“Bloody hell,” I said as I sipped a Pina Colada cocktail and flipped through my fourth cookbook. Making a decision about what to cook for a person I knew zip about, combined with finding recipes which Melanie could help me with was proving to be frustrating.
Seriously what Melanie liked to eat was a mystery too. So far she had eaten everything I had suggested or put in front of her. But never once had she voiced her own opinion. Whatever you are having, Miss. When was she going to give it up and call me Eleanor? Tick tock, time was running out. In another week she would be placed with a regular family. Yep gone gone gone and Porter too, then my life would return to normal, Normal was good, wasn’t it? Okay maybe my normal was a teeny tiny bit too normal. Perhaps this left turn into foreign territory was just what I needed to jar me out of a certain level of complacency.
Sighing I took another sip of my drink. Drat, the glass was empty, just a lonely umbrella clinging to the side of the glass. How did that happen? Oh great. Memory loss, now I was turning into an alcoholic. Oh well I might as well embrace it, along with the rest of my life which was traveling out of control at warp speed.
Heading for the kitchen to make another drink, I tripped over an errant slipper. Stumbling, dang another sign of alcoholism, no second drink for me, boo hoo. I kicked the stupid slipper out of my path. Screw it, I’m having a second drink. Complacency is first cousin to boring and boring’s sister, narrow minded and boring’s brother, tight ass. I want a second drink and I’m having it, so there. I raised my empty glass in proper toast style, “Here’s to a second drink and a third if I want it.”
After mixing the drink, I took a healthy slug. “Eleanor,” I said to myself. “Boring women don’t mix up such mighty fine cocktails as this one. Here’s to you, Babe.” Gazooks how many years had it been since anyone called me Babe. Oh who cares I muttered as I danced back to the living room. A small voice whispered, admit it you miss being called Babe. La la la, I don’t hear you little voice. You’re merely attempting to cause discontent. La la la, I’m looking at cookbooks now.
Since I didn’t have a single clue what kind of food Tom liked or even Melanie for that matter, why was I in a frizz frazz second guessing. I was the engineer on this dinner train, so I would pick what I liked. Then I would whittle those choices down to recipes which might be fun for Melanie to help with. My appreciation of food and cooking developed from helping Mom and Grandma in the kitchen. Those bonding times resided in my heart as permanent loving memories. Perhaps I could gift Melanie a few loving memories to help erase the bad ones which generated her nightmares.
Six is so young. How much did I remember from being six? Would she remember me at all or would I melt into a hazy blur of this time of her life? Considering what Melanie had endured so far in her young life, it would be a blessing if she could forget. People spent years with therapists to let go of the need to pull a wagon into their present lives loaded down with all the rocks of angst from the past.
Feeling uncomfortable I shifted in my chair, but I knew my discomfort was because I didn’t like the thought Melanie wouldn’t remember me. New flash—-just because she was going to be living with a foster family didn’t mean I couldn’t visit. We were second cousins. It was important for her to know someone in her family cared about her well being. Maybe she and Porter, yes even his royal highness, could come and spend a weekend every once in awhile.
Those weekends we could resurrect our walks. So both Porter and Melanie could expend pent up energy with outdoor excursions, I had purchased Porter a green harness and leash. Everyday the three of us have been strolling around the neighborhood. Despite living here for five years I hardly knew my neighbors. However with a small girl and a cat in tow, several neighbors were already in the rhythm of smiling and hailing a greeting and sometimes even stooping down to pet the cat.
Yesterday’s walk was a milestone. Melanie had slipped her hand into mine. I was ruffled by the intimacy and the smallness of her hand. As I gently squeezed her hand, a flush of protectiveness rose in my chest.
Feeling distinctively odd, I realized I would miss those walks. Tomorrow night when I talked with Tom, I would make it clear I would be insisting on visitation rights. Okay time to focus. What were my choices for dinner?
John Riff at Kitchen Riffs provided this cocktail—one of my favorite personal choices. John is the ‘Go To’ guy in my book as far as cocktails. I love love love his blog with his careful instructions, wonderful history notes and his absolutely total command of corny puns. He’s The Man. Thank you, John.