Memory: Milk

As a child and teenager, I loved milk. Whole milk.

When I was very young, a milkman delivered to our house, twice a week. We got the pasteurized milk in glass bottles with green tops, while my aunt & uncle next door got homogenized milk with red tops. That meant at our house there was always an inch or so of cream at the top of the bottle, and no matter how much I shook the bottle to blend the cream into the rest of the milk, there were disgusting thick white clumps on my Alpha-Bits in the morning.

As a teenager, we got milk in waxed cardboard cartons from the supermarket. Homogenized, thank you G*d.  My mom always had warm-from-the-oven homemade cookies waiting for us when we got off the school bus late afternoon. A tall glass of cold milk was the perfect accompaniment.

Then I moved out on my own. With room mates.

See  that  stove?

An  antique  Norge.  Best  stove I ever  had.  Pilot  light.  Kept  the  whole  top  of  the  stove  warm.  Great spot for raising bread dough. Bad spot for a room mate to leave the milk. All day. A second room mate would come home, see the milk on the stove and put it back in the refrigerator. I would come home and pour myself a glass of . . . clumps. Made those clots of cream from my pre-homogenized day seem almost palatable.

Which is why I can no longer drink a glass of milk.

Summer Is Supposed to Be Hot

I am so tired of freezing in June, July, and August. I grew up in the country. We didn’t have air conditioning. Fans sufficed.  We wore shorts and tank tops. We tried to absorb the heat like solar batteries to get us through the long upstate New York winters.

My husband grew up in a high rise in the Bronx. But he went to sleep-away camp in the Catskills every summer. Yet he must have air conditioning. Why?

I do not understand the obsession with air conditioning. I hate going to work because it’s so blessed cold half my co-workers are running space heaters. It would be more cost efficient to reset the AC from “meat locker” to “summer dawn on the lake” and let those who are  warm use a fan than it is to run at “meat locker” and  have more people turning on their space heaters. But what do I know?  I shouldn’t have to wear a cardigan inside when it’s 90 degrees outside.

Yes, I will run the air conditioning in my car, spoiled American wench that I am, but I prefer opening the windows and the moon roof.

Just because the thermometer reads 75F does not mean the air conditioner needs to go on at home.  It roars. The noise pollution is as bad as the frigidity.

Summer is supposed to be hot. You’re supposed to open windows to catch warm summer breezes and the scent of flowers.

I’m not talking about deadly heat waves.  I’m not talking about deserts. I don’t live near a desert. I’m the first to turn on the AC when the weather hits 90+. I’m not an unreasonable woman.

And it’s not unreasonable to expect warmth in the summer.

 

Mommy Moment: The Bread

When Y-Chromo came home for the summer after his first year at college, there were many adjustments that needed to be made. We had to learn that he’d been on his own for 9-10 months and needed more leeway than he’d been given in high school. He needed to adjust to being in a family situation again.

While he was away at school, I didn’t have to buy as much bread for sandwiches as  I did in previous years. His first weekend home, we were nearly out. He informed me he would eat only Supermarket brand bread, if I couldn’t get Supermarket brand peanut butter, he would eat only a certain national brand. He missed Supermarket brand bread while at college.

I was very busy that weekend and did not have time to go to the Supermarket he specified. There is another grocery chain with a store closer to home. In the interest of time, that’s where I went to pick up a few crucial items. Including bread. When I got home, I transferred the loaf of bread into the Supermarket brand bag and stuck it in the freezer. Y never knew the difference.

I think X-Chromo recently told him the story. (She thought it was hysterical when I confessed it to her years later.) He laughs about it now.

Sometimes a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.

 

 

Movie: Frozen River

I never would have seen Frozen River had it not been nominated for an Academy Award in 2008. I’ve seen it only once (TV Stevie sees every nominated film he can, and I happened to catch this one with him), but the images and messages have stayed with me. The film was nominated for Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay. It won several other awards, mostly for Best Actress.

I never realized the underlying story until I overheard a TV program my husband was watching about female directors. Frozen River  was mentioned as being a film about motherhood. When I heard that, all the images came crystal clear.

Mexico isn’t the only point of entry for undocumented immigrants. When the St. Lawrence River freezes, it becomes a smuggler’s route between New York State and Ontario/Quebec–especially since the Akwesasne nation (St. Regis Mohawk tribal land) straddles the river between the two other countries.

Two single mothers–one white, one Native American–both desperately poor, want better lives for their children.  They live on the New York side of the Frozen River. This unlikely pair team up  with disastrous consequences. There is a happy ending, just not in the traditional sense.  The film ends on a note of hope. Yes, their partnership brought dire consequences, but in the end, the same partnership will help them create the better lives they want for their children.

The movie is dark. Grim. Yet as a mother, I identify with their anguish.  We will do anything for our children.

 

 

Bonus Blog: FREE BOOK

My amazing publisher has made the first book in the Service for Sanctuary trilogy FREE stating today, through April 20.

Service for sanctuary–that was the werewolves’ deal for over 200 years.
Now the government is changing the rules,
leaving Ethan Calhoun fighting for the only way of life he’s ever known—
and Selena Wolfe fighting for her life.

Get your free copy of Betrayed by the Moon now.