Making Balls

Yesterday, three things happened to me.

The first thing was that Bill and I went and got our second booster shot. I wasn’t sure that I was going to get another booster vaccination. I’m not an anti-vaxxer by any stretch of the imagination. I was knocking over little old ladies to get in front of the line to get my the original vaccination. I got my first booster shot before Dr. Fauci even had the words “65 or older” out of his mouth. But I find that I really am no longer afraid of getting COVID. In fact, there’s probably a good chance that I’ve had it and don’t even know it. But I had some time to kill yesterday morning, and both of my sisters had gotten their shots. Let’s face it; being 68 years old doesn’t change the fact that I feel like anything they can do, I can do better. Just as with the other two shots, I didn’t have a single side effect. I’m not convinced the doctors aren’t just giving me shots of Jello.

The second thing that happened to me was that I had a brief visit from my dad. Of course, I know he’s been dead for 12 years now, but every once in a while, I will have a strong memory of him that’s almost like a visit.

His visit came while I was making homemade dinner rolls. I found a recipe for a small batch of four rolls. You make the dough, and then you divide the dough into four even pieces. You roll each piece into a ball, and place the balls in a tiny little 6 X 6 in pan. I had gotten to the point where I was rolling the dough into balls, and I had a flashback of my dad making dinner rolls in the bakery in Columbus. He made a heck of a lot more rolls than four, as you can well imagine. He made dozens of dinner rolls every day. He worked on the side of the workbench that allowed him to see who was coming in and out of the back room (the area where the actual baking took place). He had a scale that looked somewhat like this, but much sturdier and considerably older. It had been purchased many years before when my grandparents came to Nebraska and opened the bakery…..

He had a large metal mixing bowl that contained the dough. On one end of the scale, he had the appropriate amount of weight for each roll. In the blink of an eye, he would pinch off two pieces of the appropriate amount of dough — which he just eyeballed but almost always was on the money. Using both hands, he would roll the dough into perfect circles and toss them onto a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper. I’ll bet each time he did that, it didn’t take more than 10 seconds. As I rolled my single piece of dough into an imperfect ball, I noted that it took me considerably longer than 10 seconds.

I sent my brother Dave a text, telling him about my flashback. I’ll bet you roll dinner rolls into balls just like Dad, I told him. He responded. Yep. Just like Dad.

Oh, and the third thing was that I got another closet cleaned out. We have already taken six or seven bags of clothes to Goodwill, and we will be taking many more over the summer as we prepare to make a big move into a new stage of life.

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