Discover Prompt Day 8: It’s a Curve

He hates grocery shopping with his mother. He never tells her she’s weird, but she is. She buys the same stuff every week. He knows what she’s going to buy before she even leaves the house. Bread, milk, eggs, coffee, bran cereal, and worst of all, baloney. When his mother orders the meat she always says, “One pound of baloney, sliced thin. If it’s sliced too thick, it gives my husband gas, and we don’t want that.”

He comes up with a plan he is sure will work. His mom won’t let him stay home, so he’ll say he has to go to the bathroom and he’ll stay in there until she’s done shopping. Brilliant!

“I have to go to the bathroom, mom.”

“Okay, I’ll wait for you right here, dear”, she says.

“No, mom, you go ahead and get the groceries and I’ll meet you at the front”, he answers.

“Oh, no, dear. I’ll wait right here. I love grocery shopping together. You go ahead, I’ll wait right here.” She didn’t get it, and he couldn’t tell her.

Now he’s stuck. He doesn’t have to use the bathroom, but now he has to fake it. He goes in the stall, locks the door, and waits. When it’s been long enough, he tries to open the door. It won’t budge. He bangs on it. Nothing. He takes a pen from his pocket and uses it to force the lock. The pen snaps in half and spills black ink all over his hands. He wipes his hands on his pants, totally forgetting he is still wearing his school clothes.

“Why does this stuff always happen to me?!!” He quietly screams to himself.

“Mom!” He says just loud enough so she might hear him.

“Mom!!” He says just a little bit louder.

“Mommmm!!!” He finally screams in total frustration.

“What is it, dear?” she calls through the door.

“I can’t get the door open! Come in and help me, please!” he yells.

“Oh, no, dear, I can’t come in there. It’s the men’s bathroom” she calls.

“Mom!! There’s no one in here but me!! Please come in and help me!!”

“I’ll get the manager, dear.”

“No! Mom! Just come and help me!!”

“Don’t you worry, dear. I’ll be right back.”

He sits down on the toilet, wondering what he did to deserve this.

Soon he hears someone come in. “Son? Are you in there?”

“Yes, I can’t get the door open”, he answers.

“Your mother tells me you don’t like going grocery shopping. Why is that?” he asks.

“What? Please! Just open the door! It’s locked!

“Oh, it is? I thought you didn’t want to come out” the manager says.

“No! The door won’t open!” he says.

“Well, why didn’t you say that?! I’ll go get something to open it.”

“Finally!” he whispers to himself. As he’s waiting, he can hear the faint sound of sirens. They’re getting closer.

Suddenly, two firemen burst into the bathroom. “Son!! Are you in there?!” One of them yells, even though he’s right outside the stall door.

“Yes, please open the door.”

“Ok, son, you need to calm down. Take a deep breath. Say this with me, I’m going to be alright,” the fireman says.

“Please, just open the door.”

“Why don’t you want to go grocery shopping with your mother, son?”

“What?!! Pleeease!! Just open the door. It’s locked! It won’t open!” he yells.

The fireman answers, “What? It’s locked? Why didn’t you say that. Stand back!”

Soon a motor starts, and sparks begin flying. Suddenly the stall door swings open.

“Thank you! Thank you!” he says, and tries to walk past the firemen.

“Oh, no, son. You’ve been through trauma. We need to take you to the hospital.”

“What?! No! I just want to go home!”

One of the firemen takes him by the arm and lays him down on a stretcher. He is pushed through the store as he continues to yell.

“Mom!! Don’t let them take me!! I’m fine!! I just want to go home!”

He is pushed into a waiting ambulance. The doors are closed and soon they are speeding to the hospital. When they arrive, the doors swing open and he is wheeled into the emergency room.

“This looks serious!” a doctor says. “We’re going to have to operate immediately.”

“Operate?! No! I’m fine! I just want to go home!”

He is wheeled into a bright room. A mask is placed over his face and the room begins to spin.

“Mommm!! Don’t let them…”

“Wake up! Wake up!”

He opens his eyes and is shocked to see his own bedroom.

“You were yelling in your sleep, dear. Get your hands washed, dinner is ready.”

Discover Prompt Day 5: Aunt Maxye’s Coffee Cake

Aunt Maxye’s coffee cake was a staple at all of our Christmas, Thanksgiving, any excuse at all gatherings. I’ve tasted a lot of cinnamon goodies, nothing beats this coffee cake.

Aunt Maxye was Grandma Ola’s sister. I always loved visiting her house. She had a way of making everyone feel loved. When she kissed a friend of mine who had never met her before, she said, “I’m the kissing aunt.” She had beautiful blonde hair and always wore bright red lipstick. Always smiling, she had a way about her that made everyone feel good.

Aunt Maxye’s coffee cake became Grandma Ola’s coffee cake as children grew and memories became less vivid. My mother made the same recipe and we enjoyed it at every family gathering. I first made the coffee cake myself when I was in the 7th grade. For Home Economics class we all had to make a breakfast for our group. I contributed a homemade coffee cake. It was delicious. I’ve been making them ever since.

My mother told me, “You can make or bake anything you want, but you just have to clean up the mess when you’re done.” I was happy to do it, and quickly became the baker of the house.

My two favorite baking projects were chocolate chip cookies and coffee cake. Any excuse at all was an inspiration for me to start mixing. I still love baking, and our kids often ask for coffee cake.

The recipe is easy. You should try making a coffee cake for yourself.

  • 3 cups floor
  • 6 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons flour

Begin by mixing the topping. Melt the butter, put in a mixing bowl. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts. Stir by hand, mixing thoroughly. Add flour, mix again. Set the topping aside.

Using a stand or portable mixer, put the shortening and sugar in the bowl and mix until creamed. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Add vanilla, mix. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder. Beginning with flour mixture, alternate dry ingredients and milk, mixing thoroughly after each.

In a greased 9 x 13 inch pan, put enough of the cake batter in the pan to cover the entire bottom of the pan, but save enough for another layer. Add about half of the topping mixture. Then spoon the remaining batter over the topping by placing spoonfuls around on the topping and then smoothing with a spatula. Evenly spread the remaining topping over the batter.

Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 35 minutes, a few more if needed. A knife inserted in the middle will not come out completely clean even though it is done.

This anytime delight is best enjoyed, obviously, with coffee. I hope you’ll make one soon. Enjoy!