Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Something that reminds me of Mom pretty much every time I do it is making the bed, because she told me to “Do it right.” None of this careless pulling-up-the-covers for my mother, oh no! Each sheet, each blanket, the whole kit’n’kaboodle must be lined up just so, nice and flat, tidy, pretty. I’ve come to appreciate this sentiment because now I too like to walk into a room with a nicely made bed. It’s more inviting.  Not that I do it "right." I just do it.

Another thing that makes me think of her is whenever I am working with bread dough. I don’t add flour to avoid stickiness in the loaf-shaping process; instead I dip my hands into lukewarm water and spread a layer of it on the countertop. 
“You can’t do that!” she said, watching me. 
But I do because it keeps the finished product as light as possible. 
Mom only ever made white bread, as I recall. If you tried the water trick with dough made of white flour, it would probably be a helluva mess.

If Scott dies before me, I’ll surely think of him whenever I run hot water into the kitchen sink. When preparing food, I rinse my hands often and wipe my workspace frequently and sometimes, while waiting for onion and other vegetables to sautée or for a pot to come to a boil, I’ll wash the dishes that have already been used. Sudsy water in the sink is quite handy then, and there is less mess to clean up later. Scott says this is inefficient and all the dishes should be washed at once, after the meal. I say keep schtum, buddy, or do it yourself. If he is dead first, this will probably be an amusing memory and I'll wish he were around to nag me about my heinous ways.

Then there is Grandma Benson, whenever I flatten a used plastic bag and turn it onto an empty cardboard roll for storage, then fasten an elastic around the outside. Can’t beat it for a way to keep bags for re-use.

When I wash the dishes and put them into the tray, and consider leaving them to drip dry, I hear Grandpa Benson telling me to “Finish them.” I’d had one of many meals with my grandparents and done dishes afterward, but not completely. He meant dry them too and put them away.

Anytime I play rummy, I think of Grandpa Johnson: “Be a deuce!” 
Hours upon hours did we spend at his kitchen table in Margo. We played cribbage too.

When sweeping off a step and sidewalk, I remember Grandma Johnson doing the same in front of their house in Margo. I was four years old and headed down the street in search of excitement. I could go to the café on the main street, she told me, “but don’t ask for candy.” Of course I did, and got it too: Smarties.

I’m reading June’s blog entry,, amused as ever, and as always there are many comments. I don’t usually read them, but this morning I’m still eating toast and drinking orange juice, so what’m I gonna do till they’re both gone? I decide to read the comments. And they’re hilarious! I’m laughing out loud.

Imagine what I’ve been missing all this time.

Then there is the lovely Stephen Fry: