I was late to Instagram and I still don’t post all that often. I use it mostly to watch what other people do. Building and remodeling and designing, planting and pruning and cooking.
I’m a little bit envious until I remember that my personal interest in the domestic arts has been on the wane for years. I don’t plan to begin any of these projects but still, I’m fascinated. A little voice says, I might like to have a wall like that. Another voice says, too much work, but hey here’s one on Instagram and isn’t it fine? And that chicken pot pie. Those hydrangeas. That charming old house for sale, cheap. Some of this and some of that which I get to see without doing any of it.
I’m presently following entertainers I like and deep thinkers and silly people and all kinds of home-related posts. Here are some I check often. Nigella Lawson. This Old House. All things San Francisco. All things New England. All Southern cooks, and weather everywhere.
But my current Instagram obsession is Elizabeth’s Humble House. She’s a talented photographer and designer and it shows in all her posts, no matter how brief, which are accompanied by photos taken inside a cottage she and her husband are restoring.
Look at that wood stove.
The floor she painted by hand.
Now I have to go over there and see if she’s posted anything new today.
I’m borrowing these from Reader’s Digest this week. Wish I’d thought of these lies we tell our kids.
— “If the ice cream truck is playing music, it means it’s run out of ice cream.”
— “You used to have a brother who turned into a mushroom from not taking a bath.”
— “Her Dad said if she looked after a special growing rock and watered it until it stopped growing, she could get a dog. She watered it and while she was at school, her Dad replaced it with a bigger rock.”
— “Toys grow under the weeds in the yard and if you pull the weeds, eventually a toy will pop out.”
— “They don’t sell replacement batteries for that toy.
— And a personal one: Because my Daddy was a Southern preacher who was often in touch with Jesus, I’m cautious about this one. My brother and I prayed every night for a blue Schwinn bicycle.
Daddy said Baby Jesus provides for all our needs but maybe not our wants and besides it was rude to ask Him for something so specific. My brother said if he had a bike, he could get a paper route.
A bicycle soon appeared on the front porch of the parsonage. It wasn’t new. It wasn’t blue, but it worked. Daddy never admitted to buying it.
First of the year organizing brings up the same question each time. How to separate the precious from the merely familiar? What to let go of? What to keep?
I’m the guardian of my parents’ memories. Boxes of them. Stacks of them. So many photo albums my camera couldn’t fit them into one picture to show you.
Where to begin?
How to know which I’ll regret parting with? What’ll be valuable to someone in the future? Do I keep all of this and leave it for my daughter to decide? Do I call on the gods of technology and ask if there’s an affordable answer?
Sticky notes mark my feeble attempt to identify by decade
I’ve moved them around for years and don’t know if anyone else will want them someday. There’s the option to preserve them digitally, but there are so many of them. My scanner isn’t great and each time I start to scan one, I stop and remember stories. Obviously I’m not suited for this job, and I know I’m not alone. I’ve met other people whose garages belong half to them and half to the past.
These came in from the garage and took up residence in my office.
During my own broadcast career I’ve let go of boxes of tapes, lots of shows and commercials, moving some to digital formats. That wasn’t hard to do, but this isn’t really my stuff, so here I am starting another year, still in possession of all my parents’ memories.
Taco Bell I love you, yes I do. This isn’t a commercial. It’s a love song. Every once in a while, I have to park near the sign with the bell. In the beginning, the bell was bright yellow. In Southern California, my brother and I drove from wherever we were to the first location in Downey and walked up to the order window in the tiny, distinctive hut. We surrendered that day.
Original location on the right, today’s look on the left.
I can say no to some things, but with Taco Bell, I don’t even try. It’s not a matter of if, but when I’ll stop by. Taco Bell calls me even when I’m headed in the other direction. I resist and resist but once in a while, when the day is full and the stomach is empty, I turn around.
So many reasons to love Taco Bell. some crunchy, some soft. This won’t take long because a very few ingredients are responsible for fulfilling all the promises of the menu. Ground beef. Cheese. Lettuce. Tomatoes. Tortillas. Beans. Sour Cream. Red sauce. And also now chicken.I love that so many things can be assembled from these magic ingredients and served in different shapes.
Fair warning. This taco salad is easily half a day’s calories and worth it.
The drink bar at most locations offers power to the button pusher. Fill the cup with ice and here’s my choice. Push the iced tea spigot. Move along and push for lemonade. Mix them together. In California we call this drink Arnold Palmer. I call the whole Taco Bell experience perfect.