My friend Dawn gave me a zucchini the size of a dachshund, which I love because it gives me an excuse to use my scale.
See, now that my second daughter has followed her sister to college on the east coast, the only female voice left in my house is that of my talking kitchen scale. I turn the thing on and a low-registered, warm voice says, “Hello,” which is rather pleasant in the profound silence of my recently emptied nest. Then she pauses for a second, presumably to make internal adjustments, and says, “I’m ready.”
This is an eerie echo of what Nora said last week, when she was itching to get to college.
Now she’s gone, we’re back from dropping her, and after all the packing, schlepping, shopping and shipping, her room looks and feels like Dorothy’s did, post-tornado: a mess, and dead still.
I hadn’t dared enter it for a couple of days; I knew it was an emotional minefield. Today, when I finally wandered in and picked my way through Nora’s detritus, I remained calm when handling her abandoned fairy wings. Nor was my composure rocked by the sight of the worn school books and the ancient teddy bear. It was the picture on the wall of young Nora, one that captures her spunky spirit–she’s leaping and laughing, just kind of gloriousâ€”that did me in.
After the weeping, I knew I needed task therapy. I thought I’d concoct a recipe for Dawn’s monster zucchini. I flipped the switch on the kitchen scale: “Hello.” Pause. “I’m ready.”
“Easy for you to say,” I said as I plunked the zucchini on the scale.