It’s quite a phenomenal thing, this death experience being what it actually is. We’ve spent the night juggling people. Humans. We’ve done the dodge and weave and pivot in that kitchen, waving people back who came to help, waving people in to asked for help. waving everybody  and said NOT YET. We’ve got it. Thank you. It’s okay.

Because for eleventy million years we’ve cooked in this kitchen. We have milled around the butcher block in the center that looked super cool in the 70’s but now is just a pain in our ever lovin asses. Lord.  Around the butcher block we go. Yet here we are, we three, four, five ,six women stumbling out from the visitation, and stumbling into Meme’s  house WITH GUESTS. FULL OF GUESTS.

We made some magical mystery delicious in the kitchen. We had roast chicken, roast ham, enchiladas, we had roasted kale and potato green salad, roasted asparagaus. We had chopped up fruit salad, and we had the best damn queso ever to never see a Christmas Eve.

There were a few moments tonight. Where the memories came flooding back. Flooding back from a time when we-none of us- had any comprehension of the marriage bullshit that was brewing. We didn’t see the cracks in the facade, we didn’t see the pinched faces disguised as tired. All we ever wanted was more time in the lake with our cousins, one more ski across the lake, one bowl of homemade ice cream,  a couple of floats to lay upon and giant tea glasses or empty RC Cola cans so that we would administer soothing body treatments with sand and oil and dead crab and pieces of firtch floating in the flotsam and jetsam of our distribution system. We sat in the shallow lake water and would play and laugh and talk for hours and at the end of the day…

Keri Lotion would cure it all.

Being around these people tonight, the ones that for so so many of our years we were tied to closely…it hit home that now…They…become Us.

We look at the women who came before us. These women who stood in the kitchen for years, their kitchen, camp kitchens, didn’t matter. After they stood at work all day, they raised children and they in turn raised us.

They were indeed formidable.

They were strong and courageous and confidant and  defiant. Lord they were defiant.

And in that kitchen tonight  there we were. Confident, and creative and working together…pulling out bits of this and pieces of that and timing the entrees to come out right at the time the queso was finished…I think the women who came before us would’ve been proud.



5 thoughts on “Shifting.

  1. Well said. It reminds me of all of us cleaning out Pepaw’s kitchen and Katrina finding five electric aluminum coffee percolators. The kitchen is always the heart of it all. You are loved and supported.


  2. Recipes and sweet and low!
    Bradford exchange boxes.
    Fruit jello.
    Smoking under the exhaust fan.
    Love and light sister.
    Beautiful piece of writing.


  3. I went out with a Utah Mormon who always made “funeral potatoes” for events…or sometimes just for dinner. And I was, like, “your family actually calls them ‘funeral potatoes?'” Not only his family, but sort of all the Utah Mormons do. Because, you know, you bring them to funerals. So, I looked it up.

    They’re delicious, by the way.


  4. Just seeing this. Love it. And they are definitely proud.

    Also, funeral potatoes sound delicious. I say we rebrand them as “potato casserole” and make them a cousinpalooza staple.


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