GR US

Greek-American Stories: Let’s Sing, ’Home on the Range’

Αssociated Press

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

In this time of pandemics, staying home means being frugal with food and special items, since going out is chancy. Old proverbs and sayings try to give some solace for us. I can recall sayings like, “home is where the heart is,” “be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home,” “a day blissfully immersed in a book and a cup of tea at home is the closest to heaven,” “Home, Sweet Home”, and, “Ah! There’s nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” That may be very true after a hard day’s work, shopping, gardening, or traveling abroad, yes, coming home is all that.

I was trying to adapt and appreciate that ‘home’ really is the comfort station those authors wrote about, but, when the days started turning into weeks and then months and maybe, we’re looking at another year like Dr. Fauci predicts, I start to feel like my house is Cell Block 12, and I am Solitary Confinement inmate # 0813, and I’m waiting for my reprieve. And, I haven’t done anything. Even prisoners get time off their sentence for good behavior at some time. I’ve been good! Honest! Now, Sissy, my cat says, “Aw’ come Kiki,” (We’re on first name basis) “dis is d’ life! Look out at dat window!  No crawlin’ under bushes when it rains or snows; no runnin’ from dem mangy dogs; steady food in my nice porcelain dish, my glorious red fur brushed to a shine and getting lots of hugs an’ kisses. Hey! It’s d’ life!” When she saw me planning a little jacket for her from some blue wool, however, she high-tailed it upstairs and hasn’t come down yet.

Remember when all Dorothy had to do in The Wizard of Oz was to click her red heels three times to get back home to Kansas? Well, I’d bet if she found herself in our predicament, she’d click her heels three times to get out of the house and go back to Oz.

My kids keep close track of my whereabouts, phoning me, checking my garage to see if my car is still there, and making surprise visits with plates of food as an excuse. I’ve been known to wander! I’ve tried every excuse: sleep walking, ran out of my meds, my cat needed the vet, need to go to the post office for stamps to mail the bills or, “I think I saw an alien aircraft.” I get suspicious nods in return. If you can think of an unused excuse for an emergency outing, please let me know.

“Ma! Why don’t you go upstairs and write something like you always do?” I could do that. At this point, with how much time is on my hands, I could write a sequel to, War and Peace. I started a list of chores to make this time worthwhile. I cleaned out the closets, reorganized the kitchen cabinets, piled books I no longer want anymore, repainted the sideboards in a bedroom and, presently, I’m working on the inside of the garage. (The car stays). I called the Vets to come and collect everything that I’ve loaded in cardboard boxes. I’ve been thinking about making a list of where I want to go when all this ‘home sweet home bit’ ends. Maybe, you’d be interested in my list. I want to visit Suzanne’s Victorian Tea Room & Shoppe, located in Lowell, Massachusetts, meander the block of quaint antique stores in Lambertville, New Jersey, climb up to the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park in New York on Easter Sunday and listen to the medieval hymns, and walk around the Rockland County Lake in New York. Well, what did you expect me to list? Enrolling in the New York Marathon is out. Joining Mike’s Gym isn’t an option. Climbing Mount Everest would wear me out.

It’s a brand new year, so, I am very sincerely wishing everyone out there an economically, socially, and medically better year than the ‘train wreck’ of 2020. May each of you see happier times with an end to every unemployed germ or citizen and enjoy a friendlier attitude toward everyone, no exceptions – even el cheapo, Yiannis. I hope you all get a chance to win a lottery. If you can manage it, come to Suzanne’s Tea Shoppe. Try the cinnamon scone. You’ll love it!