In Memory of Kay Kim's Blogs

What You Remember Saves you


 

 

The scent of cinnamon, brown sugar, & sweet butter slide up my nostrils like an entire childhood.

 

I disappear into high school days, God searching days, free verse days.

 

I evaporate into burnt orange carpet, pea green walls, Marlboro stained curtains.

 

I write in tablets, hundreds of tablets, page after page of tablets. I skip lines, scribble, jot down the names of poets I want to read, boys I want to kiss,  metaphors I don’t understand.

 

I do not fully recognize my own feelings, my thoughts, and mostly, my shadows.

 

I find Plath. She gets me. I find it absolutely astonishing how a stranger can write the things I think.

 

Holy shit, I am not crazy after all.   Or perhaps I am.

 

My mother is a stay-at-home-mother, a goddess, a saint.

 

My sister and I watch her create ‘real’ cinnamon buns, not the store bought variety.

 

We watch her shift around the kitchen— her apron strings swinging from side to side like Poe’s Pendulum.

 

She kneads the dough; her strong hands rising and falling oh-so beautifully, oh-so-masterfully.

 

She melts the butter, then rubs it over the buns with her slender fingers. Her wedding bands are still on—glittering gold like happy wives.

 

She tells us to grab handfuls of brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg.

 

Joyfully, we do as she says.

 

While the buns brown, we dance barefooted on yellowed kitchen linoleum to Patsy Cline.

 

“My God, now that’s a voice,” my mother purrs.

 

She extends her right hand out to Kay—then her left hand out to me
and begins to twist.

 

Slowly.   Silkily.

 

We weave against each other until our sides hurt, until our breath lessens.

 

I can still taste my mother’s cherry lipstick upon my mouth, still smell her hair spray.

 

I can still hear my sister’s bountiful laughing. It lingers in every corner & resonates in my soul like warm, sweet air.

 

This is the reason we have memories, isn’t it? This is the reason we relive what is stored inside.

 

To gather up its heat for later use.

 

Gooey cinnamon buns.   Sisters.   Poetry.   Dancing on yellowed linoleum with the Goddess.

 

O’, the love pours over these moments like beautiful benedictions.

 

——–Darling,  Reader,  have you stored up beautiful memories to relive?

 

–Sign up for the Kay Marie Sisto Walk To End Domestic Violence Here:  http://www.theduluthmodel.org/events.html

 

 


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51 Comments

  • Reply
    Nikky44
    May 16, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I don’t know why, but every beautiful memory feels like an illusion, a lie, a product of my imagination. I do try. I keep traces, hings I can read or feel that remind me it was real, bu some days even with the reminders, it still feels an illusion. The memory I try most to keep in my heart that brings me peace was November 2012.

  • Reply
    Chris Carter
    May 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Ah…. LOVE. I feel like I am right there with you in the kitchen. Dancing on the linoleum. Her apron wisping past me as I twirl. Smelling the scents of your younger years.

    Rich. I love how you keep it simmering.

    My memories ebb and flow from painful burnt edges that still pierce my sides, to deep shades of water color, that soak my soul. I try to re-live in the water color shades as much as I can.
    Chris Carter recently posted..She Doesn’t Remember…My Profile

  • Reply
    nan @ lbddiaries
    May 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Snapdragon flowers bring to mind living in Germany as a child and the community garden in our back yard. One person only raised flowers (instead of veggies and fruit) and I would sit out there in the dirt among the many flower stalks and close my eyes, memorizing the scent forever. Then Alpha Hubby took my memory as I told it to him and duplicated it for me in our former HUGE garden. He dedicated half of it to me in flowers. Rows and rows of amazingly scented flowers, some dainty, some beautifully strong, all scented to bring warm summer memories of his unbelievable love for me. Now we live where there are more rocks than dirt so he is building me a huge raised bed garden, just for my flowers (with a few of his tomato plants among them). Snapdragons hold many beautiful memories for me.

  • Reply
    Bren
    May 16, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    So beautiful. Those are the memories we treasured for a lifetime. xoxo
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  • Reply
    lisa
    May 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Kim, this is one of your very best, and it brings back so many wonderful childhood memories.
    When all is said and done, it is these that keep us going. That make us smile from deep within our hearts.

    Have a wonderful weekend, sweet friend. xo.

  • Reply
    Considerer
    May 16, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Beautiful. I could feel, see, hear, smell and taste this post. Love it.

