In My Grandma’s Kitchen

It’s warm here in my grandma’s kitchen. There is water running in the sink as we prepare to clean up after a Thanksgiving meal. I’m enjoying being silly as I pretend to eat from a bowl of leftovers. Half of the family gathers to watch football on the back porch and the other for conversation in the living room. Soon, the familiar aroma of coffee brewing will drift from the kitchen.

Looking around the kitchen, I notice the faded measuring cup and the brown coffee cup with white spots. I remember those.
I know there is a box of Zesta crackers in the cupboard above the stove.
I don’t remember the wallpaper or the dishwasher and only vaguely remember the spice rack. These aren’t things a pre-teen notices.
I’m so young, with my ponytail, striped sweater, and Levi’s.

My grandma stands next to me, watching my antics. I can feel the texture of her shirt and her aging skin. I know the shape of her nails.

As the photo edges come to an end, I want to know more. I want to see beyond them. I want to see inside the refrigerator. I want to look in the cabinets.

I was a child then. Now, as a wife and a mother, I want to know her again. I wonder what she liked to cook and what made her tired, nervous or angry. I want to help her wash those dishes and chat while drinking coffee out of that spotted brown cup. I want her to show me how she made perfect pancakes. I want to know how she made a tiny kitchen feel so welcoming, so comforting, and so warm.


This piece was written as an assignment for Kelly Dumar‘s online creative writing webinar, Aim for Astonishing.

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Until next time, be well.


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