Cheese Zombies

Dear Yakima School District:

Your best effort ever, according to my childhood, was the Cheese Zombie.    My favorite childhood hot lunch was paired with a reconstituted, milky tomato soup. Thank you, Mom, for making sure that I had a hot lunch ticket on Cheese Zombie days.

Lunch lady.  Ordinary.  Plump.  Hair net meticulously crowned.  Drawn eyebrows.  Large chest in a below-the-knee cafeteria dress. Varicose veins above sensible shoes.  Apron.  She is white, of course.  99.5% of the people at my elementary were white.  I was barely aware that people came in an amazing array of flavors.  White kids.  White lunch ladies.  White bread.

The Cheese Zombie was steeped in delicious carby, fatty mystery.  That singular hybrid of easy starch and fat required less chewing than food ought.  Dip that Zombie into sweet, hot tomato soup.  For a few moments your childhood troubles melted away.

Worry over lessons.  Worry over playground politics.  Worry over what you might encounter on the walk home.  Worry over what would be at home once you got there.  All of it melted away in the gooey, warm, buttery sensation of a Cheese Zombie and tomato soup.

No wonder I have food issues and a love affair with Cheese Zombies.  🙂

Sincerely,

E

CHEESE ZOMBIES 35066184_1795583073821489_4215153678220263424_n

 

Hoarder’s Child (Rewrite)

ht_hoarder_home_08_jef_150415_4x3_992

Wall and floor consumed in madness.

Window breaks daylight over steep heaps of God knows what.  

Child has just enough room to breathe.

Breathe child, for you can do little else.

A knock on the door strikes terror.

Climb and see. 

Aaahh. 

Potluck ladies balance casserole dishes. 

They angle for a peek inside. 

Door slightly ajar, child replies.

No, we are not moving.

No, you cannot come in.

Child knows hospitality does not live there. 

There is barely enough room for child.

What could potluck ladies bring to the mix, hmmm?

It takes practice to wear the blanket of shame.

It is heavy. 

Ahtanum Smoke Shack and Fried Bread

Yakima, Washington sits just outside the Yakama (Native American) Reservation.  I grew up in Yakima.

I began smoking cigarettes in Yakima. One of the great buys could be had just a couple of miles from my home on Ahtanum Road, conveniently on my way to work at Miner’s Drive In.

The Smoke Shack was a little bigger than today’s coffee huts, and every bit as convenient.  Drive up.  Order your smokes.  Pick up a lighter.  Drive away.

The price?  Well, back then I think I paid about 35¢ to 50¢ a pack.  A $5.00 carton.  Eeegads! Can you imagine???

As a child I marveled on day excursions to the Yakima Valley.  Wapato.  Toppenish.  Sunnyside.  There were Pow-Wows where the tribe would dress, sing, share.  Jewelry and beadwork drew my eye, but the presence of soft leather and woven baskets were my favorite. Conjuring the drums, soft dance, beautiful skin and facial features so different from my own brings me to childhood. I can still taste the fried bread slathered with butter and fruit jam.

I no longer buy cigarettes or eat fried bread slathered with butter and jam.  The Yakamas? Well, they are firmly rooted in my heart.

 

Daily Prompt:  Reservation

Photo Ahtanum Ridge from 5414 by Pat Strosahl

These old boots…

When was it, exactly, that my hubs became enamored with retirement?  It’s been at least a couple years, I’d say.  His passionate dream of not clocking in has paralleled my journey of inability to work.  Me, at home, with assorted physical limitations.  Him, at work, with a longing not to be there.

On Thurs., 8/24/2017, our two worlds converged.  He is retired.

retirement - boots

Never, in all our married life of 35 years, have we lived a ‘typical’ work schedule.  I have worked mostly a 9 to 5 -type work week, M-F.  He has worked various shifts, the odd days off, holidays, etc.  It meant he missed a lot of events over the years.  It meant I was a quasi-single mom.  It kept us fed, housed, clothed.  He and I did the best we could with what we had.

You know, like most of us!

And now what lies ahead? Grand schemes for travel? Great building projects? Second careers?

For now, we’re learning how to share space.  He is trying on his freedom, finding small projects, rising and retiring at “normal” times.  I am a fly on the wall — watching.  My goal is not to interfere too much, allowing him to feel and experiment with this strange landscape.  He has worked since he was a young teen.  He is 64 now.  He doesn’t know it yet, but he probably will struggle a bit with the sheer strangeness of it all.

Either way, I’m here.

via Daily Prompt:  Enamored.

Photo:  Retirement by Mark Bonica

Head Bangers’ Ball

Two new adventures last night. First, helping Pam (my sis-in-law) at the door taking tickets and checking IDs at the Eagles.  Second, a metal music show. I took out my hearing aids for this one, opting for foam earplugs instead.  And what fun!

Can a 59-year-old fall in love with a genre so riotous? Yes! I felt like a child lining a parade route, horns and drums pounding a primal reverberation in my chest.

And the crowd? The range of ages was staggering. The leathers and spikes and tattoos and chained wallets were donned by nice people. They were old and young.  I saw shorts, dresses, boots, denims, nose rings, dreads, shaved heads and sweaty jumping folks.

It was such fun!

Would I do this again someday.  Yes! Only maybe I’ll try a henna tattoo in one my arm first, LOL. Hey, I gotta start small.  😉

Photo credit 20120413 – Heavy Metal – 72 by T. Kenbrock