Nini

Brat is my mother’s clone, but I take after dad’s mom.

Her easel sat next to the dining room table. Mine sits next to the kitchen island. We both revel in bread dough and her face is stamped on mine.

I’m the one with dubious table manners. Sister Sue has alien pig tails, and extra newspaper because she has progressed from testing food with her forehead to smashing it on the table.

I have a small painting Nini did of the desert and a few old photos she colored with oils. Where the painting in the picture went, I wish I knew.

Dad had her talent. When I was in high school, we took a class at the local college where our medium was house paint. Each student brought a different color to share. I have his painting – an ancient, gnarled tree on an outcropping of rock, backlit with the vibrant blue of a Sierra sky.

I remember.

The easel, the scent of baking bread, the oversized burgundy chair I used as a throne, and I kid you not, the bottle I demanded long after I needed it, because my sisters’ had them and I was not about to be left out.

But I wish I knew more.

17 Replies to “Nini”

  1. A great story and reflection on your childhood. Every child is different it seems. Especially boys and girls! I remember the big oversized burgundy chair, with the wide flat arms and two ribs of wood that went down the center and to the floor. Amazing what comes to mind. Thank you for sharing! And the homemade bread smell is like none other!

  2. Oh, man! This picture says it all. It’s great having cell phones to take photos every second of our day but nothing beats these old time shots and the memories they hold. This is a treasure trove, Kelly. Simply wonderful! ๐Ÿ’ซ ๐Ÿ’•

    1. Thank you. We were so lucky. Rob and I had families who hammed it up in lots of photos. We even have a vintage brass stereograph viewer and thousands of the old double image, sepia prints.

  3. This piece evokes memories and emotions of every former child…or maybe only for those of us who had idyllic childhoods…or maybe for those of us who see our childhood through that same gauzy, warmth that keeps all childhood terrors at bay.

  4. Very cool piece of nostalgia with this post, and I love the line, “I have his painting โ€“ an ancient, gnarled tree on an outcropping of rock, backlit with the vibrant blue of a Sierra sky…” it leaves me wanting more ๐Ÿ™‚ Nothing quite as powerful as growing up in such a vibrant, beautiful world as you have described.

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