There were these cookies…”
A few minutes later…Durwood and I pretended to stagger sleepily into the kitchen…plopping down at the kitchen table…as we did every morning…to wait for breakfast.
We both faked yawns, stretched and tried to look like we had just crawled out of bed…and that we were ready to eat our standard breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast, glass of whole milk, orange juice, coffee, and a couple of Lucky Strike cigarettes…
(I’m just kidding about the coffee and the cigarettes…that was our Mom’s breakfast…this is the Fifties…remember?)
“What are you kids doing up so early?” Mom asked with a big smile on her face…she smiled a lot.
“Are you getting excited for Santa Claus? Only four more days!!”
She gave 12-year-old Durwood a “silencing look”…and then smiled encouragingly at me. She wasn’t quite sure if I still really believed in Old St. Nick…but hey…I wasn’t quite sure either.
Mom had been leaning against the counter by the sink. She had a cigarette in one hand and a recipe card in the other.
She put the card aside and put out her cigarette in the red and green ash tray I had made for her in kindergarten class last week.
It was supposed to be her Christmas present from me but I couldn’t wait until Christmas Eve to give it to her. It was so pretty I wanted her to have it right away. She used it all the time!
“How about I make pancakes instead of eggs this morning?” she asked. She knew full well what our answer would be…
“YAY!!!” We both cheered so loud…our dog Duke, who was sleeping under the kitchen table…woke up and barked once. Then he went back to sleep. Good old guard dog, Duke.
No one made pancakes like our mom…I think it was the bacon grease she put in the batter…but what did I know…I was only five years old.
“Actually,” she said as she got down her big “pancake” bowl from the cupboard over the sink, “It’s a good think you did get up early this morning or breakfast would have been just plain old corn flakes.”
“I’m making Rosettes this morning and you both know the rules when I make those…right? Hot grease is very dangerous…so no bothering mommy…”
She hesitated and looked over her shoulder at us sitting at the kitchen table and gave us her “very serious look”…which she only used when she was “very serious”.
“No coming into the kitchen, no talking to me and no asking me for ANYTHING AT ALL until I give you the All Clear. Got it?” She waved the recipe card back and forth for emphasis.
We both appropriately “seriously” nodded our heads…but then I turned and gave Durwood a dirty look.
Sure…it had only been “a small fire”...but let’s face it…he’s the one who had started it.
(You didn’t think I would forget to tell you about “the fire”…did you?)