My mother Patricia was an excellent cook, as was my father. However baking was her forte and for my tenth birthday, I looked forward to having her make a German Chocolate Cake. It happened my birthday was on a Sunday that May, coinciding with Mothers Day.
The table was set with special china and cloth napkins, since it was a birthday lunch as well as Mothers Day. The requested cake had come out of the oven earlier that morning and was iced and "ready" for candles. We had some gifts to give mother as well, although we decided to wait until after lunch to surprise her.
"Time to eat," my mother called out when the food was ready to serve. Being one of four, the Nelson kids knew that was the signal to quickly wash your hands. While growing up we learned to not make adults wait when a meal was ready. If a child arrived to the kitchen early, he could help put things on the table or pour the milk. However my father felt strongly that we were not to eat anything until mom sat down and we all bowed our heads to say grace.
Hearing her words, my brothers and I headed upstairs to the lone bathroom in the house. Mom herself went as well to change from a long sleeved blouse into something cooler. She had been busy all morning and the kitchen had become quite hot with the oven turned on, since breakfast.
Following mom and my brothers back downstairs to eat, I recall hearing my father hollar, "Get down!" Immediately after that my mother burst into hysterical sobs. Rounding the corner of the doorway leading to the kitchen I caught sight of our pet Airedale, Tick-Tock. He was atop the kitchen table.
Our dog was putting the finishing touches on his lunch, or so it appeared. At that precise moment Tick-Tock was enjoying the last bit of mashed potatoes and licking the bowl clean. Gone was the entire meal: the meatloaf, homemade rolls, a fruit salad, and even a stick of butter. Ah, that second Sunday in May; this was not exactly what you would describe as a "Happy Mothers Day" celebration.
Tick-Tock got tied up in the back yard, ill during the entire rest of the day and night. Mother eventually calmed down. My brothers and I were quite somber realizing how truly upset she was. We did have cake and ice-cream, but that was only after dad took us all out to eat at a local Chinese restaurant.
I still love German Chocolate cake but I love self-less mothers like mine, even more.