Monday, June 21, 2010
Saturday was our wedding anniversary: eleven years. Eleven years ago we stood in my parents' yard while a plane flew overhead and drowned out the vows we spoke - only M and I could hear each other's words. A tiny black bug crawled up my creamy dress, unperturbed by witnesses. Afterward,M and I hugged in the front yard. "We did it," we kept saying, as if we'd finished a marathon when we'd only really just begun. Marriage suits me. I like the comfort, the dog-eared jokes, the plans we make for far into the future. I like having someone around willing to take off the cover of the septic tank, dispose of trapped mice bodies, and assemble furniture. The top of our wedding cake still sits in my parents' basement freezer, just a couple dozen feet from the patch of grass where we were married. I brought it out to the lawn for a picture and steam rose off the white butter frosting, off the flowers forever in bloom. After remarking on its durability and swatting many small fingers away from what would surely be a gastronomic disaster, I wrapped it back up in its tinfoil bed and replaced it in the freezer. Tradition dictates you eat your frozen bit of cake on your one-year anniversary. We missed the deadline, but I like the idea of a small piece of that sweet day surviving in the dark cold. Still lovely when you bring it out into the sun.
For so much of the year in Vermont we battle against the elements: wrapping out hands around a hot mug, throwing a shawl or two over our shoulders, wearing layers upon layers to keep out the chill. But for those all-too-brief summer months when the temperature seems to skyrocket, then a reversal is in order. Everything must be cold, cold, cold. Our tea is iced, coffee cups contain cubes, and our soup is made with tomatoes, peppers pulped to perfection. I love gazpacho, and in the summer our blender is our best friend. Wait a minute, maybe I should say the ice cream maker, because home-made ice cream is luscious and lovely. Or maybe I should say something more basic and necessary like the freezer. In the summer the freezer is absolutely essential. If we're really desperate we can just open up the door and stick our heads right in. It does a great job of keeping our popsicles cold - which must quickly be eaten before they drip everywhere in the warm summer sun. The taste is like coldness encapsulated, making you instantly reach for another and then another.