THE RED STUFF
by Abbie Johnson Taylor
For six years, despite my limited vision, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side soon after we were married. Bill was so finicky that mealtime was often a nightmare because he didn’t always want to eat what I wanted to fix. So, I had to scramble to find a substitute for him while still enjoying what I wanted to eat.
One year at Christmas, my singing group performed at an apartment complex for senior citizens. After we sang, we were invited to eat with the residents. Because I needed to get home and prepare supper for Bill and me, I reluctantly declined. The cook, whom Bill and I knew, offered to send me home with food for both of us. I agreed, grateful I wouldn’t have to fix anything. I knew Bill would enjoy the meal they were serving.
“Okay, honey,” I said, in our kitchen later, as I set a plate of food in front of him at the table. “There’s a pork chop on the right that I’ve cut up. In front of you is stuffing, and that red stuff at the top on the left-hand side I’m pretty sure is cranberry sauce.”
A moment later, I realized I’d mistakenly identified the red concoction when Bill said, “Ooh, these beets are horrible!”
“I’m sorry,” I said. It was all I could do to keep from laughing. “I guess I should have sniffed them first. I assumed it was cranberry sauce.”
“Well, you know what happens when you assume, don’t you?”
“Yes,” I answered with a sigh. “I’m sorry.”
Needless to say, I ate a second helping of beets, which I like and don’t eat often. To this day, I’ve never learned not to assume anything.
Note: The above piece can also be read on Recovering the Self and was also published in this year’s fall/winter issue of Magnets and Ladders.
You’re invited to my state poetry society’s virtual open mic poetry reading on Sunday, December 12th at 5 p.m. mountain time. You can share some poetry or just listen. See below for details.
WyoPoets is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
This event is open to anyone who wants to share or listen to poetry. You
don’t have to be a member of WyoPoets, you don’t even have to be in Wyoming
to participate. So, feel free to invite your friends!
Please sign up to read using this Google Form:
The first 20 poets to sign up will get to read, additional poets will be
allowed based on time.
Topic: Poetry Night
Time: Dec 12, 2021 05:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 815 2731 7416
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Meeting ID: 815 2731 7416
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Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.
Independently published with the help of DLD Books.
Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.
After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.
Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.
Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?
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