La Cocina

There it was: that smell.

As I scurried quietly about my business, like a thief in the night, my nose twitched.

Tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe. Her door was half cracked and I snuck a peek inside.  Sleeping beauty was home, and it was my turn to get the Saturday laundry started; it couldn’t wait any longer.

My sister Karla was notorious for shedding her clothes like a peeled banana. She left them in piles on her bedroom floor after returning dead-dog tired from her waitressing gig at the local Mexican restaurant: La Cocina.  If you needed to know how many shifts Karla worked in a given week, all you had to do was count the piles.

As I picked up each pile and tossed it into the laundry basket, I made a game out of it to “guess the nightly Mexican food special” by the smell of her clothes.

Monday: taco night.  Spicy and messy. Little bits of taco shells fell from her apron.

Wednesday:  enchiladas supreme.  Red sauce on the sleeves.

Thursday: combo plates.  I could almost see the steam still rising from this pile.

Friday: chimichangas.  The worse kind of deep fried smell, mixed with cigarette smoke.

Karla slept on as the full menu of smells left her room and made their way to the wash.

These were Saturday mornings with my sister.


**As I took a trip down memory lane with this slice, I’ll treasure many memories of writing every day this month in the Slice of Life Challenge.  This is my second year slicing my way through March and it’s been great meeting lots of writers from around the world. Thank you to all who took time to read my writing and send encouragement along the way through your comments. I’ve developed many “writing crushes” on fellow writers in this challenge!  A big thank you to all at Two Writing Teachers who continue to build a community of teacher writers around the world.











9 thoughts on “La Cocina

  1. What a trip you have taken me on through your words this month! Every single one held gems, such as, “shedding clothes like a peeled banana.” I hope you will continue to write on Tuesdays too. Thank you for your kind words that encouraged me in your comments.


  2. I love your trip down memory lane! Smell is such a powerful instigator of memories. I, too, have really enjoyed finding new writers and reading their posts. This is my first time participating in the challenge – a challenge it has been – but SO WORTHWHILE!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was fun to read! I, too, loved the line “shedding clothes like a peeled banana”. Awesome! Your writing has been fun to read and it has been nice to get to know you through it. Thank you for your encouraging comments as well!


  4. I like how you can count the piles and know how many shifts your sister worked. There is also something really special, and may I say, intimate, about the way you sort through the piles and take in the smells identifying the nightly specials. I loved it. It spoke volumes about the relationship even though it wasn’t explicitly written. Awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great slice. It is a wonderful model of how we don’t have to write a whole story all the time – one snippet is enough to tell so much. Great menu of smells, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You have a gift for finding meaning in the everyday stuff of life. I have loved checking in to livelifelovewords and I look forward to seeing more of your writing this year. I am impressed with your dabbling in fiction from the image at the Denver train station, and that has inspired me to try writing some fiction as well.

    Thank you for sharing your writing with us and thank you for taking the time to encourage my writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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