Thursday, July 23, 2009

Butter 2

Another essay on butter I wrote at the BYU WIFYR Conference:

My grandpa spread butter on his waffle slowly and carefully, so that it sank into every hole. He topped it with thick maple syrup, pouring slowly row by row, filling the indentations with sweet stickiness.

 High cholesterol runs in our family. We shouldn’t butter our bread or fill the holes in our waffles with golden pools of butter, but Grandpa did. When my mother expressed worry over this unhealthy indulgence, Grandpa scoffed. Butter was natural. Pure. Better watch out for those other, fabricated foods; things that could not be tied to the earth. Those who live off the land understand these things. Besides, he’d say, he’d probably outlive most. He has.


My mother asked him, when she was dying, if he would help carry her casket. He nodded. I saw tears pooling, like melted butter, in the corners of his eyes. Mom patted his hand—my father’s father.

            “It’s not right,” he said, shaking his head.

            He couldn’t finish, so my mother finished for him, “No, it’s not the way it’s supposed to be.”

“Nope. Parents are not supposed to bury their children,” he said. He stood up. I knew he’d go outside to the farmland where he felt most at home. I knew he’d go to be alone. He’d walk past the barn, the machine shed, the haystacks. He’d open the gate, leave the fenced yard, and walk through the wheat field where the stalks were tall and golden, and waved like a sea of shiny butter. 


Shawn said...

Great writing, girl----you got it!!!

teddi said...

Your images are amazing.

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

Oh, DeAnn, What a moving essay. As always.

It makes me slump in my chair and take deep breaths. When you get to the new place--when is that? Are you leaving things sold or not? please write. Every day write and get these words out so others can read them and slump in their chairs and take deep breaths.

Word verification: lubbly which I read as lovely. Your words are always lovely.

Mer said...

You have an amazing ability with your words.

Felecia Moeaki said...

Thanks for Sharing DeAnn. Yes, we were at the Memorial Service. It was very touching. Brady did a fantastic job as well. It was beautiful. We will miss you so much.

webster said...

DeAnn your writing is always soo amazing. I especially like it when you write about your mom because it gives me a chance to learn more about her. Whenever you write about her it brings tears to my eyes. Jed and I were just going through his mission journal a few weeks ago looking for all of the spots that he had written about mom.

webster said...

ps= jed just read your post and you brought tears to his eyes too...shhh don't tell

whirligigdaisy said...


Well Jed was on his mission, so he missed these parts, these moments. He has his own moments and stories, I'm sure. These are mine. Happy to share them.

ann cannon said...

So lovely. Your last lines left a lump in my throat.

Damama T said...

That literally gave me chills.

If he is still living, please take the time to get down some of his stories and then share them in the amazing way you have of painting with words. Please!