on the horizion

Like usual, I stood on the roadside last Friday cooling down after my late afternoon run and rifled through the mail. Continuing ed flyer from the local college, bill, bill, WI public radio fall sweepstakes form, and the New Yorker. One look this week’s cover by Istvan Banyai and I realized the source of the funk I’d been in all week. I so desperately want to pause. I want to put it all on hold. I want the the little vase of sweet pea blooms on my window sill to last forever. I want to lay down in the corn patch and stare up at the blue for as long as long as it takes. I want to disappear in a book at the beach and smile later when sand spills out into the bed. I want to live on cold-pressed iced coffee and tomato sandwiches. Is that asking so much?
My Dad and I used to play a little game with the New Yorker covers. Each week, we’d try and guess the cover caption. We’d phone in our contenders on Sunday night and whoever came the closest to the real title won a buck. He’s been gone for over six years, but I still can’t help playing the game (and by my calculations, he owes be big). I was mesmerized by this week’s cover. It sucked me in and held me. All I could think was “Pause.” I flipped a few pages in. The real title – the winning title – was “On the Horizon.” Which, in retrospect was even better. “Pause” suddenly felt a little stagnant. “On the Horizon,” though, now that holds potential.
Because as much as I want the heady smell of sweet peas to grace my kitchen, something way deep inside of me also longs for the scent of that first pot of stew, that hint of roasted garlic wafting from the oven, and the unmistakable smell of pine sap oozing from a burning log. And as much as I love my daily routine, my job, my path, it’s undeniably exciting to wonder, “what’s next? what is on the horizon?” Who knows, maybe some bit of change will sneak up on me when I least expect it.
My mood lightened as I walked down the driveway. Summer will be back. I can count on that. But I appreciated – maybe for the first time ever  – that it’s all the fragile, tenuous stuff in between that makes it so worthwhile, so precious. Revelations aside, I wholeheartedly suggest you live large while the living is good. Do yourself a favor and eat as many tomato sandwiches as you possibly can.
p.s. For anyone who is wondering, Queen Freeda’s daughter is alive and well. She is laying a pattern of brood that would do her mother proud. I can hardly wait to watch her legacy unfold!
garlic pig tamaty sandwiches 

1 loaf good, crusty bread, sliced
vine ripe tomatoes, sliced (sun-warmed if possible)
raw garlic, thinly slivered (I prefer Creole Red, it’s a great raw garlic)
fresh basil, chiffonade
Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Salt (any old salt will do in a pinch)

Slice the bread. Spread on a generous layer of mayo (this is no time to be shy). Add tomato slices, garlic slivers, and basil. Sprinkle with a flourish of Jane’s. Go crazy. Summer comes but one a year.

8 Responses to “on the horizion”

  1. 1 Nancy S. August 29, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Amen, Jill . And SO happy to hear about Queen Freeda’s daughter!

  2. 2 Pat Juett August 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Oh how funny. I must have stared at that cover for a half an hour, not conjuring up all of the beautiful philosophical thoughts you mention, rather trying to figure why her body is contorted that way and did the artist really mean to have her hand right there on the horizon line and then, oh wow, her spots are falling off of her dress! It is such an interesting picture, but I didn’t know why until I read your post.
    AND! I eat tomato basil sandwiches at least 4 times a week. I never tire of them, and now know that it would be much easier if I chiffonade the basil rather than pull the whole bunch of leaves out with one bite.

  3. 4 dani August 29, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    that sammy looks awesome. i’m thinking about using it for a special, if you wouldn’t mind….. mouth is watering, can’t wait to make it!

  4. 6 terri wagner August 30, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Once you eat fresh ripe tomatoes this time of the year, you realize that there’s no point in eating the imposters in the off-seasons. My dad used to take my brothers and me to Beck’s Drug Store in Northeast Minneapolis every Saturday morning. He would buy The New Yorker, my brothers would get one of the Super Hero comic books and I would usually get Archie or Betty & Veronica. Funny thing is, I always liked The New Yorker better, especially the photos and the drawings and cartoons. I also thought I would eventually talk my mom into buying me one of the Florence Eiseman dresses that were advertised in the sidebars, but it never worked.

  5. 7 Mom August 31, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Lovely post Jill – Your Dad would often say “It’s all about the details.” I love how you notice and put into words the little things – tiny details that most of us miss or take for granted…you make me pause, remember and appreciate it all

  1. 1 tomato heaven « Garlic Pig Trackback on September 15, 2012 at 10:46 am

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