Saturday, February 9, 2013

Threads of a life

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We like our huevitos on Sunday mornings, scrambled with onion and serrano and crispy tortilla strips.  Tapatio is a staple in our spice cupboard, suitable for nearly any savory dish, but especially over popcorn.  In our refrigerator is a tupperware holding pickled jalapeno and onion and I drizzle the spicy brine over rice and eggs and quesadillas.  I've never eaten so many tortillas or consumed so many limes in my life as I have in the past nine months.  After less than a year our Ninja blender, thanks to Ricardo's introducing me to fresh fruit water and pureed soups, looks like a windowpane one fatal blow of a ninja's hand away from shattering.

In our 'dining room' rests a humming color copy machine, a computer print station, a scanner stacked on top of metal files of colored paper, a sleek black desk, and a laminator (stashed most often in the kitchen).  Our one living room sofa came from the front lawn of our apartment complex, right before our fourth month anniversary.  Prior to that, we sat on the red bench that Ricardo upholstered before we met, the one with the wooden legs like chocolate shaved down with the teeth of our puppy, back in the early months of dating.

We've discovered a few haunts over the years, ones that carry a whiff of home.  There's Frankie's pizza, where we dined on Valentine's day last year before bouncing around at Sky High, a pair of thirty-something ten-year olds (with creaky knees and stiff backs).  And Luna Park Cafe, where I had my first taste of burger in almost two years, in the early months of marriage when we frequented the turquoise vinyl booths with my crutches and tangerine cast, and we ate every single crunchy fry on our plates dipped in Aardvark-Ketchup cocktail sauce.  Let's not forget our beloved Pho Tai in Bellevue, the site of our Christmas Eve dinner two years ago.  And we've got all the Mexican tiendas mapped out from Kent to Everett, for those moments of churro maiz cravings.  We know the shops with the best homemade tortilla chips, fried pork skins (for Ricardo), or pan dulce, and each time we walk in, I grin like I did at the paleta trucks in Mexico so many years ago.
 
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Our favorite spot to stroll hand-in-hand is the off-leash dog park at Marymoor.  We step inside and  it's part sanctuary, part circus, and we walk in peaceful hush interjected with unbridled laughter.  We snap action photos of dogs leaping into cold water to retrieve balls and smile huge at the little ones chasing the big ones through the dirt paths and whisper-giggle at the blurred lines between parents and pet owners here in Seattle.  We step through the wooden gate to a low plank bridge snaking through swamp, listen for the bird calls, and reach the end where we stare transfixed across the pond to a heron in the rushes, the ducks skimming the water in formation. 

I know the only brand of yogurt he'll eat, the bread he craves for his tortas or with a bowl of soup, how dishes in the sink weigh him down when he walks into the kitchen in the morning, the way he fidgets at night or plays games on his phone when he can't sleep, how he can crack a joke almost as soon as he wakes up and his groggy chuckle lights my tired eyes. 

These are the things so often forgotten as a shared history is emerging, as a new life is woven into a work of art.  In the knitting together of strands, the pieces merge to showcase the work-in-progress, and it's easy to forget each color woven separate.  Sometimes, it's good to pause and remember, the beauty of the tiny threads.




4 comments:

  1. Oh, so good to look back at those threads. Let them retain their individuality, for each plays such an important part, no?

    Love how you love him in these words, friend. How you learn to love your life and see all as grace.

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    1. You're absolutely right. Thanks, friend.

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  2. Oh Amber, how I ADORE your contemplation and sharing of these individual tiny threads that make up your story. It is so good to remember that which makes each of you uniquely you and the that which makes up the unique US -- both of you together. This is beautiful. The Tapatio (us too!), the blurred line between pet owner and parent (Portland and Seattle have much in common), the way his groggy chuckle lights your tired eyes. I loved getting a greater picture of your life, your place, your marriage. Thank you.

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    1. Yes! Another thing we can appreciate together - the delicacy of Tapatio! Thank you, friend, and my heart is warmed by your genuine enjoyment of reading these threads.

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