Today I’m writing for Five Minute Friday, where we write flat out for five minutes, unedited, on a one-word prompt.  Join the fun with your own post or just read what others have done with their 300 seconds. Check it out at  Today’s word is Comfort.


This word is too big for five minutes.  The thoughts and memories it stirs up flash through my mind like newsreel images.  But here I go.

Band Aids applied to one of my many scrapes on a knee or an elbow and stuck fast with a kiss, on which a funny face or a silly animal was drawn because we didn’t have money for the fancy “decorative” ones.

Chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes.

The murmur of Mom’s and Dad’s voices wafting up through the floor registers at night as I drifted off to sleep.  I didn’t need to hear the words or know what they were saying; it was enough just to know they were there, downstairs, guarding my childhood, at the ready should something go bump in the night.

Dad’s never-ending patience trying to help this right-brained child grasp the fundamentals of algebra.  Then geometry.

Mom’s arms when my heart was broken.

Chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes.

Fosdick’s ice cream with my husband after we left the neonatal intensive care unit and our first born child every night for three months.  My wonderful husband who knew me so well, knew that in a world where I had no control over anything, where I had to watch a machine breathe for my baby day after day and wonder if I would ever get to take him home, I needed to have some routine, something I could decide.  And so every night I got to decide what kind of ice cream to have. 

Taking my first born to Fosdick’s when he was old enough and buying him his first cone (okay, so this falls more into the category of “joy” than “comfort” – I just had to share!)

Favorite pajamas that are so well loved you can hardly tell they were ever really flannel.

My own bed.

Chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes.

But most of all, this, always floating in the interstices of my thoughts: 

I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

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18 Responses to Snapshots

  1. Sue says:

    I absolutely LOVED this… Great memories… thank you so much for sharing them!
    Your neighbor for Five Minute Friday…

  2. annepeterson says:

    Loved your post. It reminded me when my daughter was born at 3 1/2 pounds and hospitalized for 2 months. Funny how those memories slip to the back of your mind when not in use.

    • Susan says:

      Isn’t it though? My Scott was just under 3 lbs., born back in 1980. I don’t care if you have to leave your baby in the hospital for a week or a month or three months, it’s just as hard. Right now I’m praying for triplets born at 24 weeks day before yesterday to the daughter of a friend. They were all born healthy but that’s pretty early! Thanks for stopping by.

      • annepeterson says:

        My son Nathan was born in 1980. Jess, the 3 1/2 pound blessing was born in 1986. And you’re right, any time you have to leave your baby it’s hard. When I had Jess I nearly died. I was in one hospital and she was whisked away to another 40 minutes away. I didn’t see her till she was 2 weeks old. And then as I said, she was in the hospital for 2 months. I used to tell my husband, can we just wait till she falls asleep. And he agreed. Only God can get you through stuff like that.

  3. Susan says:

    OMGosh, I so understand. They took Scott to a different hospital, too, but it was just across town, and I got out of the hospital the next day, so I got to see him right away. I didn’t get to hold him for weeks, though. I would go to the hospital in the morning before work, on my lunch hour, after work, and then again at night with my husband when he got off work. We’d stay until about 9:00, then go get our ice cream and go home to do it all over again the next day. You’re so right, only God can get you through!

  4. What a safe and loving family and husband. I like how you interjected the comfort food line.

    • Susan says:

      I know you and I grew up in very different circumstances, Annette, and our definitions of “comfort” are probably just as different. But I expect we both cling to that last line, huh? And as for the comfort food … it was something my mom used to make, and I carried on the tradition, and so does my sister. And now our kids. Nothing quite so carbolicious in the world. 🙂

  5. Emily says:

    I am so intrigued by this “chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes”! Is is like a cream soup over potatoes?

    • Susan says:

      No, it’s so yummy! You boil chicken (I use chicken breasts with bones and skin; my sister uses breasts and thighs both), then when it’s cooked pull the meat off the bones and deskin it, and put the pieces of meat (basically bite sized) back in the liquid and cook noodles (egg noodles or Kluskis or whatever kind you like). In the meantime, make mashed potatoes. Serve it by putting a nice scoop of mashed potatoes on your plate and piling on the chicken and noodles (drained of liquid), salting and peppering to taste. Ultimate comfort food. 🙂

  6. Eileen says:

    I’m with Emily…chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes!? Your memories are beautifully and comforting!

    • Susan says:

      Thank you! Thanks for coming by. And I don’t know what it is about chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes that is so good — it’s really fairly bland food — but say the words “comfort food” to anyone in my whole extended family and that’s what they’ll say! 🙂

  7. Joy Lenton says:

    Beautifully comforting memories. This is so lovely, Susan. I also appreciated the food link – one of our earliest comfort memories – and am grateful you put the recipe here as it sounds delicious! Family, food and celebration all wrapped up in 5 minutes of great writing. Bless you 🙂 xx

    • Susan says:

      Thank you, Joy, for your kind words and for popping in. I love the connection FMF gives us, the chance to get little glimpses of one another’s worlds. God bless.

  8. fionacharisbrown says:

    Wow – I love this – I love that you could bring routine and tradition to such a hard time in your life…the ice-cream…..Love that verse too. Words to cling to.

    • Susan says:

      Thanks for coming by! After we brought Scott home we became involved in a support group and that’s one thing we always advised — develop some kind of little routine apart from the hospital. It just gives you a sense of normalcy that’s otherwise missing when your whole world is lying in an incubator hooked up to a dozen machines and you don’t know from one hour to the next what’s going to happen.

      • fionacharisbrown says:

        Makes good sense 🙂 Good advice to flow into other areas of life and situations too.

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