It is about zero dark thirty and I am sleep unrealized, while the crow is in rem sleep.
Not one to just stay prone, staring out the window waiting for the first rising signs of a new day, I am up. I turned on some old country music on the kitchen radio, sang Crazy alongside Patsy Cline, swapped out the laundry, made baking powder biscuits to accompany the chicken soup I will bring to my parents later today, make some fresh decaf coffee and did all the dishes.
My mom still has dinner on the table every night at 5:30pm at my parents and she will love not having to cook dinner tonight.
The weeks that my father worked the 3–11pm shift at the mill, my mother cooked our regular dinner but before we sat down to eat all four of us jumped in the Chevette no matter the weather and drove to the mill.
My dad walked up the hill from the paper machines through the time office and out to the car. My mom rolled down her window and handed my father a huge basket with his just out of the oven dinner. They kissed and exchanged I love you’s. Dad looked in the backseat at his three lanky kids and said “I love you guys, be good for mom”.
Of course we said we would and we watched my father, basket in hand, dirty white t-shirt and tan work pants disappear back through the time office down the hill into a world we could not see but only hear.
It’s funny now that I think about it, in all the years we took dad dinner at work I never saw any other cars in front of us or behind us bringing their dads a warm dinner basket full of love. It was our way of being together when we couldn’t be together.
My father calls those times “the lean years” but we were love wealthy. Just some 3am memories while making my parents their dinner.
Written by Margaret Von Seggern
photo.Margaret Von Seggern.2021