12. Waffles

As a teenager, I loved to sleep in on Saturday mornings. Invariably, I would be woken by the loud and disjointed sounds of my mother in the kitchen, by her laughter as she spoke on the phone, by drawers closing, and cupboards slamming, and pans banging. I. Hated. It. I would lie in bed fuming with the certainty that this was all a part of her ploy to get me out of bed (it was) and furious that I could not be left to sleep in the undisturbed silence I deserved. 

When I moved out, it was the very sound I missed the most. It is a strange feeling when you first head out in the world on your own. So often you crave that sense of returning, that all-encompassing sense of shelter offered when you’re safely sleeping in a house that you are not responsible for. I miss that feeling the most.

The first morning here, I woke early to the sounds of pots and pans in the kitchen. I sat up in bed, pulled the down comforter around me, noted the beautiful sky as it changed colors, and listened to the miraculous sound of Melanie making breakfast below. Melanie…. Making breakfast.

The waking up view.

I’m not sure I can adequately describe what this phenomenon is like. Melanie raised four boys, was the consummate football mom who prepared meals large enough to feed the entire team, and she doesn’t mess around with breakfast. Each morning that there are guests (and there have been guests each morning that I’ve been here), Melanie prepares a huge, four-course breakfast, the kind that negates the need to eat again until dinner.

This is the thing I didn’t know I needed. To be cared for. Melanie gets that too, because not only did she raise four boys, she did it alone for the latter years. Which I can’t even wrap my head around. I love the island and its beauty and the quaint little houses and all the people but what I really love is to watch the sky grow light from my bed and listen to Melanie make breakfast.

Favorite thinking spot.

The cottage has four bedrooms upstairs, all of which share a single bathroom. I say this because, perhaps, that is the other thing I needed. Not to share bathrooms necessarily, but to share space. After months and months of quarantine, it feels so good to move in and out of life with other people. Most guests only stay a night or two, but always around breakfast there are stories and conversations that feed the soul in a really necessary kind of way.

And in between I bundle up in ten layers because the wind is always blowing and the damp is always brisk and when you sit for long periods of time, you just get really cold! And then you walk outside and realize it isn’t ten layers worth of cold, only two layers worth of mildly chilly.

What ten layers of writing clothes look like.

This morning, I started writing before I even came downstairs, which Melanie noticed. I crept down for coffee and crept back up and five minutes later, with a knock and a flourish, Melanie appeared with breakfast. 

I know.

Third course of the best breakfast ever. Yes, of course Melanie made the waffles from scratch. Why would you even ask that?!

I asked for what I needed on this trip and it was provided but so too were many things that I didn’t know I needed and didn’t dare to ask for. Which makes me want to weep and touch my face to the ground. Like when you with someone on an island that is home to a dozen lobstermen, sometimes they walk out the back door and snag a few fresh ones for dinner. Which Melanie also did.

I’m sorry for posting this. It feels a bit mean-spirited. I hope everyone one gets to enjoy fresh from the backyard lobsters at some point in their lives!

I feel like I’m an athlete running a marathon only with words that simultaneously agonize and liberate and Melanie is my coach cheering me on from the finish line. And you guys. You keep cheering too. Thank you for the encouraging texts and emails. I’m sorry I don’t always respond but also right now my brain is single-mindedly focused like a squirrel facing winter only with hoards of words instead of nuts.

Also thank you to mama for loving and feeding my teenage daughter and forcing her to see daylight every now and then. I know that’s not an easy task.

That’s it guys.

Published by dainsworth

The tether. That thing that binds us to our families of origin, not by any desire of our own, but through the mere act of existence. We spend our lives exploring the roots of this connection, be it to an unending wellspring of love or the heavy, unshakeable burden of pain. We create new ones. We watch as old ones fray. And sometimes, in life's most painful moments, we witness those tethers break. (un)tethered traces the paths of old and new connections through family, love, the modern church, and fourteen-years of single-parenting. I begin this blog in a time of deep uncertainty, having recently left my position at the boarding school where I lived and taught for the past five years. Technically, I still live in Charlottesville, VA, but the next steps in life could take us anywhere! There are many unknowns ahead, but I know I am not alone in this. I hope this will be a place of solace for all who are wandering/wondering through this time.

3 thoughts on “12. Waffles

  1. Happy Friday! You are running a marathon, but you seem to have been training for it unknowingly for quite sometime. Enjoy the liberation of the words. We look forward to enjoying the foretastes along the way. Much love, Kristine

  2. That’s good that you have time to reflect – it’s strange the things we miss! That you’re well cared for is a comfort to us, and so well expressed by you: “sense of shelter offered when you’re safely sleeping”. We get to enjoy the words you come up with!

    Nice windows and lovely view – and sunshine, bonus! Glad that you got to experience fresh lobster, and notice, with different foods, how your body likes it (or dislikes it). There’s natural iodine in seafoods which you wouldn’t normally get if you’re landlocked, since our soils have for a long time been depleted of their natural iodine, and it’s good for some glands, such as the thyroid. So listen to your body – it might indicate something it’s been lacking. And that’s a wonderful thinking spot, a nice combination of swirling and peaceful waters, and rocks.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you, and angels are all around. Expect great things!

  3. My heart is filled to bursting hearing of the things you are receiving…you having been the giver for such a long time…and as someone who has spent some time in Maine myself, I can understand the sights, smells and sounds of that healing place. Islands are also magical places, set apart, but anchored. You have arrived at a healing place which we are so happy for you to be in right
    now.
    Please enjoy every bite of magical Melanie meals which will feed your body and release that potent storehouse of words that will nourish others when they read them! Remember, I already have your autograph 😊

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