Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Do you remember?

August in Upstate New York doesn't necessarily guarantee warmth but the post-dinner kitchen felt cozy. The air held the scent of garlic, roasted veggies and a mouth-watering mix of other, subtler, scents.

From upstairs they heard the sound of water running. Then, singing from the shower.

He surveyed the mixing bowl and assorted measuring cups and spoons. "I haven't had these in a long time."

"I'll bet, Dad."

"You used to make them all the time. Do you remember?"

"I did. And I do." She smiled, adding a generous measure of vanilla to the bowl. "Isn't there a bakery down there by you?"

"Nope." He shook his head. "Not a good one, anyway. One of the things I left behind in New York. We used to go to the bakery down the street from the house all the time. Do you remember?"

She stirred, bringing the ingredients together quickly. With a nod, she said, "We did. And I do. They had the best--"

"Cheesecakes. Remember?"

The years melted away. In their minds they were younger...much younger. With practiced ease, she dropped batter onto pans and slid the pans in the warm oven. Then she dumped the mixing bowl, cups and spoons into the sink and ran hot water over everything.

"I do," she said. "They were good, weren't they?"

"Real good."

The last bowl nestled into the cupboard just as the oven timer pinged. They leaned over the baking sheet. Watched as the cookies lined up neatly on the wire cooling rack.

Without asking, she poured two glasses of milk, brought them to the table and sat beside him. They looked at each other and grinned.

"Be careful," she warned as he took a cookie. "They're hot. Don't burn yourself."

The words were familiar ones. She'd heard them from him time and again when she was an eager child--one prone to having burnt fingers.

For a few minutes they chewed in silence. The cookies disappeared, eaten not by a senior citizen and his middle-aged daughter but by a young father and his little girl.

Their empty glasses hit the table at almost the same instant. With satisfied sighs, they sat back and smiled.

He spoke first. "We used to do that a lot. Do you remember?"

Her heart swelled. If he only knew how much she remembered. "We did, Dad. And I do. I remember."


Melissa McClone said...

Aw, you must really enjoy seeing your dad.

Dru said...

aaawwww, simply beautiful. I'm glad you're enjoying your dad's visit and remembering all the other times when you were together.

Marianne Arkins said...

So... I had to step away after reading this. It was sweet and touching and it broke my heart a little since I lost my dad more than a decade ago and can share these times.

So -- you enjoy them... every single one. And then file them away in your heart to take out and look at when you miss him.

Anonymous said...

This is such a nice posting. I miss my dad. We used to do lots of great things together.

Aussie Jude

Anonymous said...

this account brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face ,remmbering years gone bye,What a beautiful story.You no it comes from the heart.Thank you for sharing.