Do you ever find yourself doing mundane tasks and before you know it your mind is wandering and taking you to unexpected places? The past few days have been spent staining pine moulding intended to finish the doors and windows over at 40 M. If you have had the opportunity to stain wood you will know that it is a simple slow almost meditative process. Paint on wait five minutes and then wipe off...repeat. In the warmth that is summer I spent about 8 hours working on this project and in that time my mind wandered. I found myself thinking a lot about my childhood home and various stories that I had heard over the years. Many of my cousins came to mind as I worked.
I pictured the house finished. As the inn keeper, so to speak, I am hoping to provide fresh baked goodies for our guest upon their arrival. Virtually all my favorite recipes are from family and linked to fond childhood memories. Jordan Marsh Blueberry muffins, Susan's Cinnamon Swirl Cake, Fanny Farmer's Banana Bread are the first that come to mind when I think of what I'd like to serve. I can picture myself making each of these recipes with Mum. Those were the days when we would cream the butter by hand and making any of these recipes was a labor of love. I was always the tester... sometimes Mum would call me 'fingers' as I would always stick my finger into the batter to see if it tasted ok.
Yesterday, working on the second staining of the moulding in the mid day heat I was reminded of my Dad and my cousin J. I think the scent of the stain in the heat brought me back to a story I heard so often. It was summer and J was staying with us at 40 M. I was just a little kid at the time so the memory is not mine, but I can picture the scene as if I had seen it with my own eyes. The neighbor across the street needed a new roof. I think Dad may have been out of work at the time but I am not sure. Well in any event Dad and J worked throughout the hot summer day laying creosote and roofing tiles... by the end of the day they both had blistering sunburns. I remember Mum saying that she saved them with her Oil of Oolay. It was the only thing she found that took the heat away from their burns.
I think that it is fitting that we will be welcoming many to stay at 40 M, just like Mum and Dad did back in the day. I find myself getting more emotional the closer we get to completion. So many emotions swirling around; relief, excitement, love, sadness, longing.....