Stir in butter. Bring it all to a gentle boil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with some good dense bread.