I’m sitting near a blazing fire watching Chamber of Commerce snow fall. The flakes are fat and fluffy and seem to dance on their way down, the way the bits of white inside a snow globe frolic back and forth before settling.
The house is perfumed by the corned beef simmering in a Dutch oven and by a batch of kale and sausage soup (heavy on the potatoes, moderate on the garlic and with a judicious amount of Frank’s Red Hot pepper sauce). If I concentrated, I could probably scent the last of the homemade yogurt that I drained through a cloth-lined colander a little while ago.
But the dominant fragrance is of freshly washed laundry hung on racks set up between me and the fireplace insert, which is cranking out so much heat that the clothes and towels may be dry before I finish writing this.
Domestic contentment – made even more delightful by the fact that it is shared domesticity. When DF got home from church (he’s the cantor for 8 a.m. Mass) he dove right into chores: two loads of laundry, putting the corned beef on to cook, cleaning the tub, general tidying. I can track his progress by the whistling or occasional scraps of song he emits while moving from job to job.
Where was I? Cutting up soup ingredients, placing some vegetable scraps into the freezer for making stock later on and relegating others to the compost, putting the yogurt into a container and storing the whey in a jar. Oh, and smiling. Smiling.
I love a man who whistles while he works. And I especially love a man who doesn’t regard the domestic arena as expressly female.