Yesterday the rainy weather held off long enough for us to get in a few outdoor projects. My husband winterized the pool. I dug up the dead green bean plants, the wilty lemon cucumber plants and mountains of weeds that had taken residence all around our yard. I filled our composter. I filled our yard debris can. I gloried in the clean and trim flower beds. I went inside. I washed my hands. I had a panic attack. One of my rings was not on my finger. It was dark outside and my ring was somewhere out in the yard. Or in the composter. Or in the yard debris can.
This ring is 42 years old. My father bought it in New Mexico as a gift for my mother on their 1st anniversary. My mother wore it for years. I remember what her hand looked like with this ring. About ten years ago she gave it to me. My hand looks the same. I wear it because I love my parents, and long marriages, and my husband, and my daughters. I wear it because people ask about it all the time and I love to tell a good love story. I always said that someday, I’d pass the ring on to one of my girls. Now its out in the mud somewhere.
Last night I called my mom and I told her I lost her ring. She said “Oh honey, I’m so glad it wasn’t your wedding ring. I have another ring you can have. Don’t worry. It’s just a ring”. The fact that she is so gracious makes me want to find it more. I know this band of silver and turquoise is just a thing. But it does happen to be one of my favorite things. Lesson from my mama though is simple. People matter. Things don’t.
I spent an hour today in the rain wandering around my yard. I dug through the compost bin. (Ewwww). I emptied and sorted through the yard debris bin. (Twice). I got wet. and muddy. and a tad sad. So I gave up. I grabbed a few green tomatoes off my plants and went and found my eldest daughter. She’s always up for cooking something. Frequently she saves me from great disaster. The resident chef is training her well.
This time though I had a plan. I followed a recipe and I didn’t try to substitute any ingredients. We chopped and dipped and chatted and took pictures. She liked how messy our fingers were.
I liked the smell of the egg and corn meal frying. She liked the little tomatoes. I like the taste of the biggest circles. Fried Green Tomatoes are some pretty amazing rings. The first time I had Fried Green Tomatoes I was in Atlanta, Georgia. Great little cafe. Good ribs. Good tomatoes. The second time I had Fried Green Tomatoes was at book club. Enough said. Anything at book club is divine.
These turned out nicely. Crispy on the outside, tart and juicy on the inside. My daughter and I plan on making them every year. My baby will be old enough to help next year. I love how food entertwines us and circles the year.
I’m not giving up on my mama’s ring. A friend promises to bring his metal detector over and he’s going to comb through my grass. I hope we find it. If not, its okay. I have lots of rings. My life is circled by love.