Visualize Whirled Peas

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Dinner at our house was formal. Dad expected dinnertime to be stress-free and at 6:00. Dad sat at one end of the dining room table; Mom sat at the end nearest the kitchen. Mike sat across from me, but the table was too wide for my legs to connect with his.

We children sat, with scrubbed hands, napkins on our laps, no elbows on the table. We waited for Mom to carry in the tuna noodle casserole. Mom and Dad sipped Manhattans; we had milk.

After the casserole had been passed around, Mom passed the peas and mushrooms.

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Quietly, I said, “No thank you, Ma’am.”

Dad scowled, “What do you mean? You love peas!”

I said softly, through the whistle-hiss of my missing front teeth, “No, I don’t, anymore, Sir.”

Dad slowly reached for his amber drink and took a sip. I could see his teeth as he sipped his drink. The bright cherry bobbed at the bottom of the glass and the stem quivered toward his lips. I watched his Adam’s apple bob as well. Then, he spoke, “Eat some!”

I fidgeted and stared at the Pyrex plate with the wide gray band. I pushed the peas around with my fork. Eventually, I had to put some in my mouth or I wouldn’t have any of the brownies Mom had made for dessert.

“Swallow!” Dad commanded.

I tried, but gagged. Daddy never made me eat peas again!

Dear Reader,

I hope you enjoyed this memoir from childhood. I have revised it, but credit for this prompt came from attending Nancy Slonim Aronie’s workshop at her Chilmark Studio on Martha’s Vineyard. Many thanks to Nancy.

I am thrilled to be on Medium. I found my “niche” that I didn’t know I needed to itch. I wouldn’t be here at all if I hadn’t taken Sandy Peckinpah’s amazing five day Zoom class on blogging. Sandy is very professional and very encoraging. Her handouts were precise and clear.

You have probably seen the bumper sticker “Visualize Whirled Peas.” For years, because of my experience with peas, I always read it literally.

Thank you for reading. For more information about me visit my website: https://gazebo-gatherings.com/

My first career was as a teacher of English. As a retiree, I’m enjoying writing memoirs. I am a survivor of 2 brain surgeries and celebrate each day .

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Sandra Justice Hall

Sandra Justice Hall

My first career was as a teacher of English. As a retiree, I’m enjoying writing memoirs. I am a survivor of 2 brain surgeries and celebrate each day .

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