Tuesday, October 24

The air is hot in Florida

It’s hard to believe that on Saturday I was on the beach making drip castles and getting sunburned, and on Monday morning I bundled into corduroy and denim, shoving my feet into brown leather shoes that have been packed away for months. I went to Florida this weekend with Paula, Leigh and Anna. We played hard, and I came back tired, refreshed and a little poorer. Paula’s aunt kindly allowed us the use of her weekend home on the bay. On Sunday morning I crept out to stand by the water and discovered that we seemed to be in the migratory path of some butterflies. When the first zoomed past my face, I didn’t think anything of it. But as I stood there looking out over the bay, dozens and dozens of orange and black butterflies flew past—all traveling parallel to the water’s edge and heading east into the sunrise. Where were they headed? I wondered. Maybe they knew that cold weather was coming. Making one last dash to the beach was the perfect way to say goodbye to summer. We drove the open Jeep on the beach, dug our toes in the sand and consumed mass quantities of seafood.

Now I’m back in Jackson, and the cool temperatures have rolled in, reminding me that it really is time to start making soup, planning holiday projects, and take up knitting again on that sweater I began this time last year. It would be embarrassing have to take it with me to my grandparents’ house at Christmas.

RELATIVE: Hey, Caroline. What are you working on?
CAROLINE: A sweater.
RELATIVE: Weren’t you working on a sweater last time you were here?
CAROLINE: Yep. Same sweater.

I don’t want that to happen, so maybe I can find the discipline to finish this one up before jumping on to something else. In my recent projects/reading/listening, here are some things I’ve found worthwhile and would like to recommend:

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.
This was a bestseller in the late 80’s. It’s the story of the friendship between two boys: the narrator, John Weelwright, and Owen Meany. Owen’s small size, “ruined” voice, dominating personality and unshakable belief that he is God’s instrument make him a fascinating character that kept me thinking about him and the story all the time I was reading the book and for days afterwards. I’m still thinking about it. If you’ve read this, I would love to talk about it. And if you haven’t, please consider it.

Cranberry Banana Oat Bread
I’ve made this twice lately. It’s that good. And easy.

Photographs and The MorningAndrew Osenga
Fall is time for Andy O.

Barkeeper’s Friend
I saw this on Martha Stewart’s TV show. “How do you keep your stainless steel pans looking brand new?” someone asked. Martha recommended Barkeeper’s Friend and demonstrated its cleaning power on some dirty pots. “Hmmm…” I thought. I have a wonderful set of stainless steel cookware I got for Christmas last year. But one of the pots got a brown stain cooked onto it some time ago that I had never been able to get rid of. “I wonder if this stuff would work on that stain?” I thought. So I got some Barkeeper’s Friend at Wal-Mart (under $2) and put it to work against the ugly brown spot. It scrubbed away in seconds. “You are kidding me!” I exclaimed. After all that internet research, trying different methods, and just plain elbow grease, all it took was one little can of white powder. So I’m telling you this, gentle reader, to save you the trouble I went through. Barkeeper’s Friend made all my pots and pans look shiny and new! Well, there you go, folks. It’s not called the felicity of unbounded domesticity for nothing.