Going to the Potluck

Yesterday afternoon the weather had become that blustery stuff of late autumn. It triggered a scene in my head so I decided to write it out. Tell me what you think – be honest.

Going to the Potluck
Image provided by
cobalt123 @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/cobalt/

The afternoon sky was gray when she looked up into the heavens, but toward the horizon it appeared to be the color of dead dry leaves. As she walked along the highway, the breeze wrapped around her like a blanket that had been left out on the porch during a cold winters night.

Occasionally, there would be the flurry of wind blowing the dead leaves of late autumn to and fro. It whisked her hair across her face making it impossible for her see. She bent her head down looking just at her shoed feet as she trudged on. Her long cotton stockings weren’t much good against the cold and she wished her wool skirt went farther down than her mid-calf. The sweater coat was doing the best it could for her. She remembered the time when her mother made it for her, making sure to put in a silk lining. Thank you, Mom.

The driveway was just a half mile away now. She knew her guess was almost right on the money. The creek ran under the highway a half mile from the next mile marker that stuck out of the ground just feet away from her destination. Now that she was past the water, she hoped the cold wouldn’t be so strong as to go through her so easily.

She had put a gold bow on the white box she carried. The goody inside was something she had never made before. She had decided that she was tired of making the same old thing each year and found the recipe in one of her mother’s cookbooks. She had seen her mother make streusel many times. Even so, the one she concocted for this occasion was made with dates. Would they like it? She worried that they wouldn’t.

She saw the mile marker just ahead of her. The last hill had a steep grade so her steps became shorter and her ankles ached. Almost there, she stumbled. She let go of her box so she could catch herself before she fell face first onto the pavement. She wasn’t able to get the box completely out of the way so one side of it bent and collapsed.

She picked herself up, smoothed out her clothes, and retrieved her box. She didn’t look inside. She felt foolish and worn out. She plodded up the driveway to the porch and rang the doorbell. It only took seconds for someone to open the door and greet her with outstretched arms.

“Hi Grandma.”

Which one would you say is the grandmother, the one who was walking or the one who opened the door?

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14 Replies to “Going to the Potluck”

  1. I believe the grandmother is the bearer of the boxed streusel, old-fashioned because of the dates is my guess and her fear ‘they’ won’t like it.
    I like the imagery of her gradual progression up the short distance. First this, then that and then the next thing. 😀 😀 ❤

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    1. Thank you for the compliment, Tess. Do you really think a grandmother would worry about the dish she brought? I guess some would, although in my family the grandmothers are chalked full of self-confidence.

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  2. Hi Glynis, I’m really not certain who it is going to the potluck. But if I had to venture a guess, I’d say it’s the grandma. I know the kids are out off shape today too, but would certainly hope they wouldn’t have trouble making it up the incline and have sore ankles. 🙂

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  3. Nice! But I think that the one who opened the door was not the grandma…the grandma had a smooshed (made up word) box, which limited outstretching her arms. 😉

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  4. Oh how fun and I’ve read your post at least four times. I’m more inclined to say it’s the grandchild who is out walking. Why? Would an elderly person be thinking about their mother as much or have a coat from so long ago? It also seems more likely that a younger person would refer to what’s in the box as a goody and draw attention to the fact it’s something that she’s not made before. And again, another reference to her mother which seems more likely from a younger rather than older person (but my perception could change if I knew more about the character doing the walking…) Plus, an experienced cook might not give much thought to how the dish would be perceived. The severity of the weather is coming across, and the physical effects would be similar for an older or younger person. What I am most wondering is why all the effort in such a storm? This was fun. Had to put on my critical reader hat 🙂

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    1. Jeri, I loved reading your comment. It was interesting to see how you sized up my little scene. Everyone else (so far anyway) have said the grandmother was walking. When I first wrote this piece (before the edit), I was thinking like you. The one walking is a young woman, maybe just barely on her own. However, by the time I put it in as a post, I was wondering if it could be the other way. The comments before yours said that it definitely could be that other way.

      I wonder what it means when two people have the same thoughts about something like this. :/

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