I’ve loved this poem since the first time I read it. I don’t remember when that was, exactly, but it was before I knew that Roethke grew up in the same town as my dad. He still lives there (my dad; not Roethke), and because it’s between Dad’s house and Meijer’s, we drive past Roethke Park every time we’re there. But I’ve never been to the park or to the Roethke House.
Anyway, this poem moved me even before I knew of that geographical connection. Its rhythm and that “palm caked hard by dirt” and the “countenance” that “could not unfrown itself” just get me every time.
My Papa’s Waltz
by Theodore Roethke
The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.
We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother’s countenance
Could not unfrown itself.
The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.
You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.
Rockford was out of town all last week, and our weekend was almost entirely planned already. As such, I was kind of expecting that date night wouldn’t actually happen this week. But after we got home from dinner at the in-laws’ house and put Pete to bed, we decided to have a very low-key, “Rock Band”-themed date night.
One child at Grandma’s; one child in bed.
“Rock Band: Beatles.”
Two Wii guitars.
Two Wii microphones.
It was a lot of fun. (Especially the part where I owned Rockford in the guitar duels. Or where he let me win. Whichever.) I really do hope an all-duets karaoke game is in the works, because the singing is my favorite part of “Rock Band.” And it’s even better when you’re trying (in vain) to sing the Beatles’ harmonies with someone you love.
5 Songs I’d Like to See on “Rock Band: Karaoke Duets”
- “Islands in the Stream”
- “Tonight I Celebrate My Love”
- “Leather and Lace”
- “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart”
Seriously. It would be the Greatest Fun Ever Had. What’s your favorite duet?
It’s dawned on me that the way I’ve been planning the menus — by choosing whatever sounds good as I’m making the plan — might be costing us extra money. So this week I tried to buy the groceries first and then make the plan. I felt a little off-kilter, careening through the store with a list that said “protein, protein,” but you know? I think it did save some money.
(And I wasn’t physically careening. Although I did almost knock over a tomato soup display last week.)
So here’s what my coupons, a few sales and I came up with for this week:
I thawed a bag of black beans last week and have yet to use them, so this will be primarily black bean tacos with just a hint of ground beef.
Hot & Sour Pork
I had a coupon for a pork tenderloin. So it’ll become this and …
Sweet & Sour Pork
Breakfast for Dinner
This is what happens when I get home and discover that I didn’t plan quite as many proteins as I’d intended.
Grilled flank steak
Rockford believes the warm weather is going to hold out. As a testament to his faith, we’re going to try to do our first grilled meal of the year this week.