Loaf Pans, Sweet Aromas, and Metaphors in Winter

Jackie Pick

This morning I’m making pumpkin bread, ostensibly for my son who’s home with a cold, but mostly because I want to fill the house with the aroma of ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Comfort. Care. Sweet.

Of late, the home has smelled of sick dog and not-so-homemade meals. The smells of exhaustion.

The pumpkin bread recipe has different baking times for different loaf pan sizes. 8×4 or 9×5.

My loaf pan, browned from years of lightly greasing and flouring, is 8.5×4.5

No joke.

Not quite here, not quite there. Close enough.

That’s how I feel these days, in this place, at this time. Maybe, in many ways, I always have.

It’s a not-entirely-comfortable feeling. No one wants to feel out-of-place.

No, that’s not right.

Out-of-step. I feel slightly out-of-step. Slightly mis-sized. Needing a little finagling to mingle with the other, uh, loaf pans. A different shelf or a little twisting here and there.

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