(That’s me on the left at age 20, next to my mama and sister Natalia. Bobby, my older brother, is next to John. Frank and Henry are in the front.)
The mornings were getting cold. John and Bobby always left for work before the sun was up. The girls were fussing about, making themselves pretty for school. My younger brothers, Frank and Henry and I went to school together so we ate breakfast together at the small table.
The bowls were waiting for us, hot and steaming. We called it “Tole”, which is short for Atole. That is not what we were having. Atole is something else. We were having oatmeal but we did not know the word for it in English or in Spanish, so we called it “Tole”. It was always the same, made with cinnamon, lots of raisins and a spoonful of molasses.
We ate that every day until I left home. Now it’s fifty years later . . . I’m getting hungry. I think I’ll go make me some right now.