Pete and I have a project. We're canning. See: when Dad died, the garage was full of about 10,000 bottles and jars - many very beautiful - that no one knew what to do with. I went home in April, thinking I'd love to do canning as individual art pieces, which I now know was thinking above my pay grade. In July, it turned out Pete was interested in canning and in me. We bought a book. We studied up. We brought back from Virginia cases of Dad's jars. Those free minutes we have together? We blanche something!
I will talk a lot more about this as we get further into this project, which is canning with Dad's jars and using Dad's ingredients. One interesting aspect to our current story is that though Pete and I have been acquainted more or less since I was this many
(holding up five fingers), we have not really known one another at all until now.
Tata: While you were at work, I went shopping! It was exhausting!
Pete: I saw all kinds of things in my kitchen. What did you do?
Tata: First, I went to Michael's, where I thought I might find Ball Jar labels, but no! Then, while I was there, I looked for a book stand for your cookbooks, but no! The only ones they had were fake icky wrought iron with chickens, and I like a chicken-free decor.
Pete: No country kitchen, thank you.
Tata: So I found a good brand of yarn on sale for $1 a skein and you will pretend not to notice my yarn fixation.
Tata: So from there I went to Barnes and Noble for your book stand but in between I passed a well-dressed man shilling for the D.A.R.E. program and he started his patter on me. I said, "Actually, I think kids should be doing more drugs," and kept walking. He made a noise like he was leaking steam.
Pete: You really said that?
Tata: Of course! Barnes and Noble was packed to the rafters, with only one cashier. You have no idea how surly bibliophiles become when unable to purchase the latest John Grisham.
Pete: Did ya riot?
Tata: I considered it, but there were New Yorkers on line, complaining out loud that the cashier ought to practice oogenesis and become four fully functional cashiers. That plan had many flaws so I smiled sweetly and pretended to be Lithuanian.
Pete: It was very nice of you to buy me the book stand.
Tata: No, it wasn't. You weren't there when the $45 cookbook was soaked and I borrowed the blowdrier from your housemate's timid girlfriend, and I can assure you they were extremely naked and mortified. They would have loaned me car keys to get me to bug off.
Pete: Did you find labels?
Tata: Nope. Next, I went to Office Depot, where I walked around and around in circles, trying to guess which labels would fit on the jars. The staff suggested one of those P-Touch gadgets you type stuff into and out comes the label but it was an investment so I told them I'd consult with my esteemed colleague on the matter.
Pete: Do the labels come in different sizes?
Tata: Yep. I don't know what to make of it. Then I went to Home Depot and by this time I'd perfected staring into space as an art form. I picked up a clamp for the dryer vent and lovely black duct tape. Chic, oui?
Tata: Black. Stealthy! I will repair unseen! Then I dragged myself into a Hallmark store and asked them about labels. No luck there, either, and by then I was thinking how much I hated packaging engineers. Damn their eyes! Since I was I shopped for wine and groceries and by the time I got to the checkout I couldn't count how many fingers I was holding up, so I dropped things off at your house and came home to nap. How was your day? Did you filet any waiters?
Pete: Not yet. But it's just a matter of time.
It dawned on me in the grocery store, as cognitive ability was deserting me, that the label problem was solved by Dad and Darla by abandoning Ball Jar labels and going full metal household printer on the job. I don't have a printer. What would you do?
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