Sunday in the kitchen

It really should feel like a chore. But by the time I line up my farmer’s market loot, sharpen my knife, and pull the pots from the cabinet, I am ready. My mind is clear, focused. I am on auto-pilot yet so aware of every crunch and chop and splash. I want to get done…

This is how quickly it goes…

This is how quickly it goes… Not at 2 a.m. At that time of the night, two weeks in, time stands still. The small person gnawing at my nipple is red and wiggly and insatiable – and awake. “Is it 2 a.m. again,” I wonder. “Or still?” “Is it still that other 2 a.m. when…

Finding my way home

It’s a running joke in the McMullin family: as soon as two or more McMullins get together, the conversation will inevitably turn to the topic of roads. They all have an uncanny sense of direction. My brother-in-law can navigate you home from a dirt road in Iowa, giving you both the shortest and most direct…

What is broken

My husband’s been on the road for work for the past week, so to make time go faster I’ve been spending a lot of time with my girlfriends. They are all about my age, married, with kids, most of them with jobs outside of the home. I always learn something from them. Parenting tips, new…

Cooking with Grandma

My Grandma died this January. I think about her often, especially when I am cooking. I wrote this piece a few years ago, but I wanted to post it here in her memory. *** Let me lick your finger,” my Grandma demands as she reaches for my right hand. My fingers are sticky with a…

3 a.m.

I am awake at 3 a.m. a lot these days. Something happens at that hour of night (because who are we kidding, that’s still night) that makes Sam stir and wake briefly enough to realize that where he really wants to be is in bed with me. Through the baby monitor I hear his little…

Memory

There’s this game I used to play when I was a little girl – maybe 10 or 12. My grandmother lived about 15 minutes from us by car through narrow, cobblestone streets, neighborhoods of small, square houses with messy gardens and metal gates. We visited her almost every Sunday. My brother and I sat in…

Ritual

We have the ritual down pat: My Mom gives me an old t-shirt to wear and she takes her clothes off to her underwear. I mix the hair dye in the bathroom, wearing those plastic gloves that come in the package. I squeeze the dye into a little one-cup Tupperware dish and use a small…

Family History

The stories start right after Sunday lunch. We are all crammed around our tiny kitchen table – me, my brother, my parents, my fraternal grandmother, and my maternal grandfather. The table only fits four, so my Dad is sitting on the office chair brought out from the living room and I am sitting on a…

My inheritance

There is an ongoing joke in my family about what my brother and I have inherited from our parents – all the “bad” stuff. I got my Mom’s big, crooked nose and big belly and butt, and my Dad’s thin hair. My brother also got the thin hair – along with thinning hair – and…