Fugue
Domestic Interiors

Stage Six: Pickled

Patrick slept most of the day on Friday. I kept thinking I would wake him up and take him to the doctor but he looked so pink and peaceful as he lay sprawled in our bed that it just didn't seem right to do so. When he finally woke up he was starving and after watching him plow through five bowls of soggy Cheerios I decided that he was probably going to survive without any further interventions. Whether it just took a solid week to start recovering from the surgery or he was battling some random virus I guess we shall never know. However, I now feel all headache-y and gross so if I had to bet I would say the latter. Of course, now that I think about it, I had a Bloody Mary before ten o'clock this morning so perhaps that is contributing to my mid-day malaise. We are just a houseful of medical mysteries, aren't we? Anyway Patrick, at least, is finally much better and after considerable debate we decided he was well enough to attend the first day of school. Which was today.

Tonight I told Patrick that after I dropped him off I went to a party.

"That's weird," said Patrick. "Who would have a party in the morning?"

"It was a bunch of moms who were excited about the first day of school," I said.

"You mean the party was to celebrate kids having to go back to school?"

"Yep!"

"And all of the other people were happy about this?"

"Yep!"

Patrick looked sympathetic.

"What did you do when you found out?" he asked.

"When I found out... ?"

"When you found out that they weren't sad like you were?"

I blinked at him. He's very cute. Delusional but cute.

I have been holding onto this picture for months. It's from March and it is, like, visual proof that Patrick was sick for MONTHS and MONTHS and yet Steve and I had clearly lost all sense of what a healthy child should look like. Because why was he out hunting for mushrooms when he should have been, oh I don't know, getting a transfusion or something. Doesn't he look horrible? All gray and peaked? He could have walked into a casting call for a particularly gritty Dickens' production only to be told thank you, but we are looking for something a little less starving consumptive orphan.

Yet again I want to be able to flow in two directions:

1. I found these pictures in the same folder as that one of Patrick (not pictured, the Grim Reaper) and I have been meaning to ask you for months; what do you think this building was before it became a picturesque ruin? [Someday I hope to be similarly labeled on a photo "Julia, before she became a picturesque ruin."] Patrick and Steve stumbled across this structure in the middle of the woods in Wisconsin a few miles from the river. You can click on the pictures to make them bigger but it had one wall that was solid stone, one that had three narrow window openings, one with a door and a small window and evidence of a staircase, and one with a large double door. Brick chimney. Constructed of local stone. Any guesses?
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2. Patrick finally moved back up to his room but I have left the inflatable mattress on the floor for a few days because Edward and Caroline LOVE IT.

"Bow bow bow?" Edward asks. "Bowwwwnse?" Caroline clarifies.

Once Patrick started feeling better (say, Saturday) he was more than willing to bounce up and down on the mattress and send them flying like ninepins.

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I liked the fact that although Edward was amused by the up and down he never released his little writing tablet and he kept diligently practicing... something, scratching I think... even as Caroline and Patrick were, literally, bouncing off the walls behind him.

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He is like the guy at the frat house who keeps trying to finish his paper despite the fact that people are using his room for kegstands.

Once upon a time I was devoted to the works of Maud Hart Lovelace, authoress of the Betsy-Tacy series. In fact, one summer vacation in Michigan I almost managed to convince my father that we should swing over to Mankato, Minnesota and view firsthand the town that inspired the books' Deep Valley. Unfortunately, my mother (O thou enemy of Culture) pointed out that it was about fourteen hours each way, so I had to wait until Steve and I moved to Minnesota to make my pilgrimage.

I mention this because in the books Betsy's family had a hired girl named Anna who had previously worked for a family named McCloskey. The McCloskeys assumed near mythic proportions and they always had muffins on the first day of school. Therefore Betsy's family always had muffins on the first day of school and today I made muffins for the first day of school. Jambalaya muffins and, if I ever stop writing here, I will put the recipe up over at Scrambled. Hey, speaking of which, someone asked if it was possible for me to make a printable version of the recipes over there. And since I am always willing to try to oblige I tried to look up how to do something like that but was stymied when I searched the Typepad help files. So if any of you know how to create something like that and feel like telling me or linking me or just generally shoving me in the right direction I would be grateful.

The first time I took Patrick to school I cried in the parking lot. Today I had a Bloody Mary. You know, because I was so sad.

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