This photo shows where I’m at right now.
The hardwood floor is two different colors. There are blobs of paint here and there as if major projects are underway. Looking closer, there are indentations, scuffs, and scrapes. One color is light, the other dark. The mood is somber, hopeful, reminiscent, and regretful all at the same time.
It is the paint-splattered floor of an artist’s studio. It is the middle of a renovation when you pull up the carpet and realize there’s a lot more here than you thought there was. It has great scope. It has infinitesimal movement.
It is the sadness of autumn, the brilliant blue sky, and the promise that next summer will come, but not soon enough. I’d prefer to skip winter entirely, and am thankful I made it to October without turning on the heat.
I’m working on a book, finishing up life coaching certification requirements, plotting the future of this blog, and slowly completing the patio project. But with me, all of these things take two, three, or five times as long as projected because I work in spirals.
That means non-linear. It means I start at step 6 of a project, and proceed to steps 1, 2, and then 4. Or I drop the project all together and return to it ten years later – that’s how the whole “working on a book” thing appeared. Then there’s a completely different recipe-based website I’m contemplating, and the fact that, when the patio itself is completed, somebody has to also sculpt and mulch in the surrounding area…before winter strikes.
Which is all to say that I went to a great Estate Sale yesterday, and got a Marley Hodgson Ghurka No. 16 Bag for $15. If it was in perfect condition, it might resale at more than $100. This one is not in perfect condition, so I’ll spend time cleaning it up. Another non-linear project to accomplish.
In an effort to declutter, I got rid of some cookbooks. And then, in the frenzy of searching at three estate sales on Saturday, I got some more.
Of course the yellow background and black polka dot cover caught my eye. And then what caught my eye was this: Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, 1950. And then the heft of the book meant I had to bring it home.
It’s 975 pages long and covers just about everything you’ve ever wanted to know about food preparation and storage up to and including how to build an underground cellar. Best of all, it’s in excellent condition.
Likewise, the 1949 edition of The Good Housekeeping Cook Book comes in at 937 pages. No underground cellar instructions here.
The spiral-bound Kauai Cookbook from the Kekaha Parent-Teachers’ Assocation is an intriguing find, especially because this is the second edition from 1959. It includes foods from the peoples who populated the Hawaiian Islands, plus a brief introduction to their various cultures.
The chapter on Japanese food, for example, begins by explaining that many of the Japanese people who came to Hawaii arrived from Niigata, Kumamoto, Yamaguchi, and Hiroshima ken or prefectures and that many came from Ryuku or Okinawa. The introduction also discusses typical foods and terms used in food preparation.
Finally, my sentimental favorite: The Queen’s Book from Queen of Angels Women’s Retreat League, Saginaw, Michigan. This is the 1968 third printing. Pages are dog-eared, and the cover is starting to pull off the binding. The cookbook is 522 pages long and there is no index. Mom has a copy of this cookbook, and I can remember making some of the cookies. I’m happy to have my own copy.
So there you have cookbooks, paint-splattering, and the blue skies of October. How is your life going these days?