August 8, 2007

Cleaning The Icebox

I’ve spent the last two days with my feet up, but today is a Marta cleaning day and I must get moving.

While I wait for her arrival, I read my email and followed links. Some of you know that I seem to be interested in a little of everything. I come from a family of engineers, and my interests have grown and branched into seemingly every corner. This morning, that everything catching my eye includes the Corinth Canal.

This canal, looking much like a very dramatic, deep, straight sided, ditch, links the Gulf of Corinth to the Saronic Gulf and saves ships a 185 mile transit around the Peloponnese. It was first attempted in 602 BCE, but the engineering wasn’t up to the task. It was tried again in 300 BCE. Later, Emperor Nero started the work again in 67CE using a golden hoe and 6,000 slaves.

In the 1800’s there were several attempts to dig through and link the seas, but not until 1882 was enough capitol raised to complete the task. The canal was finally opened to shipping in 1893.

I’m reading on my Liners List email list about a trip a group of British friends are taking via ferry. They are hopping island to island, antique ferry to new ferry around the Med, and this truly seems a great adventure in the tradition of the Grand Tour. Offering everything including Captains berating them for photographing on his ship, glimpses of the soon to be retired QE2, kestrels calling against cliff walls, to moments of stress then moments of magic peace, I long to take this trip myself. Instead, I must save the magic posts to read later, while I go downstairs to clean out my icebox.

Yes, I still call it an ice box. When I was growing up, my grandma still had an icebox with it’s hard to handle drip pan. When her ice was running low, she would put a card in her corner window. The ice man would pick up one of those heavy blocks of ice with a giant pair of tongs and bring the ice into the kitchen for grandma. Hers was a crème colored, single doored box with giant nickel hinges and thick walls. There was only enough room for the perishables like milk and eggs, all the rest were stored in her California cooler.

Today we have thin walled food keepers that have invisible hinges. No more California coolers where mold grew on the top of the pickle juice, and peanut butter was kept at room temperature. Our food is much safer now….but only if folks like me remember to clean out the leftovers once in a while. Marta dusts, vacuums, and gets the heck out of Dodge as fast as she can. I do the big stuff. Perhaps I hate it less.

Yeah, yeah… I obviously need to clean out the whole kitchen. There’s way to much stuff in there. I agree.


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