Friday, May 18, 2012

The Power of Coffee, Language, and Being Tall.

              This morning as I enjoyed a cup of coffee from my new French press, and watched a pot of oats cooking on the stove I thought of  how great it is to be an adult.  Many times as a child I did not  understand what  adults were saying, much less what they expected out of me, adults seemed to be big powerful contradictions.  I pondered one confusing morning long ago as I added lots of sugar and poured  a few generous  tablespoons of milk on to what I still rebelliously call my Open Meal.
               Why all the rumblings in this post about language and power and breakfast? What might you ask is Open Meal? It took me a while to figure that one out too, because one cold morning  when still just a preschooler I got up, sat on the heater vent for  a while to warm up -pulled my socks on and went to the breakfast table where mother was serving it and said in my most "Oliver"  voice.. "Please mum, may I have my Open meal?" She said , bluntly, "No".  "What?" I gasped  "No Open Meal? Was there a problem?" ( I am sure I did not articulate all of that. I think I must have just looked sorta dumb founded. ) She said bluntly "It is not Open Meal."  The silence that followed was eerie. My stomach rumbled, the
dog barked, it thundered.  It was a mystery and a western shoot out all rolled  up in one cold dawn.......Okay, here is the cruelty of it all,  that I now know as an adult. She was standing there with a cup of coffee. Let that sink in people. She had coffee.
               Her cheeks held the rosy glow of a camp fire cook as she stood defiantly over the pot of Open Meal . She was geared up with caffeine,  warm, and  ready for the rodeo. I ,bless my small pea pickin'  heart, was standing there shivering in my nightgown with out any knowledge of the fact that the best part of waking up was Folgers in my cup. I just wanted my Open Meal. How was  I going to get my breakfast if they changed the name for it over night? I looked around the table at my four siblings, all with a  big bowl of Open Meal right in front of them and knew, perhaps for the first time in my life the meaning of the words... no help at all.  Was there really no Open Meal left? Had they gotten it all? I glanced around and checked the clock on the wall to see if I had  slept  late but that was just another testimony of my in-adequateness. I could not tell time. 
              By faith I went ahead and climbed up in the chair and sat there. My Mother, as if speaking to someone deaf mouthed the words slowly ."  It is OAT MEAL. "  She spat the T out as if it was distasteful. If you have ever seen a dog tilt his head to one side I am sure I did a pretty good rendition.  If I could have articulated it I am sure I would have said, " What the heck is an OAT?"  I knew what "Open" meant and to my preschool brain Open Meal made more sense. The way I saw it was, she OPENED the little tub of it and poured it in a pot with water and then OPENED the pot and spooned it in my  bowl every morning. I was okay with thinking it was Open meal . "O- A-T -meal " she calmly and deliberately stated again.  I nodded, she gave me a bowl, I ate. She could call it what ever she wanted.  I can still call it Open Meal ..because now I am tall, and have coffee.

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