"Beginning the Day"
Marva reached toward the nightstand and shut off the alarm. She rolled over onto her back, rubbed her eyes and yawned. "Oh, how I wish I could sleep a few more hours" she thought as she looked at her sleeping husband.
After a good long stretch, Marva got out of bed, grabbed her robe, put on her slippers and headed for the bathroom. She washed her hands and splashed warm water on her face. After brushing her teeth she looked at herself in the mirror.
She turned her head from one side to the other peering at her reflection. The signs of fading youth were plain to see. Crows feet gathered around the eyes and deep lines ran from the nose to the corner of her mouth. Her brown hair was beginning to get streaks of gray but was still thick, soft and full of unruly curls. She brushed her shoulder length hair and twisted it up on the back of her head, holding it in place with a white plastic clasp.
As Marva applied moisturizer to her face and arms she told herself, "Getting older isn’t really all that bad." She laughed at herself and her vanity and left the bathroom.
She returned to her bedroom, grabbed her favorite jeans, a white t-shirt and got dressed. She slipped her feet into an old pair of sneakers so worn and fitted to her feet, she didn’t even need to untie the shoestrings.
As she headed down the hallway to the stairs, she could hear the grandfather clock in the living room as it ticked. Marva smiled as she remembered how relieved she had been when the chimes on the old clock had quit working. She didn't like the noise and, to Marva, the chimes were so intrusive.
As soon as Marva entered the kitchen she headed straight to the counter, grabbed a coffee mug from the cupboard and poured herself a cup of fresh steaming hot coffee.
Marva had few luxuries in her life, but her automatic drip coffee maker with the timer was definitely one. It had been a Christmas gift from her sister several years ago. She enjoyed coming downstairs early in the morning and having a cup of hot coffee waiting for her. It was the best gift she'd ever received.
Marva leaned against the kitchen counter and took several big sips. She sat the coffee mug on the table and headed for the refrigerator. After taking three bananas, two apples, two oranges and the carton of orange juice from the refrigerator, she headed for the cabinet to get a mixing bowl, paring knife and mixing spoon. She laid her fare on the kitchen table and began peeling and slicing the fruit, placing them in the large bowl. Lastly, she poured a couple of tablespoons of orange juice over the fruit and put the bowl into the refrigerator.
Marva walked over to the stove, stopping on the way to grab her coffee mug for a refill. She set the oven to 350 degrees, poured herself another cup of coffee and took a big swig. Fully awake now, she took some more equipment from the cabinets and sat it all on the table before heading back to the refrigerator
A good hunt around produced two frozen pie crusts, a dozen eggs, a small onion, a red bell pepper and a package of bacon with only four slices left in it.She sat back down, took eight eggs, and cracked them into the bowl, before chopping up the bacon and adding it to the eggs.
The pepper and onion needed washing. Marva took them to the sink where she peeled the onion and removed the seeds from the pepper. She threw away the pepper seeds and onion skin before leaning against the counter relaxing for a few moments with her cup of coffee.
She then walked back to the table and sat down. She cut the onion and pepper up and add them to the egg mixture along with some seasoning. She mixed it all together, poured it into the pie shells and popped them in the oven.
"Time for me to get everyone else up. I wonder how many times will I have to climb these stairs today?" she asked herself.
She walked down the hall, knocked on each of her children’s bedroom doors and called for them to get ready for school. "Better check up on Gabe too." She said to herself. She stopped by her bedroom, could hear the shower running, so knew her husband Gabe would soon be downstairs.
By the time she was halfway down back down the hallway, she could already hear John and Frank slamming closet doors. Ben was in the bathroom washing up and brushing his teeth. He was always the first one down in the morning. Cassie and Jenny were arguing about who was going to wear what. Marva had to smile as her love for her family brimmed over the edges of her heart.
Back in the kitchen, she grabbed her mug, finished the coffee and poured herself a refill. She set the table with her sunny yellow china, made sure there were plenty of napkins in the napkin holder and got the fruit bowl from the refrigerator and sat it in the center.
"The quiche should be done," she said to herself as she grabbed four potholders laying two on the table and keeping the others to remove both pans of quiche from the oven. She sat the hot pans on the potholders she had placed on the table. She'd just begun cutting the quiche when Ben popped into the kitchen.
"Good morning mom, gee it sure smells good in here!"
"Good morning Ben, are the others almost ready? Marva asked."
"Yea Mom, they should be here any minute," he replied.
"Good morning dear," said her husband as he came in.
"Good morning," she replied with a smile.
Marva dished up a plate for her husband and then Ben. She poured Gabe a cup of coffee, leaning down to place a kiss on his cheek as she gave it to him.
After dishing up four more plates and placing them at her other children’s places, she dished up her own and sat down.
The four older children tumbled noisily into the kitchen. Jenny spotted the bowl of fruit on the table.
"Oh look, Mom made fresh fruit salad for breakfast."
"Great! Thanks Mom," said the other three said in unison as they sat down.
Marva loved to see them wolfing down their food and talking about how they were going to miss their bus. Breakfast was over all too soon and everyone got up from the table.
The children headed upstairs to get their books and jackets. Gabe came around the table, put his arms around Marva and gave her a kiss.
"Have a good day dear," he said. "I'll be home for dinner."
"You have a good day too Gabe. I love you! Oh yes, I'm making pot roast, so don't be late," Marva warned with a smile as she walked him to the door.
Gabe had only just left when all the kids came trampling down the stairs, backpacks in hand. "Bye Mom" each said as they kissed her on the cheek. Out the door they sprang, heading for the bus stop.
Marva closed the door and let out a contented sigh. She walked back to the kitchen, sat down at the table, picked up her coffee mug, smiled and said "And now my day begins."
By Bobbie Sheranko