#31. I yank the preliminary hearing from where it cowered in secrecy between notebooks and cookbooks.
Remember a while back, I spied the paper that Mimi and Pop had hidden in the bookshelves at the window end of the breakfast nook? In that blog piece, I demonstrated to you readers how I could read and comprehend even if I saw only part of each word? Well, I decided I would wait for Mimi and Pop to bring up the preliminary hearing.
But they don’t.
So I take charge.
They’re finishing their breakfast tea—Scottish Morn: “so strong a teaspoon will stand up in it.” The half-done daily crossword is in front of them. They do it in tandem. This is one of those things I didn’t know they had the habit of doing. I never used to be here early in the morning. You know how it is when you visit with your relatives? You don’t know every single thing they do—all their routines and that sort of stuff.
Here’s the drill:
Mimi and Pop sit next to each other on one side of the breakfast nook and fold the paper so just the crossword is showing. It’s face up in front of them. Mostly they stare-a-while-jot-a-word-maybe-make-a-little-noise-pass-the-pencil-sip-the-tea. Sometimes I hear something like this, “Four-letter word for swear?” “Hmmmm. Aver?Avow?” And usually, but not always, they figure out all the acrosses and downs in the one sitting. But, the puzzles get harder as you go through the week, Pop says. That means that the weekend puzzle will have a few stumpers and they won’t be able to finish it in one sitting. They leave the paper in the breakfast nook or on the counter, and, during the day, one or the other pencils in a word.
Like I said, tandem. It’s how they do everything.
As I study Mimi and Pop, I glance over at Clyde and Sam. They’re in sight but not earshot of what I want to say. They’re setting up a drama of their own with Lightning McQueen, Cruz Ramirez, Jackson Storm, Cal Weathers, and a Cadillac Coupe DeVille I can’t remember the name of. They love little cars. They sleep with them! Since they don’t have Dad to “do cars” with them anymore, I play with them sometimes. At first they got frustrated that I didn’t do it like Dad. I understood, so I didn’t mind. They don’t say this anymore. I hope it isn’t because they’ve forgotten how Dad “did” it.
I lean across the table and yank the hidden newspaper from between the cookbooks.
Why Isabel! Pop and Mimi startle. What’s up, sweetie? Recipe cards for mac and cheese recipes cascade out along with the paper.
I lift the mac and cheese cards off the headline and tap it. Are we going?
Isabel Scheherazade, question-asker (finally!!)