This piece is an excerpt from my memoir, "Big Brown Eyes"
When elementary school was over for the day, I literally hopscotched the uneven sidewalk pavement to the back porch of our house on Eastern Long Island. Opening the screen door I could count on finding my mother in the kitchen making a pie.
My most vivid memory centered on the kitchen, and the warm smell of apple pie sprinkled with a little conversation for good measure late in the afternoon.
Mom was sensitive to my needs, and she patiently listened as I poured out the news, or perhaps, a trouble or two, carefully keeping her eye on getting the crust together. Sometimes the moment was serious enough that she would stop everything, wipe her hands on her apron, and give me her full attention.
It was right there in the kitchen kneading the dough that she heard me proudly read from my first primer, “Dick and Jane”.
At seventeen I told her that I wanted to become a teacher while leaning over the counter watching her sprinkle a fistful of flour on the cutting board. In preparing the crust first she used her reliable wooden rolling pin, and then deftly shaped it with her nimble fingers into the pie tin as quick as a wink.
Much later it was in the kitchen when mom told me that she must give up living on her own as she felt confusion had set in, and she wasn’t too certain of things anymore.
Pie baking was over, but the memories of my mother will never fade.