I was downtown for a medical appointment. The friend who dropped me off went into a store that’s been a part of the landscape of downtown for years, at least as long as I’ve been in California, 48 years.
Done with my appointment, I walked over to the store and found my friend standing in front of the meat counter. In the glass enclosed case in front of me were trays of sausages. My mind immediately went back to the member of the church who would go home to Texas and when she returned, she would gift me with some Texas sausages. I loved those sausages but could never find anything close to their taste. I would occasionally search for it in California but never could quite get to the taste of those Texas sausages.
But, here in front of me in this glass enclosed case are sausages labeled Texas Brats. I bought four of them right away with the hope that this would be “the taste!”
As soon as I got home, I cooked one. As soon as it was done, I bit into it. Yes, there was the taste! I planned to cook the rest for Saturday morning breakfast.
That Saturday morning a memory hit me like a ton of bricks and I cried. It was a memory of a Sunday breakfast of short plump red sausages, steak, and rice and gravy devoured around my grandmother’s kitchen table. This was not the usual breakfast; this was a treat, the Sunday after Market Day breakfast. Market day was that day when my grandfather get dressed in his khaki shirt and pants, slip into his blue jacket and would hitch a ride to town with a cousin (if she stopped and blew for him on the road that ran in front of the house) or he would walk out to the highway and hitch a ride into town. I do not remember what else he would bring back from market, but those short, plump, red sausages were a mainstay. I have searched for those sausages, also, but I have not been able to find them. The memory of them makes me both droll and smile. Drool because of the taste and smile because I was seated around my grandmother’s cheesecloth covered kitchen table warmed by the wood stove and her love.
It’s been a challenging year, this year of the pandemic, racial unrest and political chaos, loss and isolation. I’m so very grateful for the memories that warm my heart when it seems the world has grown cold. Memories that remind me of simple things, red plump sausages and love.