RURAL REFLECTIONS: Soup's on
Our old kitchen. A mirror hung over the sink giving Mom a glimpse out the window behind her. She could watch Dad taking scraps to the barnyard or her children playing outside. Mom would hear the gravel crunch on the driveway, look into the mirror to see who was coming, then yell at one of us to set another place at the table.
The old sink had seen piles of dishes, plucked chickens and a baby's bottom. That little one's bottom was chilled when placed in that cold enameled sink. I can personally attest to the fact. We sank little divers and submarines filled with baking soda that we got with box tops.
Once in a while, Mom would put one of her daughters at the sink stirring a little tablet into junket. Thank goodness instant pudding came along.
When I looked into what the tablet was all about, I found two stories that said they were once made from nursing calf's stomachs. At that point, I decided not to investigate further.
The stove had a hole in the back corner where the deep fat fryer resided. It sat full of saturated fat, waiting for French fries and the chance to participate in the clogging of arteries.
Dad's popcorn popper always sat ready for action. Wasn't a night that we didn't hear Dad in the kitchen making a batch of popcorn. He always came into the living room with a dishpan full of popcorn and a bowl for each of us.
Next to the refrigerator hung the yardstick. I'm sure it was kept handy in case one of the rogue daughters got out of hand. We had all felt its sting.
I managed to get one broken over my backside. Mom was furious with Dad.
"My best yardstick!"
Hey, Mom, how about the kid with the red butt!?
Best of all was the old cupboard. As a tiny child, I was permitted free range of the pots and pans. I removed them all, so I could hide inside the dark cabinet.
There was an old flour bin on the upper part. When Mom baked, I turned the crank on the side, dumping flour into Mom's waiting bowl. A small window in the bin let Mom know when the flour was getting low. Who needed a toy kitchen? I had Mom's.
Memories. Amazing where we capture them and how we hold on to them, waiting for a time when we take them out and once more look at them.
Some of my dearest memories happened in an old kitchen that held an old sink, stove, cupboard, refrigerator, table and chairs. It was the hub, the center of our family, of our home. Warmly it welcomed, quietly it embraced, and when it was gone, it remained in the hearts of the children raised there.
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