Laurel’s Kitchen Lessons

I am fascinated when the word “tight” is used to refer to a lack of money. I picture a fist full of coins, the tendons straining from the stress of hanging on to it all. You can’t let a penny slip by!

I’m currently a little broke, and I feel tight all over. My shoulders are stiff, my breath is shallower. The tension money brings to my life is telling.

During times of want, I try to turn inward, homeward. Obviously, we can’t go on trips every day when we’re low on money, so we stay close to home. We walk around our neighborhood. remembering why we moved to our once-dry Christian colony in an arid state. (I symbolically wave to those ancestors-of-place as a feminist witch!) I love this town for the care the current owners put in their 1880s homes. I am intellectually fed by the two used bookstores on the main street. I can stand on the hill at the top of our street and see family-owned farmland.

I also turn homeward, tidying my house and yard. The urge to economize leads me to the kitchen, where I dig out the bread maker. I make giant batches of fresh salsa (people like to say sal-sah!). I ferret out my little one’s old clothes to take to the consignment shop. Being tight on money necessitates being home more, but that in turn prods me towards making my home a place of calm.

About once a year, I take a warm bath and read Laurel’s Kitchen (thank you smartasses – I do bathe more than once a year). I’m not vegetarian, but I love the pace of the book. It encourages the discovery and rediscovery of simple, nourishing food and understanding where our food comes from. We are the children of the earth, and what we eat is what we become.

I am not the stress of my daily life. I am not the money in my bank account.

I am the evening sunset. I am the cottonwoods towering above me. I am the careening bats of the summer evening.