    Ah but memories are fickle things. My best ones are yet to be made.
    Considerer recently posted..So I might’ve been assaulted…but at least it was funny!My Profile

  • Reply
    lisa thomson-The Great Escape...
    May 16, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Oh, Kim I feel like I was right there in the kitchen with you, Kay and the Goddess 🙂 Yes, I do have some cherished memories stored up that I use on occasion. When my children were babies, when I was in College, when I first fell in love…they’re all there and peek out once in a while.
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  • Reply
    Elephant's Child
    May 16, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Memories to cherish, to nurture, to make your heart sing when the rest of the world has faded to dreary, impossible grey (or painfilled black and red). An essential. And I love the colour, the scent and the warmth of yours. Hugs.
    Elephant’s Child recently posted..He is home…My Profile

  • Reply
    Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com
    May 16, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Hi Kim….ah I could almost taste those cinnamon buns. 🙂 You both were so fortunate to have such a mom and you are fortunate still to have such sweet memories.

    And I’m liking this new poetry type of post. It suites you and makes your words seem so strong….and SMELL good too.

    ~Kathy
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  • Reply
    Alison at Diamond-Cut Life
    May 16, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Yesyesyes. To both my beautiful memories and yours.
    I have boxes and boxes of my old journals, which I read periodically.
    They hold pain as well as beauty.
    Like your blog.
    Alison at Diamond-Cut Life recently posted..Top Ten Things To Happily Live WithoutMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jennifer Wolfe
    May 16, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Of course, of course! Memories of my mother, my grandmothers, my great grandmothers, my grandfathers, my great grandfathers…and my babies. Memories haunt me every day. They are with me, always.

  • Reply
    Balroop Singh
    May 16, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I don’t have any such memories of my childhood…may be because I have always been trying to erase them, wipe them out of my mind, may be because they didn’t deserve to be treasured and that gives me great satisfaction that I have succeeded…may be.

    This post takes me back into time, though and I remember trying to be the best mother to my children, baking chocolate cakes and taking delight in the eating races they had to the kitchen to finish it before any of their cousins could do so! Ya…memories! we all love them…they are the ones, which make detachments so difficult.
    Balroop Singh recently posted..When We Attach Freedom To Our Emotions!My Profile

  • Reply
    Amy@SoulDipper
    May 16, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    You are such a writer. Loved having my senses pampered and brought to life! XO sweet Kim.

    Love, for sure, Amy
    Amy@SoulDipper recently posted..Thankful for the AfflictionMy Profile

  • Reply
    Debi
    May 16, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    I feel as if I were in the kitchen twirling with you and your mom and sis. Sweet memories indeed.

    I have sweet memories of my dear aunt when the late afternoon, summer sun casts long shadows in the garden. I can smell her perfumed roses and hear the birds in her garden. I exhale with a calm joy when this happens.
    Debi recently posted..The Beauty of Lost GoalsMy Profile

  • Reply
    solidgoldcreativity
    May 16, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Wow! “I disappear into high school days, God searching days, free verse days.” Hair standing up on the back of my neck xx

  • Reply
    Jann
    May 16, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Kim, I’m enjoying your poem with my first cup of coffee, and feel like I myself am twirling around the yellow linoleum!!! What a beautiful moment you’ve re-created. All my life, whenever I’ve had such “perfect moments,” I said to myself: “Etch this in your memory so you can come back to it when times are bad.” I even go back to those perfect moments when I’m wide awake at night because of worry. I calm right down and go to sleep. xxxx
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  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    May 16, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Some days, memories are all that keep me going. “To gather up its heat for later use” – that’s what my mind is full of.

    Your post somehow made me think of the movie “Mermaids” – that scene where Cher and her girls (Wynona Rider and Christina Ricci) sing and dance in their kitchen – the song is “The Shoop Shoop song (it’s in his kiss)”. It is here http://youtu.be/ARZDfcVOwno

    Love you more than acres of sunflower fields!

    Hugs!
    Vidya Sury recently posted..Inspiring Stories. Against All OddsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    May 17, 2014 at 12:36 am

    I don’t have any such sweet and loving memories of my childhood….all I can remember is that my grandmother didn’t like me much because I am a gal…and at that time, they all just wanted a boy and the school SUCKED too. I sure don’t want to go back to childhood. AT ALL.
    I love the memories of yours..cherry lipstick, sister’s laughter, gooey cinnamon buns…they are so vivid in front of me..your sweet memories of your loved ones. Beautifully written, Kim.
    Have a beautiful beautiful weekend!
    Angie
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  • Reply
    Mandy - The Complete Book
    May 17, 2014 at 2:30 am

    Yay, saw your post on FB so I won’t miss another post.
    Darling Kim, I could visualise you with Kay and your mom in the kitchen! Beautiful!
    Love, love, love to you darling friend.
    🙂 Mandy xoxoxo
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  • Reply
    debbie
    May 17, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Some memories make me smile and some are so special and sweet they make me sad because I know I won’t see these people who make up these memories again in this lifetime….
    debbie recently posted..Sauerkraut LatkesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Ellen M. Gregg
    May 17, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Beautiful…

    So many memories, Kim. The tastes are nutmeg and cinnamon. The dough is for “real” doughnuts. The music is Rodgers & Hammerstein or Frank Sinatra, or maybe that upstart Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” which had just burst on the scene. The dancers are my own goddess mother, and me, while my brothers played outside and my father played in the garage or shed.

