This snapshot of my mother was probably taken around Christmas, 1965, but the scene would have been very similar on Thanksgiving or nearly any other meal time: Mom in the kitchen finishing up dinner preparations.
She seems to have been caught off-guard just a little, looking toward someone behind the photographer, probably my 6' 6" brother-in-law since she's looking upward.
The room that is the background in this photo is etched in my memory. This is the old kitchen, before they put in new and more cupboards.
I think you can barely see the upper cupboards because they are white against white walls. They had those old handles that had a little lever built in which when pressed released the catch so the cupboards would open.
Just behind my mother, on the counter, sat our heavy, black, rotary dial telephone. There was a stool that sat between the stove and the counter where the phone sat. I spent hours on that stool talking on the phone when I was a teenager. No privacy in our home - no chance of getting into trouble!
You can see the tea kettle on the stove but the coffee pot was used even more often - every morning and night. It was one of those 2-part, hourglass-shaped ones that separated in the middle and used suction to make the coffee. I'm sure it's on the stove - we just can't see it.
The bread basket she's holding is one she used for years and years. I don't know if it was a gift or one she found and particularly liked.
To the right of this photo is the refrigerator, and to the right of that is the closet where my mom stored her large cans of flour and sugar to refill the canisters she kept on the counter; where the coats hung; where the picnic basket was stored; etc.
In the window, barely discernable, is a Christmas wreath with a candle in the center. My mom used that as far back as my memory goes, and until she moved out of the house a year or so before she passed away. Every Christmas it hung in that window. Thinking about it now, it's strange that neither my siblings nor I kept it.
And then there are the smells associated with this photo. I'll smell them again this Thanksgiving and Christmas. Lovely fragrances of roasting turkey, stuffing, hot rolls, pumpkin pie. Sumptuous smells that say, "Holiday!"
I took some unusual photographs when I was young (give a kid a camera and see what you get!) and yet I'm grateful to have them because they make the images in my head more vivid.
Go to Sepia Saturday to see what others are cooking up this Saturday.