Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: In The Kitchen - deadline 7-19-12 @ 9:59 AM NY Time (07/12/12)
TITLE: I'll Be Loving You...Always
By Vicki J. Cypcar
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I can hardly wait until the next time I see you. I never understood how hard life could be as a grown-up. As I sit at my kitchen table typing I daydream about my childhood. When I was a young I simply lived in the moment. Happiness was a tire swing hanging above a carpet of pine needles. Peace was a gentle breeze stirring the trees.
When you played “I’ll Be Loving You –Always’ by Irving Berlin on the piano my heart would fill with joy. Your music filled the countryside – a kaleidoscope of wildflowers blooming.
The kitchen was the heart of your home. The dining table always adorned with a centerpiece of fresh buttercups and violets – your favorites.
When you prepared meals I was eager to help you, and you were always careful not to tie my long hair in the apron strings. You had a stepstool just for me. I felt so grown-up standing on that stool next to you.
At the kitchen table you would routinely ask me to sit up straight. A firm request followed by a wink of assurance that you loved me regardless of my inherent poor posture.
Once the family gathered around the dinner table we always prayed. Dinners were delicious. I would savor every bite of tender pot roast, baby carrots, and browned potatoes.
Cleaning dinner dishes was a temporal purgatory in order to set the stage for playing cards. Busy hands would clear the table like gears in a timepiece. To this day the feel of shuffling cards is a calming balm to my soul. When I have writers block I just reach for the nearest deck of cards - and I am with you.
Into the midnight hours we would play Solitaire, as raccoons feasted on table scraps served in pie tins on the back patio.
Sometimes we wouldn’t go to bed until the wee hours of the morning – exhausted I would retreat to my Cinderella sleeping bag in the living room. I would watch the dying embers of the fire glow and drift off to sleep.
As an early riser you were always dressed to impress in a pressed blouse, skirt and stylish high heels. Your silver hair complimented your high cheekbones and dark, soulful eyes. Although you lived in a country home ten miles from the nearest town; you dressed with flair. A testimony of how you left a piece of your heart in San Francisco.
You would present a full breakfast buffet of sausage, bacon, eggs, and biscuits with gravy. Homemade waffles topped with fresh strawberries and a dollop of Cool Whip. Coffee so strong even I could be a morning person.
After breakfast I would draw for hours with magic markers in my drawing tablet. I grew to love the sound of the typewriter when you worked on your next story for Ellery Queen magazine. I would pass by your den and see you typing, as the lace curtains breathed in the fresh Sierra air.
It was a room filled with inspiration – and magic.
It was all so long ago…
And now here I am – decades later – living ten miles from the nearest town. Sorry to report I’m still a sloppy slouch.
But I do have violets on the kitchen windowsill basking in the sunlight. And there is tired and dog-eared deck of cards on the bakers rack.
And Grandma, the most important thing of all -I’m finally writing - and people are telling me I’m really good at it.
You were always a first class act – and a tough act to follow.
Rest In Peace Grandma Dorothy – and remember - ‘I’ll Be Loving You -Always.’
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