My Mother’s Voice

Alzheimer’s being the conniving thieving bitch that  it is, my mother wasn’t herself in the final years of her life. The  woman I visited in the Alzheimer’s special care unit was a stranger wearing my mother’s skin but not much else, like the invasion of the body snatchers had taken place, month after month beneath the surface, until one day we looked and the woman we knew was gone, replaced by some alien being. An imposter. Intruder alert. Intruder alert. She died back in 2012. Don’t worry; I won’t be getting maudlin on you.  My real mother–not that stranger in a wheel chair, head nodding on her shoulder–is who I want to think about today.  My real mother —Enid Maude Good nee Hayden, a prim, old-fashioned name, perhaps the only thing about her I didn’t love— was British-born and had a lovely London lilt to her voice her whole life even though she left England in the mid-1950’s. I suppose at thirty, her vocal patterns were already frozen in place.  Sounding like a cross between

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Made on Location: Eating for Two

My son at 15 months and me. On the set of Free Willy II

My son’s twenty-third birthday was this past Saturday. My husband’s birthday is this coming Saturday. That’s my excuse for not giving you a new piece on this memoir Monday. I’m republishing “Made on Location” which is really about the both of them. I could have called it “Eating for Two.” 

Made on Location

On any other Sunday Id be digging shamelessly into a steaming stack of blueberry hotcakes, purple compote oozing out all over the place. The Pig ‘n Pancake in Astoria, Oregon were famous for them, and I usually couldnt wait to wade in. I didnt need—and didnt want—the calorie breakdown you cant escape from on menus these days to know they were pound packers, all buttery and crazy delicious, the kind of food I would normally eschew in favor of leaner fare like two eggs scrambled, cottage cheese on the side, one piece of rye toast. 

But the rules are different when youre on location.
 
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