Tuesday, October 19, 2010
My grandmother had a breakfast nook that looked into the backyard. It was much like a booth at a restaurant with high-backed chairs that fit two alongside a green formica table. There was a little window with a shelf underneath at the sill level. It held an old-fashioned radio tuned to the news on WTIC-AM and a toaster with a cloth-covered cord.
My grandmother always had toast wth jelly, often orange marmalade, and several cups of strong coffee while she read little bon mots from the Tips and Topics section of the Hartford Courant out loud. "Copper can be easily cleaned with a mixture of salt and lemon juice" or "Store your winter things with a bar of soap or a scented dryer sheet for a delightful smell" or "garbage disposal blades will be sharpened by egg shells or coffee grounds." Stuff like that.
After she ate, she'd often make breakfast for my Dad if he was around, creamed chipped beef that came in a funny little jar was a favorite. Dad would read the sports section or the LL Bean catelog that was next to the toaster, along with an appeal from the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the latest bulletin picked up at St. Rose Church, where I was baptized. "Lemon juice will remove the odor of onions from the hands," Helen would advise to no one in particular.
I have no doubt that it must have been the many years I spent looking at these two pictures that put something inside my heart that such things meant, "home."
The picture of the young child is called, "The Light of the World" and depicts Jesus. It hung in Helen's living room for as long as I can remember.
I always bring out the picture of the couple praying over the fields right around autumn, with its harvest and thankful themes.
Posted by JPG at 3:09 PM