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I’m Ready

My friend Dawn gave me a zucchini the size of a dachshund, which I love because it gives me an excuse to use my scale.

See, now that my second daughter has followed her sister to college on the east coast, the only female voice left in my house is that of my talking kitchen scale. I turn the thing on and a low-registered, warm voice says, “Hello,” which is rather pleasant in the profound silence of my recently emptied nest. Then she pauses for a second, presumably to make internal adjustments, and says, “I’m ready.”

This is an eerie echo of what Nora said last week, when she was itching to get to college.
Now she’s gone, we’re back from dropping her, and after all the packing, schlepping, shopping and shipping, her room looks and feels like Dorothy’s did, post-tornado: a mess, and dead still.

I hadn’t dared enter it for a couple of days; I knew it was an emotional minefield. Today, when I finally wandered in and picked my way through Nora’s detritus, I remained calm when handling her abandoned fairy wings. Nor was my composure rocked by the sight of the worn school books and the ancient teddy bear. It was the picture on the wall of young Nora, one that captures her spunky spirit–she’s leaping and laughing, just kind of glorious—that did me in.

After the weeping, I knew I needed task therapy. I thought I’d concoct a recipe for Dawn’s monster zucchini. I flipped the switch on the kitchen scale: “Hello.” Pause. “I’m ready.”

“Easy for you to say,” I said as I plunked the zucchini on the scale.

P.S. Dawn’s zucchini weighed in at 4 pounds, ten ounces.
P.S.S. If you would like to have a talking scale in your life, click here.
P.S.S If you want a recipe for ucchini chowder, click here.


6 Responses
  1. Jean Franken says:

    Awwww, Jessica, I am sorry that Nora’s gone from the house, of course they never REALLY go away do they? It’s just geography. But I’ll tell you what;
    Lets have tea sometime in October, if possible. Also, I thought you could bring your scale along. We could weigh the sandwiches and scones. Do we care that people think us insane? No, we don’t. Not one bit.

  2. Joe says:

    The Butterfly has gone to see the world. Its a journey for life. Good luck and best wishes.

  3. Lloyd says:

    Great piece as always Jessica, sorry your girls are gone but hey like you said, enjoy the peace and quiet. Say hi to Oliver, he rocks!

  4. Robert says:

    While looking after a friend’s house this summer I had the fun task of spending nearly two hours a night watering the extensive garden. Apart from both a fig tree (absolutely loaded) and an apple tree (less so) growing out back were beans, peppers, tomatoes (delicious), blueberries, rosemary, sage, sunflowers, carrots, a few things I’m undoubtedly forgetting and absolutely massive zucchini. I could not believe how fast they were growing; the 2009 summer offered perfect growing conditions. In the space of four weeks I think I removed a half-dozen zucchinis that were epic in size, and began the process of trying to find any friends or family that wanted them. As for myself I’d just slice them thin, drizzle a little vinegar across and grind some pepper atop. Did the trick nicely, especially when paired with the tomatoes and some delicious Indian food.

  5. julle says:

    So touching! I feel your pain, although Katy was just home for the weekend already.

  6. Nora says:

    I’ll be back for thanksgiving!!

    P.S. What I wouldn’t give to share that zucchini with you now that I’m stuck with cafeteria food.

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