Dorothy groaned as she reached for the flour in the pantry. Her threadbare calico hugged her snuggly, and her black slippers shuffled over the kitchen linoleum. Her floral apron, although clean, was as faded as the tired kitchen wallpaper hung over four decades prior. Dorothy’s white bun sat atop her head neatly, as it, too, had done for years.
As she rolled out the dough for biscuits, her mind wandered over all those mornings she had made biscuits for her Harold, God rest his soul. He had slathered them with butter and honey. She had spotted Harold at a spring dance when she was only seventeen. Tall and lanky, with jet black hair all slicked.
“My, he’s quite a snappy dresser,” she had whispered to her best friend, Elsie.
“Ask him to dance!” Elsie nudged her.
“I couldn’t do that. Wouldn’t be proper!” Dorothy whispered.
Never mind. Harold had asked Dorothy to dance, and they were married the following spring. Together they had weathered the Depression and War, crop failure, the funeral of two babies, the rearing of four, and more complicated issues of the heart. How had those years passed so quickly when most days had felt so long?
Dorothy smiled thin as she fashioned the biscuits on the baking sheet. She remembered fussing at him too much; correcting when she shouldn’t have and swatting at him when he hugged her from behind as she worked endlessly in the hot kitchen. He would just laugh good-naturedly and whistle all the way to the barn.
“Housework keeps, husbands don’t,” she whispered to no one in the quiet kitchen. What she wouldn’t give to kiss that old, whiskery face today.
Later, she would walk to his grave behind the barn. Place wildflowers by his headstone, turn and let the sun splash her face. And remember.