    Luminous. Effervescent. Poignant. Delicious.

    Love, darling. <3 xoxo
    Ellen M. Gregg recently posted..Perspective: IntrospectiveMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shay from Trashy Blog
    May 17, 2014 at 6:19 am

    This made me cry. I am such a nostalgic person, and yes, I definitely do save up memories. Thank you so much for this!!
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  • Reply
    Debbie
    May 17, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Kim, what a delicious memory you’ve recaptured! I was right there with you, twirling on the kitchen floor with you, Kay, and your dear mother.

    There’s a great deal of wisdom in your words — “What you remember saves you.” Perhaps every family needs a writer, someone to soak up the memories and put them back in tangible form so the others can relieve them, too. I’m delighted that this is such a warm and sweet memory for you! (Not all memories are, you know, and even those we have to pass through every now and then, or we’re doomed to forget the lessons we learned).

    Today might be just a perfect “excuse” to get together with your mom and whip up some of those cinnamon rolls, hmm? As if anybody really needs an excuse to enjoy a treat!!
    Debbie recently posted..My Home Away From HomeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sandra Garth
    May 17, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Sweet Mother of Pearl you have a way with words!!

  • Reply
    Alice
    May 17, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful memory with us Kim. I really take strength in your open-ness and willingness to share the grittier parts of life with us, that so few do.

    I too have a strong memory, very much attached to a cinnamon tea cake i was making one day (when I received a phone call,) that a dear friend of mine had died. Believe it or not, I’ve never made a cinnamon custard tea cake since then and we’re talking years down the track.

    Funny I recall being upset with my brother & sister because they wanted to finish the cake! They were young back then 😉
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  • Reply
    Marie
    May 17, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I love these memories Kim. They do follow me everywhere and have the ability to show me that life is beautiful, despite all the pain and suffering around.
    I love reading yours, so plain, so joyful, so rare.
    xxxxxxxx
    Marie recently posted..Shots of my city!My Profile

  • Reply
    reneejohnsonwrites
    May 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    “O’, the love pours over these moments like beautiful benedictions,” — pure poetry. You have waltzed us all through a moment in your childhood, giving us the laughter and smiles and scents of your happiness. I think we often don’t know when we are making a lasting memory, and sometimes we do. And when I experience those rare ones, time nearly stops.
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  • Reply
    Hotly Spiced
    May 17, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    What wonderful memories and your mother sounds like a fantastic mom. I so adore cinnamon buns and I can remember my mother making them and the beautiful aroma that came from the kitchen as they baked. She didn’t make them all that often – only after she discovered them on a trip to the US xx
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  • Reply
    ladyfi
    May 18, 2014 at 7:39 am

    What succulent and gorgeous memories!
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  • Reply
    Tara
    May 18, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Kim, this is beautiful. I sometimes hate memories, because they hurt. The longing to relive them, I mean. But at the same time, they make us who we are. Your mother sounds like a phenomenal woman! And she must be, because she raised some phenomenal children. I can practically taste her gooey cinnamon buns!

    Love you,
    Tara
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  • Reply
    Choc Chip Uru
    May 18, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Memories creep up on me, and then a burst of nostalgia just hits!
    What a beautiful description my friend, the pain the beauty, just how life is 🙂

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
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  • Reply
    Alison
    May 18, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Thank you, Kim, for sharing your gorgeous memories with us. xo
    Alison recently posted..I Do Love YouMy Profile

  • Reply
    Corinne Rodrigues
    May 19, 2014 at 5:53 am

    The scent of cinnamon and nutmeg wafted right over here, Kim! Such happy memories – they’re the only kind we need to keep! ♥

  • Reply
    Kalpana Solsi
    May 19, 2014 at 8:56 am

    ………….and I love the aroma of real cinnamon buns. Memories are like the aroma of the buns , spreading lightly and wanting for more.
    Kalpana Solsi recently posted..fly: haiku.My Profile

  • Reply
    Suzanne Lucas
    May 19, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Ah, those cinnamon buns smell awesome. It’s great that you have such vivid memories to go back to. Mine always seem so far away, unreal at times. I have a couple that really stand out though — like my daughter’s birth — and those are the ones I’ll never forget.

