They were doing fine until they got to the last box. The very last one.
Everything had been put away. Every drawer had been filled, every shelf, every closet. Gloria and Bill had made countless trips down the three flights of stairs into the basement with their empty boxes and holiday decorations and old, dusty keepsakes that had belonged to Gloria’s mother. Bill was tired. His legs hurt. His back hurt. They stared down at the open box, surrounded it on two sides like sentinels, and looked into the tangled mess of wires.
“Wha?” Bill reached down and pulled out a handful of wires that went to nothing, that he could recall. Everything was hooked up that needed to be hooked up. They were so close. SO CLOSE to being done with moving. He looked at Gloria. “What is all this?”
“I don’t know.” She was just as tired as he was and just as baffled. “I didn’t pack it.”
“Well, I didn’t pack it.”
“It had to come from somewhere, Gloria!”
“Well, what do you think, Bill? That I have some SECRET WIRE COLLECTION? Oh, yeah, I’ve been collecting wires for years and years, Bill, I love wires. I love to tangle them up and stick them in random boxes, that’s what I like to do in my free time! When I’m not cleaning our house or raising our dogs or paying the bills or balancing the checkbook or picking up your prescriptions and your laundry or laying out your damn clothes for you in the morning so you don’t look like a half-baked cornhusker when you go to the office, I go around town and I stop in at local businesses and I say, ‘Hey, do you guys have any wires that go to absolutely NOTHING because I have a collection and I really need 16 more pairs of those red-white-and-yellow wires that I still have no clue how to use, can I just look through your dumpster THANKS.”
They glared at each other for one long minute and then they both looked down at the box between them. Bill cleared his throat. “I think I’m going to just throw it away.”
“Yeah, good idea.”
It should be illegal to move between February and March. It should be doubly illegal to move between February and March when Mars is in retrograde. Yeah, that’s right! Just dropped some ASTROLOGY up in here. I don’t even know if it’s accurate! But it feels accurate!
I am finally done unpacking. Yes, yes, I moved Saturday and it’s Wednesday and I know there’s a type of personality who is more than happy to plod along, partially unpacked, with boxes still in corners for weeks at a time but I am not that person. I want stuff to be put away. I want it to be done. I want no visual reminders of the turmoil of moving. I literally (LITERALLY) threw the last, broken down box into my storage cube last night, in the dark basement. It fought me, that last box. It’s sides bounced off the sides of the walls and came back to hit me in the face but I prevailed! I folded up the sides and threw it in there again. Done! Knives down, hands up everybody.
Special thank you to my parents who drove up from New York, cleaned and scrubbed and hung shelves and drove me to Home Depot for two days until we were all hobbling around like cowboys with hemorrhoids. Thank you, Mom and Dad. We made you a cake.
Honey Cake with Fleur de Sel
2 and 1/2 Cups of all-purpose flour
2 Teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon of baking powder
1 Teaspoon of salt
1 Cup [2 sticks] butter, room temperature
1 Cup of [good] honey
3/4 Cup of sugar
1/2 Cup of strong brewed coffee, cold
2 Tablespoons of sour cream
1 and 1/2 Cups of chopped nuts [optional]
Warm Honey Topping
1/2 Cup of honey
2 Tablespoons of coffee [optional]
Fleur de sel
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. In a standing mixer or with a hand mixer, beat butter for a minute or two, then add the honey and sugar. Beat for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition [batter may appear curdled].
5. Add half the flour mixture and mix until combined.
6. Add the coffee and mix until combined.
7. Add the remaining coffee and mix until combined.
8. Add the sour cream (and nuts, if using) and beat the batter for one minute, until smooth.
9. Pour/scoop the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top. Bake cake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
10. Let cool in the tube pan for 30 minutes, then gently invert the cake onto a rimmed baking sheet; remove the tube pan, place a wire rack on top of the cake and invert again.
11. While the cake is still warm, prepare the warm honey topping by heating honey and coffee (if using) in a small saucepan until warm and very runny. Pour over warm cake, using a brush for the sides of the cake. Sprinle with fleur de sel.