“Some hills are each only a few centimeters short of being a mountain.” 

The day is already hot at 82°. I’ve turned on the air conditioner. Both dogs are now stretched out and sleeping. Neither one was out for too long earlier. Poor Nala doesn’t do well in the heat. She pants a lot.

When I was a kid, our house, a duplex, was close to the top of a huge hill and was on the corner of the street. It had a big, grassy lawn in front. There was a set of stairs from the street up to the pathway to the front door. I never rode my bike down that lawn but, instead, rode it down the smaller grassy hill next to the stairs then I’d glide to the big hill. Down that hill was the fastest ride. Up that hill was the slowest. About halfway up, I’d have to stop riding and start walking my bike. The hill was just a mite too steep.

In the winter, that hill was perfect for sledding. We’d walk to the top of the hill, run and then hit the sleds on our stomachs with our legs bent at the knee and the bottom of our legs in the air. Only little kids sat up on their sleds. We flew down that hill. At the bottom, we’d grab the rope at the front of the sled and trudge up the hill for another run. When our lips turned blue, it was time to go inside.

My mother aways made breakfast so we’d be fortified for school. She made oatmeal in winter, the sort you had to boil. It always had a few lumps, but if you added milk and tons of sugar, the lumps didn’t matter. She’d cook soft-boiled eggs. She’d make toast and cut the pieces into strips which fit through the tops of the eggs, perfect pieces for dipping. Sometimes we’d have cereal. We always added sugar to the cereal. I drank cocoa and my brother drank tea. My mother served the tea from a ceramic teapot. It always seemed a bit fancy. The cocoa was made in my cup with half boiling water and half milk. It had bubbles around the inside rim.

When I watch old TV shows like Leave It to Beaver or The Donna Reed Show, there is always a stack of white bread on the dinner table. I always wondered about that. Why squishy white bread? I’d understand rolls or slices of Italian bread but I just don’t get the white bread.

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2 Comments on ““Some hills are each only a few centimeters short of being a mountain.” ”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today the sky is perfectly clear blue without even a wisp of clouds. The predicted hi today is a mild 102°. The wind is out of the southwest at only 9 miles per hour which will keep the humidity nice and low. Later in the week the wind will come from the southeast which will bring in more humidity from the Gulf of Mexico.

    When I was a kid my mother gave us bowls of cold cereal for breakfast most days. My parents ate soft boiled eggs, but I detested them. I still don’t like them. I also added lots of sugar along with the milk to the cereal. I would even add sugar to both Sugar Pops or Frosted Flakes. 🙂 In those days my mother only bought whole milk because she thought skim milk didn’t contain enough vitamins.

    Like you, I always wondered if other families ate white bread with their meals as a stack of the stuff appeared on most situation comedy family dinner tables.

    Here in Texas it’s still difficult to find good bread. There is a local chain that bakes fresh French croissants and other French bread such as Baguettes daily It’s called, ‘la Madeleine’. The prices are outrageous. When I was a kid, all the bread in the grocery stores was enriched squishy white bread. When visiting NYC we would treat ourselves to the good varieties of Rye Bread, Bagels, French Baguettes, Pumpernickel, and a host of other real bakery breads.

    Dallas has improved in the selection of bread, but most grocery stores don’t carry the real thing. We do have a local chain of good NY Bagels. It’s run by a Vietnamese family who bought out a Kosher style deli many years ago. Their Bagels are better than the chin store variety, ‘Einstein’s’.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bo,
      A mild 102°!! I love your tongue in cheek humor!! It was 81° most of the day. The concert was outside, but there was a comfortable breeze. By the middle of the week it will get down to the 60’s.

      We had a hot breakfast in the winter. Sometimes my mother served soft boiled eggs with crumbled crackers, usually Ritz. They were delicious. I read recently that kids should get whole milk as they are still growing and need the vitamins and protein in whole milk. My mother watched the amount of sugar we put on our cereal. We sometimes used brown sugar and honey on our oatmeal. It was delicious.

      I didn’t know anybody whose mother served a plate of white bread at dinner. You don’t see that anymore.

      There is a genuine French bakery down cape. It sells the best tasting bread and has a small dining room for breakfast and lunch, bakery goods and sandwiches. I don’t go down too much. The bagels here, though, are only so so!

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