A Christmas Memory

A Christmas Memory — Truman Capote

Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago. Consider the kitchen of a spreading old house in a country town. A great black stove is its main feature; but there is also a big round table and a fireplace with two rocking chairs placed in front of it. Just today the fireplace commenced its seasonal roar. A woman with shorn white hair is standing at the kitchen window. She is wearing tennis shoes and a shapeless gray sweater over a summery calico dress. She is small and sprightly, like a bantam hen; but, due to a long youthful illness, her shoulders are pitifully hunched. Her face is remarkable –not unlike Lincoln’s, craggy like that, and tinted by sun and wind; but it is delicate too, finely boned, and her eyes are sherry-colored and timid. “Oh my,” she exclaims, her breath smoking the windowpane, “it’s fruitcake weather!” The person to whom she is speaking is myself. I am seven; she is sixty-something. We are cousins, very distant ones, and we have lived together–well, as long as I can remember. Other people inhabit the house, relatives; and though they have power over us, and frequently make us cry, we are not, on the whole, too much aware of them. We are each other’s best friend…..

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One comment

  • Diane on December 21, 2015 at 11:56 PM said:

    I lost an easy recipe for making small, light-coloured fruit cake loaves that was published in the early 1970s, probably in the Canadian Star Weekly magazine, as part of an article on making Christmas gifts of food. Some ingredients: candied green and red cherries, candied peel, pecans, a jar of caramel or butterscotch, a little flour, probably eggs and spices. Can you help?

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