  • Reply
    Deborah Batterman
    May 19, 2014 at 9:22 am

    This is so beautifully evocative, Kim. . . . and a perfect thing for me to be reading as I make my entry back into whatever my everyday life is. I’m still reeling from all the sensations/emotions of the past week — on the heels of a road trip with my daughter in southern California another road trip to Ohio to be with family and share memories of a cousin now gone. Home has a beautiful sound/feel to it —
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  • Reply
    Liz
    May 19, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Your post reminds me of my sisters and I underfoot while my mom was baking…our greedy little selves could hardly wait till whatever she made came out of the oven. I’m glad you have these warm memories to envelop and comfort you. xo
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  • Reply
    Rita @ The Crafty Expat
    May 19, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Beautiful post Kim, beautiful words. While I was reading, a memory of me and my mum preparing dough for the pizza late at night when the house was asleep came back to me. So sweet.
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  • Reply
    Gary Philip Pennick
    May 19, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Kim,

    Wonderfully lucid, dear lady. Such senses within thine words. Memories, moments, a snap shot of our lives.

    Hugs,

    Gary 🙂 xx
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  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    May 19, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    I love disappearing into memories and nostalgia. Recently I went to the house where I grew up and just stood outside it. It was so small! Everything was much smaller back then as was I! 😀 xxx

  • Reply
    Jeri
    May 19, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    My stored up memories mostly dwell on the time I worked in Yellowstone. Those will always stand as some of the best times of my life. I used to lay on the ground on a couple of different back country trails to listen to the hiss and steam beneath the surface in certain thermal areas. Or climbing around waterfall. All of it was beautiful, but I was also young and in love, so that helped too.
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  • Reply
    Dana
    May 20, 2014 at 10:39 am

    I feel like I don’t have strong memories, but then one will hit me with all the senses. I can’t seem to conjure them up at will, but they are in my mind, waiting to knock me over with their strength. Thanks for sharing yours with us!
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  • Reply
    TheKitchenLioness
    May 22, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Dear Kim, thank you for sharing your beautiful memories of your mom, your sister, your childhood…loved reading your writing this Thursday morning. Your thoughts will be with me throughout my day today…
    Hugs and kisses,
    Andrea
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  • Reply
    Wild Child Mama
    May 22, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    That dance, the Marlboro curtains, Patsy Cline…oh, such a beautiful visual, the swaying, the cherry gloss. *sigh* I wonder what memories my own children will have. Will they be able to express them like this? My 4yo son, Bear, just started playing with the neighborhood kids. My 6yo daughter, observing the empty nest under our deck that was home to three baby birds only days before, said, “Bear is like a baby bird flying away to friendship.” I want to remember that. Her head quizzically tilted. How she seemed to savor her own words.
    I love the way you write and you are the most awesome blogger I know. I feel appreciated when I visit. And you always stop by my blog and comment. Xoxo you. are. Awesome.
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  • Reply
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother
    May 23, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    I absolutely love this. Yes, scents always bring back the past to me. Funny you should mention cinnamon buns. My sister used to make them from scratch—best I ever had. My sister died almost five years ago–far too young—-and to this day, whenever I smell cinnamon buns baking, I think of her.
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  • Reply
    Dawn
    May 24, 2014 at 5:56 am

    I remember burnt orange and pea green and pot roast simmering on Sunday afternoons and Mom in the kitchen and Dad snoring on the couch, and the smell of deep rich earth in the garden where we grew most of our vegetables and the sound of the dog barking out back and the contentment of long evenings spent laughing around the kitchen table. Thanks for taking me back.

  • Reply
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes
    May 25, 2014 at 5:39 am

    What a beautifully written post. I’m so glad I stopped by today. What a blessing to have such a vivid memory of spending time with those you love.
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  • Reply
    Old Kitty
    May 25, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Ooooh I can totally smell those yummy home made cinnamon buns! Such wonderful happy memories! Take care
    x

  • Reply
    Lady Jennie
    May 26, 2014 at 3:05 am

    This is gorgeous. A beautiful kitchen memory filled with love and family.

    And now I want cinnamon buns too!
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  • Reply
    Annette Molitor
    May 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    You are so good at writing with imagery.

    Some good memories I have are the smell of pine at the cabin, our first plunge into the lake when weather allowed us, diving for pop cans with our swimming goggles. Playing silly word games with my younger brother. One day we said sentences and put the letter B in front of every word. Randy said; now think of this;…”I’m airing out my sleeping bag” “Bime baring bout by bleeping bag!” And we howled with laughter. Isn’t it sad that kids don’t have good simple fun anymore? Too much video games.

    Do you know what else is sad? I wonder how many times I’ve posted on your blog and the post didn’t go through because I didn’t put my email in. Thunk! I hit my forehead earlier when I realized that. Can you see that? lol!

    See you Saturday! annette
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