(This is another special posting by Suzy. I hope you enjoy it.)
Slowly she became aware that the sun was brightly gleaming through the window, but the house was still quiet. Surely, it was late enough that she should be able to hear someone in the kitchen making breakfast. Looking at the window she could see thick ice on the glass. Grandmom said that the glazing was from Jack Frost’s breath when he peeked in the window during the night. Carefully she stuck her foot outside the covers. Brr, the air was cold. Grandmom usually came in and put her clothes on the radiator to warm, but the radiator was empty. Nothing to be done about it. Throwing back the covers she slid her feet over the edge and reached for the floor slipping down the last couple of inches. The carpet felt cold to her toes. She tugged at the top dresser drawer. It was a wide drawer and she had trouble making it pull out evenly and it jammed before it was open wide enough for her to slip her hand in and reach her under clothes. With the heel of her left hand she banged on the drawer, freeing it and she tried again to open it. She had to do it twice more before she could reach in and get her panties, undershirt, slip and socks. After neatly draping them on top of the radiator she walked over to the armoire and opened the door on the right where the longer things were hung. Not remembering any plans to go out today she tugged at an everyday dress until it came off the hanger and added it to the other things on the radiator. The radiator was putting out lots of heat, which was in contrast to the cold she could feel seeping in through the window. She reached her hand to the glass and tried to warm a spot on the window large enough to look out onto the street. Yesterday they had had a big snow. No cars seemed to be moving and so it was very quiet out there, too. It was the morning after a big storm and the sky was a brilliant blue and the sun so bright on the snow that it was hard to keep her eyes open and she had to look away. The adults must be very busy because no one seemed to have heard her walking around and come to check on her. She reached for her underclothes and quickly dropped them. They were too hot. She could see funny wiggly marks on her panties. She wondered if they were beginning to melt and grabbed for all the clothes she had put there. It felt so very good to put on the warm clothes. She hadn’t realized how chilly she had gotten. She put on her shoes and carefully went through the steps to tie the laces into bows. She was in the middle bedroom, so when she opened the door she looked back and forth down the hall, but still could not see nor hear anyone stirring. Well, that would mean the bathroom would be empty so she went in, moved the stool to the basin, climbed up and washed her face in the cold water. That was a real waker-upper.
The stairs in Grandmom’s house were steep so she always held onto the banister, except for the third step. It creaked, so she would step to the wall side. It was a game she played with herself, to go all the way down without the steps making a sound. Reaching the bottom step she looked over to the sunroom. Grandmom usually sat in the corner seat to watch the big kids walk to school, but Grandmom wasn’t there. It felt late, so maybe the kids had already passed, or maybe this wasn’t a school day. It really didn’t matter. Cheerfully she turned to look for Butchie, the black cocker spaniel that lived in this house. He always greeted her in the morning. He was so funny. As he came into the living room he was wagging his tail so hard that the entire back half of his body went from side to side with abandon. Then he tried to get so close that he knocked her over and she bumped into the coffee table and they landed in a heap together on the floor. She scratched behind his ears the way he liked, then they both got up and started for the kitchen. She caught a glimpse of herself in the dinning room mirror. Grandmom would tell her she looked like a ragamuffin. She hadn’t run a comb through her hair and it was sticking out randomly. Hair could be done later. Now, it was time for breakfast.
Still no Mom or Grandmom, but that was okay because she knew how to make a scrambled egg. She had watched Mom and Grandmom lots of times. She took an egg from the dish in the icebox. That’s what Grandmom called it, even though it had a motor on top. The only ice was the cubes in the tray in the open freezing shelf. Not wanting to break the egg too soon she carefully carried it to the counter and set it on the dishrag so it wouldn’t roll. Then she got the little cup Grandmom used to scramble eggs and the cooking fork. Grandmom had a cute little frying pan just big enough for one egg, which she took from the cabinet and put on the stove. Kneeling on a chair, she thumped the egg against the edge of the cup, but it didn’t crack. She tried again. Why had she been so careful carrying it when it wouldn’t break anyway? She hit it more sharply and half the egg and shell went into the cup and the other half fell onto the drain board. She lowered the cup into the sink and pushed the spilled half into the cup then fished out the two shell halves. It was half scrambled already. Mom always put a slosh of milk into the egg with salt and pepper before scrambling, so she climbed down and went back to the icebox. Grandmom’s milk came in glass, quart bottles with long necks. That made them easier to carry. She needed to shake the bottle because the cream had separated. The little paper lids didn’t stay on well once the bottle had been opened so she put her palm across the top of the bottle. She knew she had to pour slowly and carefully because it would be easy to get too much milk with the egg. She was so careful that it seemed to take forever for the milk to come out and then it splashed. Oh well, everyone said that it was good to drink lots of milk. She shook some pepper onto the egg milk mix and watched it float. Then she shook a little salt. Then a bit more. It seemed to gather in the center of the pepper island. Maybe a bit more. Then the salt began to sink and take the pepper with it. She guessed that was enough so she picked up the cooking fork and stirred it around quickly to beat up the egg. A bit splashed onto her hand and the drain, but not much. She still had to turn the fire on under the pan. She remembered to push the knob in and listen for the clicks before turning it clockwise. The flame whooshed up and then settled down as she kept turning the knob. After taking the flipper from the drawer next to the stove she moved her chair over in front of the burner and poured the egg into the pan and began moving the mixture with the fork before she remembered that she had to wait for it to lighten a little and begin to stick together. It didn’t take long to cook, which was a shame because it was fun to move the liquid egg in the pan and watch it firm up. Time to put it on a plate. Oh yes, a plate. After turning off the flame she climbed down and walked over to the cabinet with the dishes and took out a plate. Having moved the egg to the plate she moved the chair back then took the plate in both hands and carried her breakfast to the table. Where was everyone? This was no fun, sitting by herself to eat. Grandmom always trimmed half an orange so it would be easy to eat. Where was everyone?
She needed to find them. Where could they be? Doing the wash? She slid off the chair, put what was left of the egg down for Butchie to eat. She could get the dish later. Opening the door to the cellar she listened for the washing machine. She couldn’t hear it nor could she hear any voices, but she started down the steps to be sure. One, two, three, four, oops… In slow motion she began to tumble and bounce down the steps. They went on and on and she was still tumbling. It should hurt, but it didn’t. She just kept falling and falling.
“Come on, Sleepy Head, time to wake up.”
That was Grandmom.
“Let me slip your clothes under the covers. It’s chilly out here so put them on before you get out from under.”
It was just now time to get up.
“The storm is over. There’s lot of snow and sunshine outside. After a nice, warm breakfast we’ll get the sled out. Your Mom and Granddad can go down the hill with you.”
Everyone was home.
The last word:
Suzy always likes the first day after a snowstorm. The sun shining on fresh white show after a period of gray skies over a gray landscape cheers her up.
Keep your sense of humor.