Somewhere in my vast collection of old photographs,
there's a picture of my brother and his high school girl friend
sitting in crimson high-backed upholstered chairs.
On our lawn.
My mother had put a chicken in a pot of water and left it on the stove.
Our house reeked.
So badly that I missed two or three days of school in order to clean.
Furniture on the lawn to air out.
Cupboards emptied and scrubbed down.
Dishes washed because when the stench is bad enough, dishes can absorb it.
I couldn't stand high school so was happy to be home.
It was springtime in Wisconsin and a friend skipped school one day to help me out,
and I still remember our lunchtime break and how we laughed as the warm sunshine washed over us.
"Give me rays! Give me rays!"
Cut to last night.
Zippy, Wildebeest, and Zebu went out for dinner but I chose to stay home.
I emptied a bag of frozen broccoli into the steamer
and left the room to check something on the computer.
© Tracy Abell 2011
This is the pot after it soaked outside all night.
The house doesn't smell all that bad right now and we didn't have to move furniture.
I did, however, spend a lot of time walking through the house, spritzing the air with vinegar and water.
Perhaps the most puzzling aspect of this episode is why I felt compelled to eat the broccoli.
Next time (and I'm sure there will be a next time), I'm tossing the broccoli.
Maybe I'll just open all the windows and go out for ice cream.