Esther’s laughing at me…

a rainy day…cold outside, but i have the woodstove going strong.  Its one of those days when i feel smugly cozy here in my earthship house, my bare feet padding around on my heated concrete floor. I have a roast in the oven…and I have been making cookies since I have the oven going already.

its one of those ‘little house in the big woods’ kind of days…

as i was scraping butter wrappers while making cookies, i was sure my mother in law was snickering at me.  After i scraped the wrapper of all excess butter, i put that in the cookie dough and used the wrapper to grease the cookie sheet…and then i was pretty sure she was openly laughing at me.

you see, Esther and i… we were two very different people.  When I met her, she was in her 60s and set in her ways.  She had grown up during the Great Depression.  To say that Esther was conservative is…well, conservative. Her home was her domain- her kitchen especially, and everything was always in its place.  In my young mind (I was 25 when i first met her), she was impossibly old fashioned.  Esther did everything she did very methodically, very thoroughly and very well.  I, on the other hand, tended to fly by the seat of my pants in those days, making quick work of most anything.  She saved everything…the inside wrappers of cereal boxes, string, saran wrap that had been used previously, Velveeta cheese boxes and a myriad of other things.  She didn’t believe in microwaves, or coffee makers or ‘store-bought’ bread, preferring to bake her own bread, and boil her water on the stove.

I really never appreciated Esther’s conservative nature.  In fact, i scoffed at it in my mind, favoring all the things she eschewed.  Where she would make a package of chocolate chips last thru several batches of cookies, i relished dumping a whole bag into a single batch.  We were just different.

She passed away a few years ago, and it has only been recently that I have caught myself “schpauring” (the “au” has a sound like “aahh” in your throat).  Esther was full German and that was her word for ‘saving for the hard day’.  Schpauring was applicable to saving leftovers, or to storing a pair of worn out shoes for the day you didn’t have money for a different pair.   I reuse ziplock bags, and i store receipts in an old Velveeta box…and we aren’t so different anymore.

So Esther, rest well…the last laugh is on me.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joan
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 19:04:13

    Yes I remember Aunt Esther! With love and sometimes frustration and laughter.
    I remember one time our phone rang and of course I answered Hello to here Aunt Esther’s voice saying Who is this. I knew right away who was calling and said Hi Aunt Esther this is Joan Gary’s wife She said why are you answering this number and again I told her that our number was only one different from Dean’s. She then answered How are you and what are you doing. It did not bother her at all that she had gotten me instead of Pat or Dean. Just visited a bit and said she would try again the number. This was only one of many “calls: from Aunt Esther I received after she moved into Eureka. It was kind of cute that she just took it in stride and checked on the Hoff’s while at it.


  2. vesselsandjourneys
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 20:01:14

    No doubt! That was how many of the people in Eureka were…very slow pace of life there 🙂 I can just hear her on the phone 🙂 Great memory!


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