The Story: Sometimes you Just. Need. Chocolate. And you need it NOW. But you really don’t need a whole pan full. When I lived with my mother, my little suite in the basement didn’t have an oven or a stove, just a microwave. I used the kitchen of course, but sometimes I just wanted to […]
About Gretchen Staebler
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Hearing loss is one of the myriad ways I’m beginning to align with my mother. For years, my mother had life-disrupting tinnitus, until she became completely deaf in one ear and critically impaired in the other. (Or maybe she became deaf and thus the tinnitus.) She avoided places where there was noise, it made her […]
The Story In an effort to avoid taking my mother to the ER when she was clearly not feeling well, but her symptoms didn’t seem to match those of her previous bowel blockages, I took her to an urgent care instead. Diagnosis: dehydration. Cure: Gatorade. My mother always had a cup of hot water by […]
We do not remember days, we remember moments (Cesare Pavese, Italian writer). My mother was passionate about her rice bags. Each evening—and afternoon when she began napping in her bed—regardless of the season, she’d microwave-heat one for her feet in spite of wearing socks, one for her knees, and one for her right arm on […]
Reader post by B.R. Posted: March 12, 2022 I’m not going to sugarcoat any of this. I’m wide awake at 1:30 am after a dinner of Good n Plenty and turkey casserole several hours ago. My hair is matted with dry shampoo and my worry gene just shifted into overdrive. On Valentine’s Day, I took […]
The Story Mama loved soup. By which I mean, she loved soup. She loved to make it and eat it and clean out the refrigerator into her Revere Ware pot, and she loved to preserve it. There were so many half-pint yogurt containers in the freezer developing freezer burn, I couldn’t keep up with it. […]
Mama is on a mission to find the best chocolate chip cookie, and Michelle is her unwitting accomplice. Can she make them the same way—per Mama’s instructions—using the same ingredients, and have them come out different? No. Today was cookie day, and Mama isn’t happy with the outcome. “What was wrong this time?” I ask […]
My mother never stopped being keen about walking, even when she could no longer walk in her beloved woods. The safest place for her to exercise is the Lewis County Mall, where she picks up a cart outside the Sears store and pushes it around and around the mall’s small interior. On Super Bowl Sunday, […]
My mother’s Remington Rand manual typewriter sits on a cabinet near my desk. She made her living with a typewriter as a young woman, and then as she waited out WWII for her husband of six weeks to return from Europe. The old typewriter represents a connection to my mother that the electric one I […]
The Story My mother ate a lot of applesauce, mixing her crushed Centrum Silver vitamin into it. She could no longer home-can it as she had in my youth, or process it for freezing as she had in later years. One of my favorite treats when I came to my parents’ home for a visit, […]