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Cooking Under Pressure

(by Bonnie Lee Black)

(My brother behind me, with younger sister and pregnant Mom)

When my youngest sister started school and my mother returned to work full-time, I became the family’s cook and housekeeper, at age 11. I would come home from school, clean the house, maybe do some laundry, and then make dinner for the six of us. I never questioned this arrangement. I was my mother’s lieutenant. I followed orders.

As the eldest daughter, I had stood at my mother’s side in the kitchen since I was old