Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's time for the rest of the story . . .

After last week's Memory Lane Friday post about A Time I Was Scared, and having also spent last weekend at my parents' place, I decided to ask my mom if she remembered the incident . . . the one where she and I (as a 4-year-old) got separated in a crowded place in Solvang, CA.

Needless to say, when I asked her, "Do you remember when I got lost in Solvang?" the answer was "Well, of course I remember! I was panicked!"

Hahaha! I should've expected that answer.

Anyway, when I asked her for details, she confirmed that yes, I was about 4-years-old, and yes, she remembers a red British-styled telephone box nearby.

Then she filled me in on some stuff I hadn't remembered.

First, I guess my dad had been with us, and not off somewhere else (the men's room or a different store, as I recently speculated). I hadn't remembered him being with us in the minutes leading up to the separation, nor did I remember him being with us in the moments following my mom's finding me.

But apparently he'd been there, and when my mom panicked, he was calm, and nonchalantly said to her with a sigh, "Don't worry about it; we'll find her." That is seriously so like him!

And second, my Aunt Marie (my dad's older, only surviving sibling) was with us, too. She was an Italian immigrant, having come to North America as a young girl, ultimately spending a majority of her adult life in California. (I'll have to tell you more about her sometime in the future.)

Anyway, she was a good talker. She could really keep a conversation going, and keep it entertaining. This is one of a number of things I miss about her (she passed away back in the mid-'90s).

So of course, while my mom was recalling the incident, she was telling me "You know how Marie enjoyed a good conversation, right? Well, I was doing my best to pay attention to her because I didn't want to seem rude. And that's when I realized I'd been so wrapped up in my conversation with her, I'd ended up losing you! . . . And then your dad wasn't even worried about it! Can you believe that?"

Yes! . . . because that's how Marie was with conversations, and that's how my dad is - never one to panic or get worried about anything.

So there you have it . . . the rest of the story about that time I was scared. 


Here is Marie (on the right) with my maternal grandmother, Oma, waiting for my graduation from Culver to start:
June 4, 1989, Culver, IN (My dad took this photo.)


One more thing while I'm thinking about "the rest of the story . . . "

In a different Memory Lane Friday post about A Family Heirloom, I briefly mentioned that I had wanted to talk about an item that had been in my Oma's kitchen in El Paso for years. But since I didn't have that item in my possession, nor did I have any photos of it, I decided to talk about something else instead (a blue topaz ring). 

Well, now I have it. 

It's this cast-iron "warming plate" thing that had been passed along to her by her mother. My mother remembers it from her grandmother's kitchen, having spent a lot of time at her grandmother's house when she was little (they actually lived next door to each other when my mother was growing up).


This "warming plate" thing would be on one of the stove's gas burners, and would be used to warm up tortillas (and probably other tasty things). Well, one day my Oma asked Cacá (pronounced ka-KA, which is what my Uncle Ralph began calling her when he was young), where she got this thing.

Instead of saying "Oh, I got it at __________," she just handed it over to my Oma, saying, "You can have it."

And my Oma began using it at her house ever since, first in the kitchen at the Blue Ridge Circle house, and then at the Mountain Walk Drive house.

I always loved how tortillas ended up after being warmed up on that thing. Not only did I like my tortillas warmed up before eating them with huevos con chorizo, I liked my tortillas (the flour ones) just on the verge of being toasty, when they'd have a hint of crispiness on the outside, but were still soft and easily wrapped around some delish huevos con chorizo.

Anyway, when my grandmother finally moved into my parents' house, my Uncle Ralph spent a lot of time and effort packing up items of value and making sure these items were dispersed among family members. I had asked him to find this "warming plate" thing in the kitchen and set it aside for me.

He did. Last weekend at my parents' house, I went through a few of the boxes, and finally found it, bringing it home with me.

Sadly, I can't use it on the electric stovetop that I have. When Andrew and I finally get a chance to switch it out to a gas stove, the very first thing I make for breakfast will be huevos con chorizo, and I can guarantee I'll be warming up the flour tortillas on this thing!


Here it is. I put it on a silicone pad because it has some heft to it, and I didn't want to scratch the glass cook-top, nor did I want to accidentally crack it when I put the cast-iron "warmer" thingy on it.



Here's the bottom of it. Note the bump at the 12 o'clock position; this is why it doesn't work on a flat glass cook-top. It sits just right on a gas burner.


For the record, I dislike cooking with electricity. Gas is much better. It's easy to control temperature during cooking, and a gas stove-top is easier to maintain. The glass cook-top seems to be hard to keep clean, and it has to cool down completely (which takes forever) before you can clean up any spills. Plus, the glass cook-top likes to scratch easily. I think it sucks. This is the first and last time I will have a kitchen with an electric stove/oven. And Andrew knows this for the next time we need to look for a new house . . . whenever that may be.

1 comment:

varunner said...

Love all the details your mom filled in.

Okay, that warmer is just the coolest gadget ever. I really hope you get your gas cookstove soon so you can put it to good use :-)

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