Small Moments

June 14, 2013


THIS is a picture of a glass stove top. Actually, it’s a picture of a chip in the surface of MY glass stove top.

When my parents first came to visit me in my new house in Dallas, there were several “rites of passage” that occurred between my parents and I. For example, my dad took me to Home Depot, to buy a lawn mower…and taught me how to mow grass. For the first time. Ever.

And my mom made breakfast for us, in the kitchen of my first home-of-my-own.

She made us scrambled eggs in a very heavy skillet. And as she lifted the skillet away from the burner, the skillet suddenly tipped and chipped a small piece of glass off of the stove top.

The look on my mom’s face was panic. This moment that she had clearly been enjoying  – making breakfast for her family in her son’s home – was replaced with this sudden burst of apologies to me, as if she had somehow defiled the entire structure, rendering it unfit for occupancy.

I assured her that it was OK. And it was.

In fact, whenever I scrub down the countertops, I always maneuver the washcloth strategically around the sharp edges of the chip (it’s pretty dangerous), and think of all of the good times we all had together here in this house in Dallas.

Because on this day especially, I get to allow myself to miss my mom a little more than usual, I have a special appreciation for this little chip.

If I ever sell this house, I think I’m gonna have to take this stove top with me.


5 Responses to “Small Moments”

  1. I had several moments this weekend when I thought that my Aunt Vickie and my mom must be rolling their eyes and laughing together. It’s easy to place significance on chipped stovetops and random moments of serendipity- it just all has to mean something, right? But the fact that the Earth actually moved this weekend was more than just serendipity – so much has happened, especially for my uncle and cousin that can only be measured in increments of seismic magnitude. Coming together to celebrate my aunt’s life this weekend reminded me of how much I miss and enjoy spending time with my family….I need to visit CA more often, even if the ground you all live on is a little shaky out there 🙂

  2. M. Avina Says:

    This weekend (March 29, 2014) we the (Avina-Jackson) family celebrated the life of my sister Vickie Avina. Vickie passed away on her birthday, March 6, While it is common to write about a loved one and/or say, she was the sweetest person you could ever meet – she really was and the proof is her daughter, Vickie Jr.

    Its true, these little shared moments remind me of our loved ones and yesterday as people entered into our house, Chole was there too. Chole and Vickie are together, in peace. And it brings me comfort to know they are remembered by sweet memories. Thanks for sharing Howard!

    Chole’s family portrait survived the series of earthquakes we had this weekend. We lost many other framed pictures smaller than this one.

  3. howardfresno Says:

    It is funny how often I think of that event. Of course when I visit and look at the stove top and see the chip but at other times as well. Chole was so upset at herself for dropping the skillet. I do not think she ever really got over it. She felt so bad.

    I think she loved your house almost as much as she enjoyed our home. She loved visiting Dallas and walking around the neighborhood, sitting out in the backyard patio and curling up with a blanket and book in your den. She enjoyed finding all the little changes you would make each time we visited.

    Her reaction to your house was similar to the first time she saw the house on Ferger. We had made a couple of trips to Fresno looking at houses. The agent had showed us a bunch of homes but nothing captured what she wanted. She had made a list of about 20 things she wanted in her home and nothing had come close. We had one more day to look and we had gotten a hold of a multiple listing book and started driving around Fresno that early Sunday morning. We were to meet the agent later in the morning for one last shot with her.

    All four of us drove up to the house on Ferger and she said I think this is it. The house was vacant. We called the agent and she met us and opened the house and Chole right away said let’s make an offer. I saw that same look the first time she walked into your home. I think that was part of the reason she got so
    upset at the chip. It was her idea of the perfect home once again.

    Thanks for sharing the memory!
    Love dad

  4. Lydia Avina-Drayer Says:

    You’re so right to cherish that chip. Isn’t it funny how “perfect” events don’t touch our hearts like the messy ones do?

  5. Sandy Clark Says:

    Dear Howard,

    Rhea and I had our manicures together today as we sometimes do when we can coordinate out schedules. We talked about June 14, which will always bring our beloved Chole into our hearts as we celebrate her amazing spirit and gift of an almost fifty year friendship. I want you to know that our thoughts are also with you and Isaac and, your father. We have so many memories to cherish.

    Your story of the chipped countertop was very moving. Yes, take the stove with you as it bears an indelible fingerprint of a very sweet time.

    With love and Blessings to you and your family,


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