Page 21 - Southington Magazine Holiday 2020 Issue 42
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how my friend Bill D. had given me broccoli rabe seeds for fall plant- ing. I followed his instructions and soon had lovely leaves sprout- ing in my raised bed planter. They thrived in the cool autumn weath- er. I harvested the jagged greens every few days, squirreling them away in the fridge until I had a plump pillow of mini rabe sprouts.
Anxious to enjoy this healthy treat, I oiled up the skillet, tossed in some garlic, red pepper flakes and salt. I tumbled in the washed broccoli rabe leaves, cranked the burner and wilted the greens just right. So proud, I readied my bowl.
Um, yeah... that ‘pillow’ of greens? Literally cooked down to a TABLESPOON’S worth. One bite.
In November, Bill and I sent dueling photos of each others’ crops. He had like a lush acre of young broccoli rabe, in neat rows of wine barrels. Mine was hanging tough, insulated by fallen leaves. Yes, it will go dormant for winter, Bill says. The true showdown will happen next Spring.
Just getting groceries these days is less like a game show and more like a horror movie. I’ve got the mask, the list, the credit card, the coupons, the recyclable bags, the cart. People are milling slowly about like mummies just two puz- zled eyeballs, silently searching for their items. They’re irritable, sweaty, frowny. For me, the super- market has become alien territory (thanks, in part, to some stores de- ciding to ‘rearrange the furniture’ for marketing’s sake—at a time like this-- so we can’t find ANY- THING.)
One day, a woman and I oc- cupied Aisle 5. She summoned her husband, a few paces ahead of
her. He paid no mind. I looked at her, chuckled, and in my loud yet muffled mask voice said, “HE can’t hear YOU. And I can’t breathe! I can’t see through my fogged glass- es. My mask is up to my eyeballs and I’m now going the wrong way!” It was a light moment in the midst of grocery chaos.
Here’s my favorite oxymoron/ out of context line of 2020, due to COVID-19:
You have some malady/injury/ condition that’s not COVID-19, but requires a doctor’s care. So you call the doctor. Receptionist books you an appointment, takes down your info, and then says,
“DON’T COME IN IF YOU’RE SICK.” I understand it, but find it hilarious, if not ironic and sad at the same time.
Last year, I lamented the state of our tool shed. My side — neat. My husband’s side — a disaster. A few months back he went crazy. Totally revamped and reorganized. Who is this man??
The result was like the end of an HGTV show. Once he was done and FULL of pride, (this doesn’t happen often, folks,) he called me to inspect. Things were on shelves. On hooks. On nails. He even went so far as to suspend every camp chair and pop-up tent from each ceiling rafter. A stately line-up of colors, it looks like the flags at Rockefeller Center. Too bad I can’t reach any of it.
Even though it will look a bit different this year, I wish everyone a safe, wonderful holiday season. Let’s make a point to find some joy in our families and friends. Thanks for reading!

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