I went to a tea at my mother's house.
My cousin was there.
She has two daughters.
they look like our family
Around the mouth
My mother sat small in her chair, with her pale skin, and her green eyes, looking like my great grandmother, around the mouth.
In her skin.
In her freckles.
She made a great deal of egg salad, that was outstanding.
She had beets and some other pickled things.
They were all quite good.
My cousin is my doppelgänger.
My cousin is my Snow-white to my Rose-red.
My cousin has black hair to my blonde.
We ate a great deal of egg salad, and beets.
We talked about my grandmother, my mother's mother.
Who cared for me, while my mother was attending college classes.
My experience with my grandmother was quite different from my cousin.
I was my grandmother's pet.
This is an open secret.
My grandmother baked me gingerbread and biscuits.
She cut off pieces of meat that I loved and fed them to me, by hand, like a house cat.
My cousin remembers my grandmother tired and aproned and cranky.
I remember meat warm from the oven, in her fingers.
My grandfather, walking me home from kindergarten, the joy they both had at seeing me, in the kitchen at 3:00pm.
My younger brother and my cousin would slide down the stairwell, relentlessly.
While I sate silently at the kitchen table.
My mother said
"Mom made dinner and desert every day."
"I don't remember her face, I remember her apron."
When I was a little girl my grandmother told me the story of her own mother, a cruel woman, that pulled her youngest daughters out of school, to cook for a threshing team.
"Alice made the pies, and I made the cakes"
My grandmother could make a crazy cake, a devil's food cake, a gingerbread and a banana bread, that could rival the best bakery.
Her pies were magnificent, but she always deferred to her younger and beloved sister.
" Alice made the best pies. Alice is the pie maker."
As a small child I stood at her side, on the "tall chair" a wooden highchair, watching her cook.
She on very rare occasions made egg noodles, rolled by hand, and cut with a butcher's knife.
My grandfather favored potatoes.