whenever i hear the hospital chopper fly over my house to deliver someone in critical condition to the hospital, i think of when my uncle squire used to look up whenever he heard the chopper while working outside. one time, the timing was right that he thinks he saw the chopper that was carrying steve (my cousin ann’s late husband) to rochester after their car got mutilated by a semi. steve died, and ann now has a metal rod in her spine.
whenever i make a hamburger in a pan, i think of my dad making “riviera specials” when i was little: fried hamburgers topped with mayo, ketchup and mustard, and eaten without a bun. once i smelled him making a hamburger when i was supposed to be asleep, so i went downstairs in my nightgown, as quietly as i could. my mom was on the phone, so dad beckoned me into the kitchen, where i watched him finish the burger and toppings, and we shared the burger together. i was upstairs and back in bed before mom got off the phone.
whenever i butter a piece of bread, i think of my uncle squire always making sure that the butter went out to all the edges of the bread.
whenever my sister liz is having tough times, i think of the time at jane’s post-baptism get-together when liz was going to touch the kerosene heater (i had run into it twice when i was younger, once against my side, and once on my hand). my mom caught her in time and slapped her hand and yelled HOT at her to make sure she didn’t do it again. liz looked bewildered, but i burst into tears.
whenever i make no-cook pudding, i think of my aunt colettie and how her cupboard was full of no-cook puddings. she would put the milk and pudding dust into a jar and have me shake it until it was thick enough. then it would set in bowls or glasses, and i would break the skin of the pudding with my spoon and peel it off to eat before rest of the pudding.