My twin brother Bill and I were nine years old at the time and our sister Carolyn was three. The youngest sibling was not yet in the picture. During Mom’s absence it was agreed that our paternal grandparents would be staying with us for the ten-day period to help hold the fort. During that particular garden harvest period, eggplant was in season and that’s what each of us remembered Dad frying up for almost every dinner. To this day I do not gravitate to the aubergine.
Oma was known for her Butterkuchen (butter cake) and she did not disappoint her Enkelkinder (grandchildren) during the babysitting experiment. I can still smell the yeast and butter/sugar aroma; we could barely wait for that sheet pan delicacy to cool before diving into it.
With her good intentions in the cleaning department, Oma decided to go the extra mile and polish the silverware. For us, the stray set we had was old worn silver, probably tossed rejects from one of Dad’s previous estate bosses. Anyway, Oma used a Brillo pad to do the deed.
Poor Oma, poor silver. It remains an amusing recollection. Mom’s first absence provided a new experience and special bonding for all of us.
On my trip ahead I will be taking Mom with me…promoting her memoir, Journey Between Two Worlds. I call it “Karola on Tour.” She won’t need a passport…just twice the money.