|Just after we built the garden beds in spring.|
Another part of summer -- probably the best part of summer -- was my daughter's return home from college. But, as always, time flew relentlessly. Now summer is essentially over and she must schlep back to school -- all of her belongings in tow. This is a mixed bag for me. I love that she is returning to her life at school because it's such an exciting time in a young person's life. But I also hate that her room at home is empty again. The dog mopes -- wandering in and out of the empty, much-less cluttered space. We follow the dog -- moping and roaming in and out of the now quiet room at the end of the hall, searching for dirty dishes, and her shining face -- both of which are absent. Current residents are dust bunnies, abandoned clothes, a waste can that needs emptying, and lots and lots of audio Cd's. The chosen audio herd has been loaded on her Ipod, so the abandoned musical mother ships stay home with the old folks too.
Oxford has always had an Italian Grocery. When I was a child growing up, my mother would send me into Corso's Italian Grocery -- a little storefront located on High Street. The spring mounted door bell would ring brightly when you pushed open the door. She reminded me of my grandmother -- Old Mrs. Corso -- her ample house-dress clad body rocking from side to side as she emerged from the back room with a smile, waiting while I told her what my mother wanted that day: a wedge of Parmesan, some fresh basil, ricotta, sheets of fresh lasagna. From the cold case, Mrs. Corso would retrieve the desired item.
My most vivid memory of her is watching, fascinated, as she cut the Gorgonzola cheese with a length of twine, girdling the wheel then strangling off a piece, using the same piece of twine to secure the wrapping paper around my small parcel of cheese.
I loved that store. The smells, the sausages and hams hanging from hooks. The cans of olive oil stacked on the shelves, bottles of Chianti waiting to be enjoyed. The refrigerator case's motor whirring away until it's droning was interrupted by the cha-ching of the old cash register or the tinkling of the doorbell as another customer entered the store behind me.
I think Mrs. Corso would approve...