Monday, August 15, 2011

The Pantry

Because my Momma worked for my Daddy in the drugstore most of her married life she has always had someone to help her take care of our home. For the last few years, Mary Alice has been the magic bullet.  She seems to be nuclear powered in work, in life and in loving.  A few years after my Grandmother, Julia, moved from the suburbs of Atlanta to Soperton, she had a stroke.  In came Mary Alice into my Grandmother’s duplex.  Being a thousand miles away, unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Mary Alice in action very often, but she cared tirelessly for my Grandmother, my Mom’s mother, in every way a sweet lady should be cared for.  When Julia Ivey died and Mary Alice’s job {I like to call it ministry.} ended by my Grandmother’s side, my parents continued her job of housekeeping in our home--- and home has never looked the same since.  She brings her wonderful Gospel music, plays it loud and does her work “as unto the Lord”.

While Blake and I were growing up, my Mom evidently had an organization system that worked.  Somehow, she had an enormous ability to keep up with many people, meetings, commitments, schedules and responsibilities.  She was organized but rarely made lists or kept a calendar and she certainly never owned a label maker.  She had her own way of doing things-- and still does.

The last time I was home, Julia and I were setting the table and we needed napkins.  I will ALWAYS look in the top drawer of the island because that’s where they lived when I lived there.  I have no idea who moved them.  I walked over to open the pantry.  Anyone would think maybe her system stopped at that door ~ the door where the macramé Santa face with the wonderful fuzzy beard hangs at Christmas, the door by the phone, the door you hear open in any room of the house, the door you aimlessly open while talking on the phone.  I don’t know, but going in the pantry to retrieve something was always a bit dreaded.  You knew going in might mean you may not come out for several minutes.  Shelves were stocked in deep layers and moving things around was just dangerous-- a sure way to knock things off and you just hoped it would be a sturdy can and not a glass jar.  Only Momma could open the door, grab what she needed and close the door all in one motion.  Her system was all hers.  For the rest of us, a table of contents and a map of sorts would have been helpful.  Brooms and mops were stored here along with everything else that would assist in running a great kitchen. In the alcove near the back, there were the unlined hanging baskets that held Vidalia onions and maybe potatoes.  It also housed the central vacuum system and you were in for quite a start if someone in another room decided to vacuum-- or just activate it~ for spite~ Blake.  This pantry was always something my Daddy took great joy in griping about-- how he could never find anything and “why don’t we ever eat any of this stuff?”.  He kept his griping just below the tipping point because Momma was and is an amazing cook.  Really.  Daddy knew that then and he certainly knows that now.


Looking for napkins, I opened the door.  As I smelled the familiar smells of a good cook’s pantry, little white tags on the dark brown shelves assaulted my vision.  Had my Mom bought a label maker??!!?  Surely she would have told me.  SHOWN me.  I looked more closely.  It wasn’t her handwriting.  Enter Mary Alice into my Momma’s pantry.  Of course.  As I looked for the stark white “napkin” label, I noticed that tomatoes were where tomatoes should be.  Wow.  As well as the cream of mushroom soup, fruit, pickles, salsas and so on.  Wow.  Wow.  Wow.  As I neared the bottom, I laughed out loud.



Well, I’d say, God knows.......and Momma. And now, Mary Alice.

6 comments:

Alyssa said...

Still laughing at this!

TJ Wilson said...

Oh my gosh, HILARIOUS.
"Only Momma could open the door, grab what she needed and close the door all in one motion."
LOVE it. terrific! Feel like I've peered into the pantry...

amanda said...

Oh, didn't expect that, it made me laugh! (I have a shelf similar to that, maybe I should label it God knows?)

Susan Beth said...

wow! just wow! Great writing and fun blogging!

Maria said...

Haha, I think I just had juice coming out of my nose because I laughed so hard about the "?God Knows" label. To cute! And I am love that big pantry, and it is so organized too!

Maria @ Linen & Verbena

nikki said...

ahhh! that is funny!!!! and why are there vinyl gloves in there??? i love this post!!!