I met a neighbour in the garage today, she on her way to her car, I on my way back from depositing compost. We talked about puttering:
putter 3 t(he third meaning, after golf associations) verb: North American term for potter1.potter 1 (N. Amer. putter) verb: [ no obj. ] occupy oneself in a desultory but pleasant way: "I'm quite happy just to potter about by myself here." [ with adverbial of direction ] move or go in a casual, unhurried way: " I might potter into Nice for the day." noun [ in sing. ] an act or period of occupying oneself in a desultory but pleasant way: an afternoon's potter through the rooms and possessions of the rich. DERIVATIVES: potterer noun: ORIGIN mid 16th cent. (in the sense ‘poke repeatedly’): frequentative of dialect pote‘to push, kick, or poke’ of unknown origin.
That really doesn't describe what we do when we putter, does it? Putter is dropping the orange peel into the compost pail on the kitchen counter (Lee Valley, with a lid); tucking a lovely profile of the poet Mary Oliver from The New Yorker, into her new book of collected poetry, Devotions: the Selected Poems of Mary Oliver, 2017; folding the various shawls and sweaters I use during the day (I get cold easily) and putting them away - for a short time; rinsing and trimming strawberries to make French toast (egg whites only for the bread because I ordered two cartons of egg whites by mistake, but a little maple syrup on the strawbs); making a preliminary list for my next Grocery Gateway order and trying to remember what I need and what I have too much of and what I have to use up (leftover pork tenderloin) that always leads me to: checking online for recipe ideas. These activities, of course, have nothing to do with my agenda for the day. I 'm 20 pages from the end of my fair copy of my "masterpiece", the play I have been working on for twenty-some years. I live in hope.
As I always say, A girl's reach must exceed her grasp or what's s a metaphor?