Today is Short Story Friday. Once again you’re getting one that I’ve already posted. As I’ve mentioned, I’m working on a collection of short stories. These focus on different aspects of my growing up in Southwest Virginia. Some are true to life. Some are inspired.
They will eventually go into a collection that I hope to publish prior to the end of there. A.K.A. in time for you to purchase it for Christmas gifts.
Before I post the story, I should also note that today is National Care Givers Day. It hits home a little bit as my
Mom has spent the last two months in rehab after falling and breaking her leg just before New Years. We have a ways to go.
My wife and I have been here before. Her Mother lived with us for the last five years of her life. Multiple surgeries and the final year in a nursing home. Caring for aging parents is no easy task.
That’s all I’ll say about it for now except that it’s also inspired me to write another story. In a perfect world I would have presented that today on actual National Caregivers Day.
But this is not a perfect world.
Here’s today’s story. Once again a work in progress.
I’d love your feedback. Good and bad.
Have a good weekend.
Here’s the story.
THE FIRST POUND CAKE
She walked into the family home place carrying the Tupperware container.
It was the big container. The round container. We already knew what was inside.
She found a place on the dessert table.
I don’t know how made the first family pound cake. But it showed up at a reunion in the early 1970s.
I’m sure there were pound cakes before, but this was the new recipe.
Pound cake is supposed to have originated in northern Europe in sometime in the 1700s. The recipe was simple, a pound each of sugar, flour, butter, and eggs. Seems like that would make it a four-pound cake.
But I don’t do math.
While some of my family may have been in Europe in the 1700s, this is not the recipe that showed up at our reunion.
It wasn’t just your average pound cake. This one was different. It was made with sour cream.
I have no idea what difference that makes.
I don’t do math or bake.
We ate it with strawberries. We ate it with boiled custard.
In some ways, that made it an expected part of family gatherings.
We ate it on every special occasion. The Sunday dinners. Easter. Christmas.
There was a secret family code of who would bring it to the next gathering. Perhaps there was a plan.
Perhaps it just happened. I don’t know that there were ever two at any given meal. There was always one.
Now, some forty years later, there seems to always be one at my Mother’s house.
My Mother is the last of that generation. Who will make the pound cake in the future?
Will it fade away as a memory so that, one day, when we are all old, we’ll want a pound cake like Mother used to make?
It’s not that we didn’t have other desserts. We certainly did.
But the pound cake was always there. It anchored the dessert table. It was our constant.
Family gatherings aren’t like they used to be. We’re more scattered now. More distant. More conscious of what we should and shouldn’t be eating.
But, for so many years, there was always pound cake.
American actor, singer and producer, John Travolta, was born on this day in 1954.
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BORN ON THIS DAY
1862 – Charles M. Schwab, American businessman, co-founded Bethlehem Steel (d. 1939)
1919 – Jack Palance, American boxer and actor (d. 2006)
1925 – George Kennedy, American actor (d. 2016)
1931 – Johnny Hart, American cartoonist, co-created The Wizard of Id (d. 2007)
1933 – Yoko Ono, Japanese-American multimedia artist and musician
1950 – John Hughes, American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2009)
1968 – Molly Ringwald, American actress
WHAT I’M READING
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.