Kept and Lost
By Aisha Marie
Everyone has secrets. Everyone. Things left unsaid to avoid hurt feelings or to keep peace. Secrets we choose to keep because, well, they make our lives easier. My mother taught me that even in marriage, some things are best kept secret. If only she had followed her own advice.
I was ten when I met Earl. He had a big nose, intensely blue eyes, and he took time to cut up a hot dog and feed pieces of it to my little dog Toby. That made him okay in my eyes. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was being introduced to the man who was to become my stepfather. Within a few short weeks we were living as a family in a small house in Cataldo.
Mom was a good cook and before marrying Earl, she had worked first as a lunch lady in the Rose Lake Elementary School, in a place and time when school lunches were still wholesomely prepared meals. Later she cooked in a steakhouse, preparing everything from a juicy T-bone served with tender scallops to the notorious Rocky Mountain oysters. She knew her way around a kitchen.