Kitchen Table

Patricia Coffie stands next to a kitchen table in this vintage photo.

In these COVID-19 times, you remember — the times when only 1 case can expand exponentially — I am hiding out and glad I can.

At 79, pushing my luck is foolish. I’d like to say to those not wearing masks and having one of those little smiles on their faces as they see mine — I know I’ll make it to 79, do you have some guarantee that you will? Maybe that you are immortal?

I think the best I can do is stay out of the way of those whose must work. And add my smiles to those humoring the immortals among us.

I love Fareway’s setting aside time for old folks to shop and love their clean and convenient cart service. I appreciate Hy-Vee’s Aisles ordering online but wish the pickup spots were easier to find. Walmart has online ordering plus welcoming and visible signage.

Continuing to enjoy the research, the stories, the histories possible through electronics from home. One sister is compiling records of uncles and cousins and their service on ships. They served in many ways on many types of ships. This project began as one nephew is about to assume command of a Coast Guard Cutter on the Great Lakes. His is a 140-foot Bay Class Icebreaking Tug homeported in Cleveland, Ohio. Unit missions include Icebreaking, Homeland Security, Light House projects, Law Enforcement, and Public Affairs.

Continuing to keyboard stories and letters. I scan those pictures and add them to the documents. This story is family and maybe too risqué for some?

Suppertime Stories

We sort of had regular seats, mine was center and I looked out the window to the side of the garage. Chris was on my right and he looked out in the direction of the river. Dan was on my left and he looked out on the road.

Sometimes I wonder about that seating. They travel the world and here I am still.

At this supper, I was telling a story. As I think back, it was a bathroom story and probably not supper table fare but it was a great story.

Their Uncle was a math professor and rather a reserved person. It seems it was part of his agreement with my sister that they would take turns getting up in the night with their boys. It was his turn. He took his toddler to the toilet and lined him up with his pajama bottoms pulled down then stood behind him, both in bare feet, so he would not back up and miss the toilet bowl. Dad told toddler to hurry up and get it done.

His son said something but Dad was still fuzzy with sleep and didn’t listen well. With some impatience, Dad said “Just do it!” and so his son did. He crapped all over Dad’s feet.

At this point, Dan began to laugh so suddenly and so hard that he snorted spaghetti out his nostrils. Not just sauce — spaghetti.

I should have been concerned about his health but was laughing hysterically myself.

Chris had already fallen off his chair onto the floor laughing.

We did try after that to keep the bathroom stories for times we were not at the supper table.

Patricia Coffie is a storyteller and retired librarian living in Waverly. She can be reached at