Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sunday Scribblings-In the Kitchen

We were all standing in the kitchen, my mom, my dad, and I, on a beautiful spring day much like it was here today. It must have been a Saturday, because we'd just come home from the allergist (Saturday's were my allergy shot day). My mother was bustling around in the cupboards, starting lunch-probably tuna fish sandwiches and tomato soup, which were my favorites. My dad was leaning in the doorway between the kitchen and living room, drinking a glass of milk.

"Why don't we go on trip?" he asked. "We could pack up and head south right now, and be in Kentucky by dark."

Excitement began rising up in me, like bubbles in a glass of soda, my mind already revving up with the idea of adventure, of hitting the open road, of seeing all my southern cousins and my aunts and uncles, of sitting on Aunt Emily's front porch in the swing late at night, listening to the tree frogs singing, of walking up the big hill behind their farm to the little cemetery on the hill where my great-great grandparents were buried, of wandering around the one room schoolhouse and hearing my mother tell the tales of riding Billy, her little pony, to school, seeing the spot where she tied him up each day while she sat inside doing her lessons.

My mother froze for a moment, then banged the Farberware saucepan noisily down on the stove, flipping the knob underneath so the gas fired under it with an angry hiss. "What are you talking about?" she said. "Why, we can't go on any trip now! How am I supposed to get everything ready to go on a trip in five minutes?"

I sat silently, hardly daring to move, knowing how much my mother disliked traveling, even to her old hometown. I could feel my father's disappointment, as he gazed out the window at the blue sky and sunshine, his desire to break free and do something spontaneous a palpable presence in the room.

"Oh please, Mama!" I cried out, jumping up from my chair at the kitchen table. "PLEAAASE! It would be so much fun!"

My dad draped an arm across my mother's shoulders and smiled, a warm and winning smile that, combined with my pleading, she was powerless to resist. "Pleaase, Mama," he said gently into her ear.

"Oh, alright," she agreed. "But nobody's going anywhere until after lunch. Just sit down here and eat your soup and sandwich, and then we'll see."

I barely tasted my food, and then ran to my room and started tossing things into my powder blue cardboard suitcase~my transistor radio, all the books I was reading at the time, my drawing pad and pencils, and of course, Tedrick, the battered brown bear I'd been sleeping with every night since the age of three.

We did go on that trip, setting off within the hour in my dad's dark red Coupe de Ville. It was the finest trip we ever took. Just the other day, my dad was talking about it- as a matter of fact, he brings it up nearly every time I see him.

"Remember that time we just decided to get in the car and drive south?" he'll say, and even 40 years later I can sense the excitement building in both of us - the idea, the possibility, of doing something so different and daring, something unplanned, unprepared for. "Remember, we were just standing in the kitchen one day talking about it..."

"I sure do remember," I answer, smiling.

"That was the best trip we ever took, wasn't it?" he said wistfully.

"It sure was," I agreed.

And it all started in the kitchen.

See what's happening in other people's kitchens right here.

Happy Anniversary to Sunday Scribblings, and thank you to Megg and Laini for hosting and inspiring all of us scribblers!



Blogger Linda said...

I like your entry for "In the Kitchen." You bring the scene to life! My father also liked to do things on the spur of the moment, and I know that excitement that generates.

I've admired your writing for a long time--and I think it's high time that I tell you that, instead of lurking in the shadows! Thank you for sharing your writing with all of us.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are such a wonderful writer...there's always so much detail there, that I can imagine the people so vividly. They live on.

Blogger leonie said...

what a wonderful memory to have! there's something to be said for spontaneity isn't there? and you truly did bring the memory back to life again with your writing. i could see it all happening!

Anonymous khambagirl said...

It is amazing that the spontaneous, unplanned trip was such a highlight in your dad's life. You made it come alive so well. Thanks for sharing about your life.

Blogger Patry Francis said...

What a beautiful and engaging story! I could really feel your excitement as you packed that powder blue cardboard suitcase. (I had one like that, too!)

Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

Oh gosh- this was so lovely, Becca. What a beautiful memory- nd the fact that you can still share it with your dad... that's priceless. It only takes a moment, a thought, to make a difference in someone's life. I know this memory has for you...
Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow Becca. You write so beautifully. I felt like I was right there!
And I wanted to keep on reading!
I love how your dad lives with such spontantiety..and how your mom "gave in".
What a great kitchen memory!

Blogger Tammy said...

This was such a beautiful, well written story Becca. I swear your posts are just blossoming more and more each week. I'm going to go buy those books and maybe it will take.

I love your dad's spirit Becca and it sounds like you are your father's daughter :) XXOO

Blogger Remiman said...

What great memories...and all from the lowly kitchen. lol.
btw, where's Tedrick these days? I'll bet he has some stories to tell.

Blogger Jerri said...

Wonderful story, Becca. I can see your mother's eyes as you and your dad talk her into the trip.

Here's to spontaneity! And stories from the kitchen.

Blogger paris parfait said...

That's the best kitchen memory! How much fun to take a spontaeous trip!

Blogger GreenishLady said...

Oh.. that was such a lovely post, and it's such a lovely memory to have. Reminds me of the monday that my mother sent my brothers off to school, and then announced that my sister and I were going to Killarney with her for the day! My brothers are still sore about it, but my sister and I still have that wonderful spontaneous trip to remember.

Blogger Star said...

What a fun story. Our family was rarely spontaneous; farming kept us close to home most of the time.

Such good memories you share with your father :D

Blogger jzr said...

I love the spontaneity of both your story and the trip. Oh to live like that and just wander off wherever whenever you want!! Such fun!!

Anonymous susanna said...

That's a great memory. I can just imagine the scene in your kitchen...what your mom is wearing, your pleading expression, your dad's smile... Your dad sounds like he's a lot of fun. :)

Anonymous KG said...

It's so moving how you captured the importance of the spontaneity of that trip. So sweet that your father still remembers it as the best trip ever.

Thinking about your post, I'm so glad you all took that trip (and convinced your mom) for it certainly seems it was incredibly important and enjoyable.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what i've always wondered but never asked anyone hope you arnt offended by my question because it really is legit. Why oh why do people always say "tuna fish" like you did re your mom making "tuna fish" sandwiches. Tuna would be fine. Everyone knows its a fish. It always irks me so much! You dont say "salmon fish" So why do people say "tuna fish?"

Anonymous bella said...

That was a beautiful story Becca. Thank you for sharing it.

Blogger Bug said...

Such a sweet story. I love it--you do such a great job of showing us your excitement at the prospect of the trip.

Blogger Jone said...

Impromtus are so much fun. I loved the details and the way you drew me into the story. I wanted to pack my bags.

Blogger Kimberley McGill said...

I'm a road trip junkie - great story. And as always, beautifully written.


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