Around the time I was eight or nine years old (I’m sure I’ve blocked the exact date out in my memory), I did something incredibly stupid. Wet socks snugly encasing my feet, I shimmied along the edge of the electric stove to get to the cupboard above it that held the Oreos. That same stove top had a pot of The Nana’s homemade spaghetti sauce boiling on it.
Exactly what you are imagining could have happened, did.
And, in case you weren’t envisioning anything, I’ll give you the short version.
Girl wants cookies. Mother says she can’t have them before dinner. Girl’s mother goes next door to borrow more oregano. Girl, dripping in still-wet socks from playing out in the rain, lets desire for chocolate override all intelligence. Girl shimmies along, gets a shock and jumps up. On her descent literally and figuratively, girl’s foot catches handle of pot. Girl lands on kitchen floor bum-side-up and boiling sauce lands bum-side-down.
The next days are a blur, in my mind. I do, however, vividly remember ice baths and laying on a bed, bum-side-up, while there were daily “dressing” changes.
There was one silver lining to this incident.
I got to sleep in the guest bedroom at the back of our ranch-style house, because it had a bathroom, en suite. This allowed me to shuffle the shortest amount of painful steps to the facilities each time I needed them.
But also? The guest bedroom is where the bookshelves were.
The bookshelves that housed all of my mother’s favorite books, books to be read, and cast-offs.
I got a glimpse into my mama’s mind.
And it started with being in the pits.
If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries – What Am I Doing in the Pits? by Erma Bombeck was my first taste of humor writing.
And it was delicious.
From there, I picked up anything I could find by this funny female. It wasn’t until college that I learned of her struggle to get published. It wasn’t until I hit the big 4-0 that I became brave enough to enter her writing competitions.
And, while I could choose about 30 quotes from Erma Bombeck, alone, the following is still the one that gets me every time.
“I am not a glutton – I am an explorer of food.”
Clearly, Erma got me.
This post is part of my series, 31 Best Books Ever. I’ve joined in the Write 31 Days challenge. Click here to visit over there and see all of the topics people are writing about. Click the button below, or here, to see my previous posts. Happy reading!