Tuesday, February 24, 2009
After our oldest daughter Heather was born, and because my husband was working out of town, and because my mother couldn't stand to be parted from her first grandbaby, Heather and I stayed at the ranch for almost 4 weeks after she was born. In those days, new mothers actually recuperated after having a baby, and I had some unexpected complications.
We were over an hour's drive from the nearest town and nothing creates a better cocoon for healing and bonding than distance, isolation, and your mother at hand.
Our routine started in the evening ,when after washing the supper dishes, we made a fresh batch of bottles, sterilized them, and stored them in the refrigerator. The Corning Wear coffeepot was fixed, and the timer was set.
In the early morning hours, I grew accustomed to the sight of a tall man in a cowboy hat, standing over Heather's crib silently watching her before he left the house.
My father, later called Papa by our girls, found all sorts of reasons to stop by the house, and he didn't even make excuses.
And then Nonnie (my mother) swept in .
Heather was bathed , dressed, her hair brushed into a curl, and she was rocked all in the span of a minute it seemed. Mother then turned her attention to me. I was doctored and nurtured, lunch and supper were planned ,and in the afternoon, if the time seemed right, she would ask her friend Marie over for coffee .
The Corning Wear coffeepot was fixed and we freshened up , waiting for the little red light to glow, signaling that the coffee was ready. I loved the coffee from that coffeepot. It took forever to brew by today's impatient standards, and it wasn't any special blend- it was probably Folger's- but it was good because my mother knew how to make it that way.
Apparently impressions form easily in me. I still love Corning Wear, even in its stubbornness about cleanliness. At flea markets I gravitate to tables of tall, white, ageless towers of casserole dishes, pans, tea kettles, and above all coffeepots.
I can still hear my mother calling down the hall,
"Laura Ellen, coffee's ready."