Wine With Dinner

by Kevin Lawver
originally published at 02:41PM on Thursday, January 17, 2008

She was more valuable than she knew. She could reach the little blossoms on the bottom that the grown-ups would leave. She followed along behind them with her sack, picking up stray blossoms here and there, often leaving little bloody fingerprints on their perfect white fluff. The foreman wouldn’t give her gloves – they wouldn’t fit even if he did.

She was five. She was my mother.

We’d sit around after family dinners and listen to her stories about growing up poor in the South. We were always amazed how normal she seemed. Living without indoor plumbing, moving around with the crops that needed picking, it all seemed so… so… agrarian and ancient.

We didn’t realize how quickly the world had changed. For us it had always been cars, convenience and comfort. We’d never known hardship, bitter cold, hunger or an ache we knew would never go away.

We always forgot those lessons until the next family dinner, and mom had had a glass of wine or two and started telling stories.

We made sure we always had wine.




  • from Eckhouse:

    I like this a lot. Reminds me of my own family’s efforts to get me grandparents talking about their own stories. And the wine definitely helps!

  • from Saint Chuck:

    Wow this is great, I love the descriptions.

  • from Stovohobo:

    Very nice. I was surprised to scroll down through the New Ficlets and see your name, by the way. I know you’re busy…well, really busy, but I’d love to see more of your stuff.

  • from Kermitgorf:

    Great descriptions,went well with the photo. seems autobiographical.

  • from Kevin Lawver:

    Thanks, everybody! It’s not autobiographical, but is inspired by my mother-in-law (we don’t get her drunk at family dinners, I swear).

  • from THX 0477:

    Great story and message. I thought the bit about wine was funny, in a poignant tragic sort of way or something. And one heck of a deep, meaningful jump off of the inspiration picture.

  • from Kevin Lawver:

    I’ve heard it from friends who had parents or grandparents in World War 2, that the stories only came out when they had a little “lubricant” (or when they were very old). I can see not wanting to talk about those kinds of memories… and only going back in a bit of a fog.

  • from [pens&feathers]:

    Wow, this was so wonderful! There’s so much here for such a short story. Great job!

  • from Nouvelle Bardot:

    a sad, beautiful little piece.

  • from White Hat: