Scrambled Eggs

My parents recently downsized and moved from Austin, Texas to an apartment in Temple. I have teased my mom over the years for being a pack rat, but on a recent visit, I discovered that I’m glad she saved every letter and card I’ve ever sent her.

I found a letter that I wrote to mom in March 1988, shortly after Paul and I moved from Austin to San Antonio. I read the letter and laughed so hard, I could hardly talk. I  had forgotten about my ongoing quest to learn to make scrambled eggs. Here is part of my letter:

“Hi Mom,

This is just a little note to say get well soon, and I hope you have a speedy recovery….Since they say laughter is the best medicine, I thought I’d tell you about my latest endeavor with scrambling eggs. Since today is Paul’s first day at work, I figured I’d make him eggs and biscuits. I found a recipe for scrambled eggs, and everything went smoothly until it came time to cook them. The recipe said to cook the eggs on medium high, which I thought was weird because I’ve heard they should be cooked on low. Anyway, since I always follow directions, I put the heat on medium high and went about my own business. All of a sudden, I heard a noise, and when I checked my eggs, they were boiling like you wouldn’t believe. Needless to say, they turned out rubbery, but Paul ate them anyway. I wouldn’t have touched them with a ten foot pole. Since practice makes perfect, I’m going to try again tomorrow, this time on low heat.” 

The next letter I wrote to mom contained the following:

Hi Mom,

Are you up and around yet?…Do you think y’all might be able to come visit us this weekend? I’ve enclosed some instructions just in case. Speaking of instructions, thanks for the tip on scrambled eggs. I’ve never tried stirring them before.”

Mom and I laughed like maniacs. I’m never going to tease her again about saving cards and letters. I wrote many letters to my parents after we moved away from Austin, and reading those brought back so many fun memories.

I make pretty good scrambled eggs now – without a recipe.



Family Time

Today is Mother’s Day, and on the surface, today is just another Sunday (with the exception of cards, gifts, and a sweet note from Catherine), and this weekend has been uneventful. We didn’t go out to eat, but Paul made homemade waffles for lunch. We stayed home from church because Paul and John weren’t feeling well. I took a long nap and ran errands, cleaned my bathroon, fumigated kitty litter boxes, and folded towels.

Yesterday, all four of us worked in the yard. John and Paul mowed and weedeated (weeddate?), and Catherine and I raked and bagged leaves left over from fall. Paul also tackled the leaves with the leaf vacuum, a staple for anyone who lives in central Arkansas. We all worked together, and Paul joked that he was the contractor because he was coordinating all the yard work. While I was raking with Catherine, I thought back to a few years ago and could not remember a time when our whole family worked together so well.

I have also observed that we spend more time together in the kitchen than ever before. Catherine has taken an interest in cooking since becoming vegan, and she cooks most of her own food. Paul and I help her some and explain the cooking lingo, and sometimes all four of us are whipping something up together in the kitchen.

What may seem normal to most people is a huge breakthrough for our family. Catherine just moved back home in April to go to cosmetology school after moving out a little over two years ago. Family time prior to Catherine moving out usually consisted of arguing and yelling (me most of the time). We just didn’t get along with each other very well. Catherine and I clashed, Paul and Catherine clashed, Paul and I clashed, and poor John just internalized everything and hid under a blanket until it fell apart in the first grade (I have a poem for that, by the way).

Paul and I have done a great deal of soul searching since Catherine moved out. I know I’ve second-guessed my parenting style and realized after the fact that I should have done a better job at “picking my battles.” Fortunately, Catherine and I got along better after she moved out, although that in itself made me feel guilty. Why couldn’t I get along with my own daughter when she was living at home?

We can tell that Catherine has matured quite a bit over the past two years, but she isn’t the only one who has changed. I don’t want to speak for Paul, but I know I’ve changed too. I don’t know specific ways I’ve changed other than I’m not as judgemental. I’m proud of the creative, generous, courageous, independent woman that Catherine has become, and I’m proud of the effort she is making at school.

I don’t need roses, breakfast in bed, a dinner out, or any special gift to commemorate Mother’s Day. This past month of having Catherine home has been a gift. I’m looking forward to more cooking, yard work (note to self – rake leaves in the fall), and just enjoying spending time with my family. Happy Mother’s Day to me!!