Saturday, July 7, 2012

MaMa's Kitchen

     I just returned from a week long visit with my parents down in South Carolina.  My parents are retired and had moved from New York three years ago.  Frank and I dropped our son off to spend the summer with his grandparents.  Gregory loves my parents but he's not too fond of the heat.  It was very hot last week with temperatures reaching 105.

"If you can't stand the heat then get out of the kitchen"  (I know, this doesn't make sense but I like quotes, and I'm talking about heat then Kitchens.....)

     Last week, while sitting on the back deck with my father, Aunt Carol (my mother's sister) and frank, the conversation turned to kitchens;  my maternal grandmother's kitchen in particular.  I don't remember what started the talk about kitchens but I told Frank that my grandmother's kitchen was the same shade of orange as his parents' kitchen.  Remember the funky (ugly) colors of the 1970's?  Aunt Carol said "it was not!"  "MaMa's kitchen was yellow"  "she always had yellow kitchens because yellow was her favorite color."
     So, the big discussion of MaMa's kitchen had started.  I insisted it was orange.  I was always at her house,  sat at the kitchen table and ate more delicious meals than I can count (when I wasn't being too finicky).  I was only 14 when MaMa died.  She died six days after my birthday and that was thirty years ago.  I'm sure that my aunt remembers her mother's kitchen better than I but I still debated this.  My father had nothing to offer.  He's color blind so either he didn't know or didn't remember.  Then again, he probably just didn't care and was waiting for the conversation to end.  Frank never met my grandmother and my mother wasn't home so it was just me and Aunt Carol each talking about the kitchen we last saw so many years ago.  I insisted that the kitchen was orange.  Aunt Carol said that it was yellow.  The walls were yellow with wallpaper going halfway up the wall and the curtains were a yellow/white gingham pattern.  I admitted that I didn't remember the curtains.  Frank asked what 'gingham' was.  Aunt Carol was headed home but before she left head told me to ask my mother what color the kitchen was.  She told me again that I was wrong then she went home.
     While I was waiting for my mother to return from her book club at the library,  I sent a text message on my cellphone to my best friend.  My father had gone back inside and it was just Frank and me sitting there.  I told Frank that Lillian would know because she lived across the street from my grandparents and was often there for lunch and sometimes dinner.  Lillian's reply to my text:  "wasn't it like yellow?"
     My mother returned and agreed with my aunt.  She said that MaMa's kitchen was yellow because that was her favorite color.  I told Frank that Lillian's answer doesn't count because she's younger than I am (only 9 months but Still younger) and she really didn't have that many meals there.
     I told my mother and Frank that I think I have a picture of a birthday party with me standing on the chair at one end of my grandmother's kitchen table.  I think I was 3 years old, maybe 4.  I have to look for that photo.  I think it's in the album with my baby pictures.  I told Frank that a picture is worth a thousand words and I'll show him the orange kitchen.  Well now I hope I have a picture.
     I write my blog on paper.  This is my draft copy then I edit, edit, edit before finally posting to the computer.  This morning I sent Lillian another text telling her that I mentioned her in my blog which would be posted later.  She replied: "Good stuff I hope."  I told her that she, my mother, and my aunt all agree that my grandmother's kitchen was yellow but I thought it was orange.  Lillian wrote back "well it was yellow."  I asked "how the hell do you remember this? do you remember the curtains? Carol described the curtains, let's see if you agree."  Lillian wrote: "Green, yellow and white."  Well, people do take their curtains down for washing so MaMa might have had both sets of curtains as described by my aunt and my friend.
     Have I gotten desperate for tales to tell that I had to resort to writing about the color of my grandmother's kitchen?  So, was it orange or yellow?  Does anyone care?  Probably not, but now I need to find a picture.  I'm curious.  I want to revisit her kitchen.  I wish I could go back for another meal.  I wish I could smell and taste the yumminess that is MaMa's cooking.  I miss MaMa and I miss her kitchen.

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