Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Memory

I had this "Ridgefield" moment today. Ever have a flash of a memory when the weather changes slightly, or the sun hits a tree a certain way? Well, the sky right now is cloud-covered and I had this odd sensation of being in my mom's old kitchen in Ridgefield, WA, at the sink, getting a cup of coffee and staring into the pasture. The coffee has a bitter smell, as the creamer doesn't quite give it the right shade of beige...I left the pot on too long. Switch it off.

The TV in the family room is humming something childlike as Alice (in my memory, age 4) watches. I go into the dining room and thumb through the stack of pamphlets, church bulletins, sale papers and magazines my mom always has piled next to her "spot" at the table. I sniff at the coffee (I sniff everything) and quickly realize I'll only be able to tolerate about half a cup of it. Note to self: brew another pot of coffee.

I find a slip of paper and begin making a list. I always make lists. It makes me feel accomplished. granted, I only accomplish the writing of the list itself, and complete zero chores listed.

I smell the beginnings of pot roast wafting from the oven. Mom must have started it early, as Tom gets up from his daytime slumber around 2 pm today. Graveyard makes him grumpy...having supper ready makes him happy. I see his glasses lying at the top of his place-mat, ready to wear when he sits down, after taking his shower and getting dressed, to read the paper.

The centerpiece on the dining room table is functional. A red basket with napkins, salt and pepper shakers and a small wooden vial of toothpicks. Come Thanksgiving, mom will have arranged a bouquet of dried orange and yellow blossoms around a cornucopia of gourds and Indian corn. At Christmas, a fat red candle encircled with dried holly leaves and berries.

Sometimes I miss the house in Ridgefield so much I can't stand it. I have so many memories there, but mostly, I'm pretty sure I miss my mom.