It’s not news around these parts that I listen to podcasts. Most of them related to Gilmore Girls or true crime.
However, sometimes I listen to ones that are as inspiring and they are humorous, as insightful as they are heinous. One such podcast was Off Camera with Sam Jones, the episode featured Jason Isbell. I listened to it months ago – in early spring – walking Edgar along the damp sidewalk in the morning mist.
Growing up, my mom used to give out pans of her famous double fudge brownies to the neighbors when they shoveled our walk. After a huge storm, they’d come to our door, frozen runny noses and all, take the pan in gloved hands, and walk home across the newly clear path. God bless those boys. They saved my mom, sisters, and I countless hours of shoveling and sore backs.
In college, I carried on my own version of this, giving my across the hall neighbors different baked goods or making Sunday Suppers for us. I’d often hear a furtive knock on my door followed by a sly “What did you make now?” when I had something cooling on the counter, the scent inevitably drifting into the hall.
I’ve been very fortunate in my (albeit, short) life to have very pleasant neighboring experiences.
My current neighbors are no exception. They’re friendly and helpful and generous. Helping me when I moved in, keeping an eye on the place when I’m out of town, sharing the bounty from their garden with me over the summer.
They gave me so much zucchini over the warmer months that I couldn’t possibly use it all. Because I hate waste, I knew the easiest answer was to grate it and freeze it, envisioning the zucchini bread I’d have when the weather turned and I wanted a taste of summer. This craving is also what keeps me up to my eyeballs in frozen bananas year-round.
I am a notorious over-packer. Always have been. When I was younger and would have sleepovers at my bff Mandy’s house, I’d leave home with a giant silver suitcase stuffed to the gills. It contained nothing but Barbie, her friends, Kens, and dream houses. Obviously, I’d save no room for clothes or pajamas that would actually be of use to me, but Barbie had enough outfit changes to rival Mariah Carey.
This need to overstuff and overfill my suitcase has continued on well into adulthood. Moving halfway across the country has done nothing to dampen my packrat ways. You can often find me schlepping at least two overstuffed suitcases and two precarious carryons along the arrivals sidewalk at the airport (thank heavens for Southwest and their two free checked bag policy. Life. Saver.)
When packing a bag, I’ve always had the mindset of “But what if I need it?” This, coupled with my biological predisposition to preparedness and planning has left me with sore shoulders and a dozen pairs of socks for a three day trip.
I thought I was getting better, I have really been trying. I managed t0 whittle down my purse to a little crossbody bag that holds little more than my cash, cards, and sunglasses. And this last time I went home, I not only took just a single bag, but there was room to spare in it! Of course, on the way back South, I had stuffed it so full of vintage Christmas lights and decorations I’d found at a thrift store it was full to bursting…
It’s not my fault though, it runs in the family! My grandma does the same thing when she comes to visit the Upstate from Wisconsin. She comes bearing gifts, lots of them – often in the form of fresh cheese or butter. One time, she somehow managed to get a box of Door Country Dried Cranberries here that weighed roughly the same as a toddler.