Busy being lazy

FROM MY HEART - Barbara Gonzalez-Ventura (The Philippine Star) - July 21, 2019 - 12:00am

There are times when we can’t seem to inspire ourselves to do anything but play Free Cell — the type that uses two decks of cards — on our computer. I like to play it while my husband takes a long siesta on the bed behind me. I should be writing my column because it’s my deadline, but this Solitaire has a way of keeping my attention riveted.

There are a million things I could do. I could knit. Before I left for the States recently I spent a frantic period knitting sweaters for myself. I knitted three. Now I don’t know where to keep them. The closets here are so small. One day I will solve that problem. Today, I’m just playing Solitaire.

Once I crocheted bags. I decided to crochet one using string found at the supermarket. I didn’t much like it and instead undid it the other day while watching TV. That’s what my husband and I seem to enjoy doing these days — lying down and watching TV together.  But I get bored after a while so I go back to playing Solitaire. Or the word games on my cell phone. I subscribed to one of those slot machine games but haven’t learned it yet. One day I might be addicted to it. Like my husband who loves to play poker on his cellphone. Sometimes he’s winning two million fictitious dollars. We look at each other and sigh. Wish it were true.

I don’t know if there’s anything seriously wrong with us or we are just going through a lazy phase. If you notice, everything we enjoy doing is done either sitting or lying down. Neither of us is naturally interested in exercise. We both know we should do it.  It’s good for us. But — tomorrow na lang. So we sit and we eat and we sit some more until it’s time to sleep.

We do some walking. Very little, actually. We go to the supermarket. He loves to push the cart because he claims he uses it like a cane. He says it helps balance him. Sometimes I get my own cart and buy my own choice of things. He is experimental and cannot resist anything that appears new. He couldn’t resist buying one of those big guavas. “I think they’re called guapples,” I say, as I take a small piece sprinkled with his favorite pink Himalayan salt.

Suddenly I remembered my childhood, our house in Sta. Mesa that had an air raid shelter at the back. It was a cement rectangle that rose about a yard above the ground. If you went down the few steps it was soil and it smelled of ghosts. I only went down once and got scared to death.

But I remembered it because beside it my grandmother had planted guava trees, one with big fruits, not as big as today’s guapples, but tastier.  Beside it was an ordinary guava tree, whose fruit had that fragrant taste when very ripe. Then I remembered the guava jelly I used to love. It came in round tins about an inch thick and you put it on your pan de sal either for breakfast or merienda.

My grandson Nicc invited us to lunch in Tilde Café in Poblacion the other day. He ordered sourdough bread with kesong puti and a kind of guava sweet, not guava jelly. It was sliced guava without the seeds cooked in a thick syrup. That dish was delicious, the contemporary version of my childhood merienda. Pan de sal with guava jelly was a child’s favorite.

Sourdough bread with fried kesong puti and guava sweet is this sophisticated grandmother’s dream.

I finally succeeded in bringing my husband Loy to the Centris market on Sunday mornings. We buy different things. I like to buy real food — eggplant stuffed with squash and red peppers, radish relish, hummus and brioche with brie baked in is my choice of food. His is suman with latik, fried garlic and special bagoong that he brings home and asks his driver/cook to mix with his favorite laing. We share a passion for fresh fruits with seasonality. In the summer those big sweet duhat. Now it’s lychee season.

There was a time when we seemed to be busy, going out to do this or that, but lately we have been waking up at nine in the morning, emerging for breakfast at 10, lunching at two, then having dinner at the same time in the early evening as if we are eager to go to sleep for a long, long time.

I know this is just our lazy phase. We have a list of things to do that we always postpone for tomorrow.  Is this just part of getting old? I don’t think so. I think it’s just a slow, take-it-easy part of life. I’m sure it will pass but, until it does, we just enjoy being lazy.

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