Mush, Septic Tanks, and Grand Canyons

Tired and stumbling I wiped the sleep out of my eyes as I staggered up the stairs into the warm glowing kitchen. In some instances I was greeted by the delicious smell of pancakes, eggs, or on special occasions scones. More often than not my senses were assaulted by the scent of hot cereal. It wasn’t my mother’s cooking, she did her best to make it yummy and appetizing, but my very being would revolt at the slightest hint of any kind of mush. Oatmeal was even affectionately named “mush and bugs” as brown sugar and raisins were added in an effort to make it more enticing. I was stoic in my distaste, and it wasn’t just oatmeal. I couldn’t stand cream of wheat, or cracked wheat, and cornmeal. Oh, cornmeal was the worst. I would wile away the hours knowing that the arrival of the bus would be my only salvation.

I’m not sure how much mush our poor dog lapped down in my efforts to escape the kitchen table, and I know some of it slipped into the base board heaters along the back of the table. Those poor heaters sure took a beating.

There came a time in my childhood when the septic tank needed to be emptied. Though it would be funny to say that it was chocked full of mush, the truth of the matter was that when they began to dig in the appointed location it wasn’t there! No where to be found. I guess septic tanks can be quite elusive as no one would voluntarily care to find one. So they began to dig . . . and dig . . . and dig . . . and dig some more until we had a huge colossal sized trench stretching all the way from our house down the hill and almost to the duck pond before they finally found it. We always said as kids that we had the Grand Canyon in our back yard. My brothers and I would waste (hee hee) away the hours running up and down the sides of the trench singing songs about oatmeal and cornmeal and their proper place in the septic tank.

My dislike for hot cereal, or all things mushy as I like to say, is so bad that I refuse to put milk on certain cold cereals, and even then I have to eat quick because when it starts to get soggy it reminds me too much of mush and I can’t stomach it. (I suppose this just proves how weird I really am, heh) I finally learned to stomach oatmeal, as long as it is those flavored packets and in small doses, but that was only last year, and I don’t think any of the other mushes will ever find favor with me. 🙂


Filed under Farm Stories, Personal History

3 responses to “Mush, Septic Tanks, and Grand Canyons

  1. lol. i still haven’t graduated to hot cereal, but i think you are far more weary of reminders of hot cereal than i am. in fact, certain cold cereals, i prefer to let sit a bit in milk so they soften.

    it depends on the cereal though. others have to be thrown out if i let them get mushy.

    (fruity pebbles are really good to let soak. and they’re good in cookies too. i might have a fruity pebble fetish.) heh.

  2. Just to gross you oput: one of my favorite breakfasts is graham cracker mush. You break up the graham crackers, soak them in milk and voila! Only Richard in my wholr family likes it too. I guess maybe it is a bit weird. But I hate cold cereal that should be crispy to get soggy!

    Have you ever tried Malt-O-Meal? Its a great hot ceraeal, and doesn’t seem like mush. As Lura has said elsewhere–avoid grits!

  3. I’ve never been an oatmeal fan. Cream of wheat I could handle, but only small portions widely spread out.

    I’m like you described, I can’t stand soggy cold cereal, I will throw it out if it gets too soggy.

    My kids like hot oatmeal. But there came a point when they didn’t want me to feed them anymore, and they wanted to do it themselves. But I didn’t want huge messes. So instead of using milk to make their (instant individual flavored packages) I use flavored yogurt. The kids really like it and its thicker for them to spoon to their mouths.

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