The other afternoon when I picked up my kids from my parents’ place, my mother was just finishing up her bread baking. Four loaves of brown bread were cooling on the table—the fifth one, not quite brown enough, still in the oven—and the entire house was warm with the yeasty-toasty smell.
“Here,” my mother said, handing me a children’s board book. “Look what I gave your dad for Valentine’s.”
Whaddya know, she had altered the book, pasting photo cut-outs of her and Dad over the faces of the bunny rabbits in the story.
“Look at this one,” she said, pointing to the next-to-last page. “I even got the collar just right!”
When I begged the book for a couple days, Dad almost didn’t let me borrow it, but then he did…begrudingly.
The story is pretty much perfect, considering that for years Dad brought Mom coffee in bed every morning, often with jelly toast, toast made from Mom’s homemade brown bread.
And now we’ve come full circle.
This same time, years previous: lemon cheesecake morning buns, peanut butter and jelly bars, pan-fried tilapia, toasted steel-cut oatmeal, the case of the whomping shovel, blueberry cornmeal muffins, and tortilla pie.