Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hawaii, Soooon

Not too long ago, we had a plumbing emergency (this is part of the reason I have not been a particularly diligent blogger of late). The kids had a friend over, who stopped up the toilet (it’s a classic kid-created crisis and could have just as easily been one of my kids instead of their buddy), and didn’t tell me until the water was flowing out of the bathroom into the hallway, at which point I received a panicked bleat of summons. I got the water stopped, got the standing water up, got the seemingly immediate problem resolved and was going to the basement for more towels (and the bleach) when I paused because I heard a funny noise.

The sound of water.

In the basement.

Streaming through the ceiling.

Pots and pans were distributed to catch the cascading water as I pried off bits of the basement ceiling to sort out what was happening and the kids watched, with eyes like plates, as their mother applied mops, hammers and screwdrivers and swore loudly and vividly. I swore with enough fervor that they went upstairs and (I kid you not) cleaned their room like they have never cleaned it before. It was a really persuasive case for me swearing loudly and viciously more often.

The damage was not as bad as it could have been, but overall? I think I might prefer simply stabbing myself in the foot with something sharp. And rusty. For medical stuff, at least, I don’t have a high deductible. And with the notable exception of my lungs/immune system, I heal really, really well. Emergency plumbers don't appear to be attempting to lower prices to be recession-friendly.

And so, I am so, so glad that on Friday I will be boarding a plane to Hawaii, heading for the north end of Kauai. The weather’s been a bit cool there (for Hawaii), but the kids are happy to dig on the beach, look for whales and climb trees if the weather's too cold for swimming.

I will be glad for the change of pace, the change in temperature and even the change in the quality of light, even though the light in Seattle is quite beautiful, sometimes with a frosted clarity that has an almost tangible quality, a physical, luminous curtain.
I was struck by it the other evening when we made pizza. We had potato pancetta pizza (my boy’s preference), margherita (Curly’s fave) and a cherry tomato, pancetta and hot pepper pizza (my preference du jour), as well. I use taleggio in the potato pizza, and I was struck, first, by how very much it resembles butter. And then, looking at the way the thick white light struck the translucent white fat on the pancetta, I was reminded of the visual similarities between different fats, that lush, pearly congealed state which is both repellent and enticing. The pizza was delicious. It was great for a cool spring night (it’s also not bad in summer. Or fall).

But as delicious as it was, I’m looking forward even more to grilled fish in Hawaii, eaten in the rapidly descending evening, with geckos chirping and the softness of the air all around. I’m looking forward to waking up and seeing the enormous fan palm black against the morning light, with gleams of sunlight running along the ribs of the palm. I’m looking forward to bare feet.

And I’m looking forward to any possible plumbing issues being someone else’s problem.


cook eat FRET said...

wonderful post. and the pizza part... i love talleggio on... well, anything.

the annual hawaii trek. has it been a year? wow.

i have major plumbing issues. but major. the bills are huge - just did an $1100 repair. and now it seems that there's a leak as my water bill jumped by 400%. i'm trying to ignore it for now.

Meg said...

Claudia- I feel for you on the plumbing troubles. And I am totally sympathetic to the ostrich approach. I take it as often as possible with our plumbing, too. With an aged plumbing system, sometimes you just have to cover your ears, close your eyes, and say "I can't hear you!" and if nothing sprays you in the face or soaks your feet when you do that, it can all be counted as ooo-kay.