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I'll Bet You Could Smell That Cheese All the Way Down to the Mailbox

January 13, 2004

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. The kids spent the weekend with their grandparents in Owatonna, and Mr. Sundberg went out with a few of his friends from back in high school. They get together every five or six months at a restaurant where they can order burgers or biscuits topped with meat and gravy and drink beer brewed in the same building and talk about the good old days.

So I was alone and cleaning out the fridge, singing "Baby It's Cold Outside" along with Kacey Jones and Mr. Keillor when I came upon a chunk of cheese I'd hidden behind the wine box back around New Year's Day. The cheese was a Christmas gift from a friend (along with a basket of apples, oranges and a grapefruit) and the label said it had been aged for a year in a cave. Let me tell you, when I first opened it, I'll bet you could smell that cheese all the way down to the mailbox and back. Of course, everyone wanted some and rarely do I have something all to myself so I sliced half of it and put it out with smoked salmon and crackers, and hid the rest.

Now here it was and the fridge was clean, so I sat down at the table with the cheese, a Braeburn apple, and the nearly-empty box of wine. I love accordion music, and songs about jumping in a car and driving away and Mexico this time of year -- all those longing songs about just getting away, and being young and free and wild, and dreaming and catching falling stars... But Kacey Jones caught my attention. "Well-behaved women rarely make history," she sang.

By now the wine box was empty and I couldn't find the cheese but it didn't really matter anymore. I was thinking about a road trip to Canada and what suitcase I would take and what clothes and whether I ought to bring food or a cell phone and where would I stay. I pictured myself driving along the North Shore in a midnight blue convertible which would soon run out of gas and I'd have to call the nearest gas station to send a mechanic but while I was talking a man on a motorcycle would pull up and offer to take me up to International Falls. I was just getting to the "making history" part when I heard Mr. Sundberg's car pull into the garage.

There's nothing wrong with a good daydream -- especially if you're alone with a box of wine and some cheese from a cave and music that makes your heart beat just a little bit faster.

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