the school year begins



Our school begins rather late, after the American Labor Day, in early September.  The hectic pace is exhausting, despite how prepared I think I am for the new year.  Inevitably I bring home a substantive amount of work for the weekend.  This, coupled with the fact that we have had such beautiful weather here lately (also something unusual), made the weekend work somewhat painful. I would rather have been out and about, than sitting in a chair at a computer or surrounded by calendars.

Regardless, I needed to attend to this work.  But I also needed to have a some moments that were “mine.”  I am sure that you too, dear reader, have experienced this very same series of events.  So, on the past Sunday afternoon I found myself alone at home – a rather rare event in our household –  and I snatched it for myself.  I played Pandora Radio – French Cafe music – and made Italian Wedding Soup.  With this marriage of cultural experiences in my very American kitchen I pretended to be elsewhere as I gathered the ingredients to begin an epicurean form of relaxation.

Being of Italian descent you might think that I have this special recipe handed down from Nonna to Mama to me, but alas, I do not! So I do what all others do – go online @  As I stood at the counter, mashing and mixing while swaying to “la musica”, my thoughts began to wander to my childhood and my father.  He, being Slovak, made homemade meatballs and spaghetti sauce for our family every weekend (and also to give my mother a much needed break from cooking).  On Saturday evening I could follow the scent of hot olive oil to find him at our stove “browning” the meatballs before immersing them into his homemade sauce. Our ritual consisted of the following: entering the kitchen I would engage him in some inane ten-year old conversation, and while he pretended to be distracted I would “steal” a cooked meatball cooling on the counter.  Of course he would “catch” me in the act and pretend to be angry.  Scampering away I would shove that sumptuous morsel in my mouth and anticipate our Sunday noon dinner – after Mass.

There I was on this Sunday afternoon, standing at my counter making meatballs, and wishing I had my children with me or perhaps a grandchild to reenact this vignette. On another Sunday, in another year, I will make homemade meatballs…with my grandchild.


3 Responses to “the school year begins”

  1. Brenda Says:

    Thanks for the sweet story. Your dad sounds like a lovely man.


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