I do not remember how old I was when I began measuring time in the refrigerator.
It was summer, I'm sure. It was hot in Iowa, always hot in the summer, always hot, even in the morning. There was cereal for breakfast every day. It was cool, always so cool in the refrigerator, and the milk carton had an expiration date to be trusted.
I noticed the milk would expire on my birthday.
I noticed the milk would expire on Christmas Eve.
I noticed the milk would expire the day after the last day of school.
Three days before my graduation, the day of our wedding, one day after her due date the milk would expire.
Now, it seems, everything in the refrigerator has an expiration date. Bottles, jars, jugs and cans expire and I've grown skeptical of their authority.
But the little girl in me? She still believes the almighty carton.
This morning after my run I craved orange juice. It's hot, so hot this summer, and I ran early today and I desperately wanted to stick my whole entire self in the refrigerator. Instead I settled for as much cooling as I could absorb with the reach for orange juice. I grabbed the carton from the back of the fridge and wondered when I bought it and if it was still good.
I noticed the expiration date.
Is it August already? No. Still July.
But by the time the orange juice expires, Mo will have been at college for exactly one day less than one week.
**Thanks Madeleine, for the title, for the phrase - measuring time.