November 18, 2012


Ah, Thanksgiving week. It’s been such a busy semester that I’ve looked forward to just hanging out at home, crossing things off my to-do list. I began yesterday by making a big pot of lentil soup, since soup is my favorite meal and snack. Besides, I’ve got portfolios to grade, and cooking is an ideal form of procrastination.

Boy-in-Black, who moved home for the week, sat at his usual spot at the end of the couch with his laptop, writing a research paper. It’s been a busy semester for him as well, and he looked like he hadn’t slept in days. His hair stuck straight up in the back, the way it did when he was a kid. “I’ll take a shower after this paper is done,” he said.

“What’s the paper about?” I asked, looking across the counter while I chopped onions and celery. Boy-in-Black clicked something on his keyboard and showed me the title of his paper: ““Minimal spanning trees at the percolation threshold: a numerical calculation.”

Um, yeah. I went back to chopping veggies.

"Maybe you should make the lentils spicy this time,” Boy-in-Black suggested. “Kick it up a notch.”

I split the lentil soup into two pots: “Here, you can take over the pot on the left. Add as many spices as you want.” Soon Boy-in-Black was over at the stove, rooting through the cupboards and refrigerator for ingredients: cayenne pepper, black pepper, paprika, chili powder, barbecue sauce. Hey, physicists need to procrastinate just as much as composition teachers.

That’s what we ate yesterday – plain lentil soup and spicy lentil soup, many bowls of it. I graded some portfolios, began cleaning my office, and practiced the holiday song I’m learning on the piano: “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” With-a-Why went to play practice, then he and Shy Smile snuggled on the couch with a bunch of books and his laptop computer. My husband got out his laptop and spent hours catching up on work emails.

Shaggy Hair Boy went off to work: he’s helping his jazz piano teacher move stuff. Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter and Sailor Boy came over for a while: they’d been at a fabric store, looking at material to make curtains with. “Fabric is really expensive,” Sailor Boy reported.

My parents came by after a long walk at Green Lakes. “Lots of people with dogs,” my mother said. She was trying to get a head count for Thanksgiving dinner. Red-haired Sister and her family are coming later this week, although no one knows when.

I did get some work done – a few portfolios graded, a little writing, a little cleaning – and I played the first page of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” at least 37 times. It was nice to feel relaxed and not rushed. We’ve still got a whole week ahead of us.


Anjali said...

jo(e) you are my soup soul mate. All we eat is soup. I make one enourmous pot on a Sunday or Monday night and we eat from it most of the week. Summer, Winter, whatever season, it's our meal of choice.

Psycgirl said...

Jo(e) I love when you describe these kind of days, they sound so cozy! Make me wish I could join you guys!

Kyla said...

Sounds lovely. We are all off this week (well,technically I will be skipping class tomorrow) and it is so nice.

Barefoot Doctoral said...

"Hey, physicists need to procrastinate just as much as composition teachers."

I agree! This is how I learned to cook! This post brings back memories.

Lomagirl said...

i want the whole week off, too! I have to teach Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday! Course, after that I only have 2 more weeks to go. Well, 3 really, but I don't count finals week.

Annette said...

This is my favorite week of the year....(I will say that again in February for the break). It is cosy and unpressured. Of course, that is because I'm not the cook! Have a Happy Thanksgiving and look away from the bird!

Annette said...

cozy...with a z. :)