Here’s a thought: I had a yellow plastic mixing bowl years ago. It was creamy soft yellow. Pale, you could say. Not a tin pail, on the ground in a barn, next to a red hen. Not a plastic pail like the ones I’ve bought for my chores around the house and that keep disappearing, and everyone in my house claims to be innocent. Innocent, not cinnamon, as in cinnamon and sugar that my mom used to sprinkle on my buttered toast in the morning before I went to school, along with soft boiled eggs cut open for me in glass sundae bowls. Innocent as a new egg yolk, mixed with the sun and a bit of salt which makes everything taste better when used in moderation. Once I over-salted some pesto I made, so that my husband and kids couldn’t eat it unless they diluted it with olive oil. My dad over-salted carrots and apples and other things, but that was probably because he smoked cigarettes, and his taste buds were dulled, or were they deadened? He would hold a carrot or slice of green apple over a plate and then hold the salt shaker in the other hand, and tap the end with his pinkie and ring finger. I miss his hands. They were a little bit rough and practical. He had callouses. He always made me help him do yard work. I never saw any of my friends do yard work with their dad. Once when I was 10, a bunch of my friends came over on a Saturday afternoon, and he got us all to help him rake and bag leaves. They did not come over to my house to rake and bag leaves, they told me, as we all stood holding the black plastic bag open. But they laughed, and we ended up jumping and playing in the piles of leaves. Whenever my dad ended up doing yard work by himself, I felt guilty. But there were a lot of times he ended up doing it by himself. In other words, guilt didn’t stop me from doing what I wanted to do.
Yellow are the walls I painted in my younger daughter’s bedroom. I can see them from here at the dining room table, so pale, you might not even notice they are yellow, unless you pause and linger at her door, looking in, which would not be pleasant today, as her books and toys and dirty clothes and bedding are all rumpled around her green carpet and her shades are drawn, kind of gloomy. Hang on, I didn’t paint her room— my husband did. But I’m the one who ordered the white cloud stickers, which I then smoothed onto her walls when she was a baby in our Kelty external frame kid-carrying backpack, and my arms were strong and I mothered two kids at once, of which I was proud.
If I could, in some universe, paint the walls of our house with eggnog and get away with it, I would. I like getting away with things, like eating spoonfuls of ice cream while my children are in the other room and don’t suspect my indulgence. But I don’t get away with much, because I’m not comfortable with it. I’d rather be honest and keep things in the light if I can, so I don’t have to hide any lies. Or have a shadow pass over me while I hug my husband or girls. Do you have another way of looking at this? Please feel free to comment here. __________ But no, that’s silly. Maybe just message me by sending your brain waves through the air right now. My theory is that ice cream is best eaten with a fork. Think about it, there is much more surface space for your tastebuds to interact with the ice cream between the tines of a fork, top and bottom, than on just the top surface of a spoonful of ice cream. My husband doesn’t necessarily agree with me on this, and we have tested the theory extensively. My dad never heard my theory because he died before I came up with it, but I feel he would have loved to join the debate. Or he would have scoffed, and later joined in. I’m not sure. He may still, even now, be part of this debate. Is that wishful thinking?
Is that sunny yellow thinking? He didn’t have the full use of his tastebuds, from all those years of heavy smoking, so I’m not sure he would have been qualified to be a tester, but my daughters and husband would have probably loved him to join in. I know I would have. We could have sat with our ice cream around the table he built, and that my mom and sister and brother let us have. Talk about a different universe. So many things would be different if he was here. You have no idea. And I barely do either. But what I do know is that I’m passionate about the pale yellow cream of eggnog, with golden whiskey whisked in. Whiskey and whisk, not whiskers. I loved it when my cat Tasha used to brush my face with her whiskers just to show close proximity. She was purring and saying, “I’m here next to you, that slight brush and tingle you feel is me.”