Mother/Daughter Memories

image1Today, I want to share with you an update on my redecorating in the form of a writing exercise I incorporated into the prompt for our writing group within The Transition Network, TTN. We were to describe a room. I’ve always been a little fearful of writing dialog, but here goes.

Standing in my newly redecorated kitchen, my daughter Kara gazed around with approval. “It’s beautiful,” she exclaimed. “It looks so clean and bright without the wall paper. The modern flooring and the white painted walls make it a whole new kitchen.”

“I’m told the laminated floor actually looks like wood, “I said, “and I adore walking across this carpet in the dining area in my bare feet–It’s so lush.”

Kara agreed. “It’s a great color, a warm brown mixed with a bit of gray, very ‘in’.”

“Did you see what I have on the wall over the table?” I asked, sweeping my arm in presentation. “It’s a photo of a cardinal, taken by Roberta who is a professional photographer.”

Kara walked over and leaned forward to get a better look. “I love it. It’s so cheerful, with his bright red against that snowy branch. And I see you found place mats with a male cardinal that looks just like him, and darling cardinal salt and pepper shakers, too. Is this going to be your new kitchen theme? No more teapots and blue willow dishes?”

“Oh no,” I said,” turning to face the cabinets over the sink. “Look up there. Mom’s teapots are still marching along, and I will never take down Grandma’s Blue Willow.”

Kara sniffed the air significantly. “Are you baking something? It smells delicious.”

“Oh my gosh,” I said as I whirled around to the stove. “It’s the bran muffins.” Just then, Alexa chimed in with, “Your muffins are done. Your muffins are done.”

Still taking in the new look, as I pulled the muffins out of the oven, Kara said, “I just noticed that the color of your laminate is the same as your cabinets, that light honey brown. It feels warm and inviting. M…M…M…those muffins look yummy.”

“After we let them cool enough to take out of the pan, we’ll have one,” I promised as I tapped the top of each muffin, testing for doneness.

As we bit into the buttery muffins and sipped our tea, Kara noticed that the table had been refinished. “I like this new look on your table.”

“It feels different, rough and rustic, since I had it refinished, but I guess it looks nice. I will never get rid of this table. You bought it for me that Christmas while you were living with me, getting your masters at OSU.” We sipped our tea in companionable silence as we thought about how wonderful it was to be together again. This kitchen is full of memories, and we were making new mother/daughter ones today.

If you’d like to see the cardinal photo up close, please visit

Mary Hiland

Author of “The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living A Daughter’s Memoir”

Available at, dldbooks, and NLS Talking Books DB 91261


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