Sunday, August 28, 2011

seafood pasta. and butter. and memories.

scallops sizzling in butter. just fyi.
I have memories.
I was around 5.
I had two older siblings and one younger than me at the time.
Spaghetti noodles, buttery seafood –er, fake crab, and scallops—and night fallen outside.
Presently, days go by so slow; years go by so fast.
Back then? years dragged by. We called ourselves by halves in age. So excited. So eager. So bright, wondering why time wasn’t going faster because something better was always just around the corner!
  The dining room table, inevitable smeared with grease because of our small, young hands.
Adult hands scrubbing a hot, soapy cloth over the surface in preparation for the next best part of the night.
Dad in the kitchen, Anna too . . . Gram washing dishes; funky glasses and the functional grandma body that was so familiar and always at the right level to hug as a child.
Grandpa Lean, our elderly neighbor who was a U.S. soldier at Iwo Jima when the flag was raised, sitting in the corner in his khaki’s, long sleeved shirt, and tweed or argyle sweater vest. Grey hair and large glasses perched on a large nose above a large smile that smokes those small cigarettes at his house. The place where the coffee table has a pumpkin candy holder filled with candy corn and hard mints. The place where you sit on the low tweed sofa and you smell stale smoke but see the person across the room in his favorite chair, a person you’ve grown up just knowing was next door, smiling with those wrinkles all around and you wonder how the heck did they get there? Oh. From smoking. That’s my childhood knowledge in its stellar setting.
 little david, mesmerized by the media player's graphics the other day. :)
We would always have seafood pasta on new year’s eve.
Gram and our neighbor grandpa Lean would come over. Maybe play checkers with duplos on a woven mat on the freshly-scrubbed table.
Gram would clean the kitchen with whoever wasn’t the first one to play Grandpa Lean on the checkers.
The table was so high, so wide, the people so old, so wrinkled, and I was so happy they were there.
The food was so good, so good we all stuffed ourselves, and I didn’t know the whole logic of playing checkers.
We would wash the duplos in the kitchen sink with hot, soapy water after the night was done.
Old hands that hold cigarettes do that.
I don’t think I stayed up past midnight until I was about 9 or 10.
I just remember I would wake up the next day thinking, I can’t believe it’s another year. I’m almost __ years old!

we added basil and tomatoes fresh from our garden, this time. :) and instead of spaghetti, egg noodles.


chambanachik said...

Gosh, Beka- you took your writing to a whole new level in this post.

So beautiful and so descriptive as always. Love the sentiment. Makes me a little nostalgic. :) And I love nostalgia.

Alana said...

Isn't it funny how easily food is tied to memories? And yours looks delicious, by the way.

Felipe Neumann said...

Love the way you wrote this... what a blessing it is to have sweet childhood memories.

I have a couple... should write them down and see if I can come up with something as beautiful as what I just read. :)

Gah, that looks yummy btw!

charla beth said...

oh. my. word, girl. this is just phenomenal--like a great old novel. one with faded pages and a worn cover. one that brings you to another place and time and makes you feel like you're right. there.

this post was all that and more. you are a splended writer.