Remembering When

With hungry stomachs my sisters and I climbed up the flight of green stairs after playing in our basement toy room. The stairway carpet was green . . . and unbeknownst to the adults it turned into crocodiles at night. Night after night the crocodiles threatened to bite off the feet of little people, who should be in bed, but during the day these crocodiles scared none of us.

We reached the top, as the scents and sounds told us what we’d eat for supper. The waffle iron heating up filled the air with a strong greasy smell, the syrup bubbling on the stove added a sweet maple note and the steady whirr of the blender, as Mommy mixed up the waffle batter, were all the clues we needed to be excited and eagerly anticipate supper.

Walking past the kitchen to wash up in the bathroom sink, (because that’s where the little step stool sat to help us reach the soap and faucet) she asked us to set the table. With clean hands we grabbed the Corel plates, white paper napkins, silverware and Tupperware cups. Orange cup, red cup, yellow cup, red cup, orange cup… all five set down.  As we prepared the table and waited for the waffles and bacon to finish, we listened to Joni and Friends on the radio. As soon as supper was ready though, the exhaust fan was flipped to low, the radio off, and all the noise from cooking subsided so we could eat in peace.

Sometimes we smoothed peanut butter onto our waffles before pouring on the Mapeline, other times we had fruit syrup to mix along with it, but usually it was simple: just waffles and maple syrup. The last few waffles of the batch were fried with chocolate chips inside, but those were special, and not for supper. They would be enjoyed some other day for a late night snack with ice cream.

After supper the radio was flipped back on, this time to the news . . . my sisters and I liked to mimic the announcers’ manly voice introducing the show in as low and booming of voices as little girls could muster . . . we three would then scamper from the room full and happy to wash our sticky fingers and play at something to miss what we considered the most boring radio show ever. We would have kept our mom better company I think, if Adventures in Odyssey ran after suppertime instead of current events.

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The end to a typical weekend evening fifteen years go.

In a few short years there will be other little children skipping around, and my sisters and I will be the moms making supper.

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6 responses to “Remembering When

  1. I loved this!! It’s so accurate I could almost say what you had written before I read it. Geee, I love those memories. 🙂

    • I love them too Kate, and I’m glad you thought it was accurate. Sometimes it’s hard to remember the details just right since it was years ago when we were very little.

  2. Thanks for sharing this story. It was so well written. You make storytelling seem easy, and yet it’s a difficult art only learned by trying over and over again and pouring yourself into writing and editing and simplifying and rewriting and taking out the parts that seemed so important at first and yet need to be cut. I seem to ramble too much and haven’t learned the art, skill, beauty, and power of brevity. Some day, maybe your kids will read my stories and giggle. Haha. 🙂

    • You’re welcome! It was fun. This really is the best compliment I’ve ever received for writing a story and it means even more coming from you. I look up to you as a storyteller and someday want to tell/write stories as well as you do. I do plan for my kids to read your stories . . . and I’m sure the only giggling will come from being delighted.

  3. I really liked this post too! It’s intimidating to think that we will soon be the mommy in a story like this. It’s also encouraging to remember all the positive things we thought of those evenings (and other family routines) because as upcoming mommies it will be important to remember that routine activities are some of the best-remembered and most-loved. I think when routine activities are practiced by people with positive attitudes, those activities become something worth remembering. Thanks for writing this!

    • Hi Carly, you’re welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      It is intimidating, but exciting too! Yes, routine activities might seem boring and monotonous at the time, but I really believe those times with family are what makes a home. In Anne of Ingleside today I read “Her heart sang all the way because she was going home to a joyous house . . . a house where every one who crossed its threshold knew it was a home . . . a house that was filled all the time with laughter and silver mugs and snapshots and babies . . . precious things with curls and chubby knees . . . and rooms that would welcome her . . . where the chairs waited patiently and the dresses in her closet were expecting her . . . where little anniversaries were always being celebrated and little secrets were always being whispered.” Doesn’t that sound nice, even though it is ordinary?

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