The Next Chapter

The Pandemic Kitchen

Being a caregiver is easy. There is nothing else to do. The care sets the priorities and timing. Caregiving starts abruptly. Caregiving stops abruptly. What didn’t need to be planned before, now is full of empty time to decide what to do.

Caregiving is something you do not want to start. Caregiving is something you do not want to stop. When it does stop, It becomes a time for introspection, reflection, processing and recovery. It’s time to take inventory.

Jonathan was the cat of my childhood.

Igor was the cat of my adolescence.

Dudley was the cat of my adulthood.

Velcro was the cat of my middle age.

Steinway taught me an important lesson about life and death.

Winston is an angel sent to guard me and guide me, his purpose is spiritual and timeless.

Music helps too. My friend posted something new, and sweet and connected to something old and valued. Here’s a man who pivoted, a famous comedian, who I didn’t think was funny, and who I didn’t like. Steve Martin found some music, eventually shared the stage with the greatest, and now he is the greatest. Rather than pave the same old ground that his mentor invented, he has gone forward – as his mentor did, and has made a whole new sound of his own. It’s very sweet.

The music eases my re-entry into life after the traumatic loss. Winston Kitty was looking for his best friend last night, this morning, and now he will make new friends, and has already started. He started with me. He’s by my side as I write this – he’s never far away.

The Kitchen also was a place of refuge. As Janie noted a while back my brother made a beautiful fresh baked sour dough (with his ancient starter).

Fresh out of the oven it was like eating cake. Light, tasty, doughy, tangy and a little yeasty and the crust had a light crunch, like a french baguette. It needed nothing. It was perfect.

Leftovers can be amazing as well, with some fresh baked crust.

I hadn’t had a Burger in a long time. So i had a sirloin steak ground up and made one of my favorites. Instead of a potato roll i used a Zomack Challah Roll. Those are home made pickles (using lenny’s recipe), horseradish aioli, and tomato paste (instead of ketchup, since you can’t get ketchup without ‘flavorings’ in it anymore). Simple, wonderful, nourishing for the soul.

This morning i woke up to find this on the counter. Batter and a waffle maker – just like in the Best Western Hotels. Ray told me I could make myself a waffle.

It was the lightest, fluffiest, tangiest, tastiest waffle i ever had. I told Ray. He made the batter with the ancient starter of the sourdough bread. Most waffle/pancake batter only has baking powder in it, not yeast. Using the sourdough starter gave it extra dimensions. This is something you can only get in Ray’s Pandemic Kitchen. It didn’t need syrup. While I put syrup on the first waffle, i made another and just ate it plain. While it didn’t taste like a bavarian pretzel – it had a wonderfully similar texture to that, one of my favorite foods.

The last thing VK ate was some of my home made chicken soup from scratch. My friend Stuart commented that it would nourish his soul on his journey.

Winston has a new ‘best’ friend to guard. In fact, we guard each other. Always have.

It’s time to start the next chapter.

3 thoughts on “The Next Chapter

  1. I never knew Jonathan and Igor. But I have fond memories of Dudley. He actually seemed to accept me even though I was a “dog person”. As did Velcro in a sort of “well, he’s feeding me” sort of way, I also remember Steinway. He seemed to pass though your life too quickly.

    Well, they ALL pass too quickly! I still miss Rey, Max, and Hiro…. and also remember Tiger, Cleo, Loki, and Rex. Maybe some day I’ll be able to tell you about them, but this is not the time nor the place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh! And your brother needs to guard that sour dough starter with your life! This past week there was an article in the NY Times. Yeast for bread making has become as scarce as toilet paper & paper towels!

      I had a sour dough starter back in the ’70s when I was working in Nebraska. It did not survive the move to Washington State 😔 Maybe when SARS-COV-2 and its disease COVID-19 are in the past you might convince your brother to pass on just enough to get a sour dough starter going in my fridge?

      Like

    2. Dudley was an impeccable judge of character. He did more than accept you – and he grew up with dogs, so they were no issue for him at all. He was a very dog like cat.

      Velcro wasn’t really in ‘you feed me’ sort of way. Velcro had boudries – as in ‘dogs have owners, cats have staff’. you were loyal, valuable, but temporary staff.

      Liked by 2 people

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