Scurlock: I remember a storybook cottage kitchen – The Daily Reporter

My grandmother’s house in Spicewood Court is the most beautiful house I have ever spent the night in. A world away from our home across town, my grandmother lived in a decent neighborhood. His neighborhood had a name – and sidewalks and tall shade trees and a pool with a deep end and a clubhouse. My grandmother’s house had two stories, extra bedrooms, a two-car garage, a front porch, a back patio, and manicured flower beds, full bird feeders, and some sort of criss-cross pattern on the windows that Felt like a cottage storybook. When we were kids, my younger brother and I spent a lot of time at the Spicewood Court house, and the room I remember the most is the kitchen.

In the morning, my grandmother would wake us up rustling to wash and dress before breakfast. At the kitchen table, she led my brother and me in prayer before our meal. She served hot or cold cereal, allowing us to add sugar if we wanted. Of course, we added sugar, and when she told us that was enough, we waited until her back was turned to add another shake, laughing knowingly as we stirred. In the middle of the table were stacks of buttered toast to which we could add honey or jam if we liked. I had long, thick, unkempt hair, and she came beside me to tie it back and away from my face and my food, reminding me of the importance of thorough brushing and how proud we should be of our appearance. With the curtains drawn and the blinds up, I noticed small jumping spiders on the windowsills. My grandmother always told us to leave the spiders alone. She assured us that they wouldn’t bother us if we didn’t bother them, and I believed her, and I wasn’t afraid.

Many afternoons my brother and I would kneel in chairs at the kitchen counter and help my grandmother measure and mix the ingredients for the oatmeal cookies. She kept a variety of mixes to choose from: raisins, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and even mint chocolate chips. We enjoyed the freshly baked cookies and packed many to take home with us. At the kitchen table, we played board games, put together puzzles, painted pictures, and circled wishes in the Sears catalog. We have done our homework. The kitchen is where we practiced good manners and our inner voice. My grandmother kept a small box of chewing gum in one of the cupboards that smelled of chewing gum and cinnamon and she offered us each a piece between meals.

When my grandmother finally packed us up to go home, we were undoubtedly well rested, with full bellies and clean clothes, bags with the cookies we had baked, and probably a pan to give to our father. I may be pretty scattered and overly nostalgic about it all, but truth be told, I think my brother and I always left Spicewood Court a little more civilized, a little more cultured, and a little more prepared to face the world.

Nicole Scurlock lives in Greenfield with her husband and house cat. Their 20-year-old daughter attends Purdue University. Nicole enjoys reading and cooking in her spare time.

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