Baby Amby

I want to tell you about the night my baby cousin, Amby, died.

I don’t remember the date, but it was snowing that night and the roads were slick with ice.

I remember I was in the living room watching Lawrence Welk with my Grandparents when the phone rang. My Mom was sitting on her end of the couch, my Dad was sitting on his end and I was on the floor . I rolled over so that I could see them fight over who would get the phone.

They had this thing- when they argued they never said a word.

My Dad would look at my Mom, she would take a long hard drag on her cigarette and my Dad would huff and puff. Then she would slam her hand down and throw herself up to her feet and leave the room.

Sometimes my Dad lost those fights and when he did he would huff and puff harder then usual and then he would somehow stomp his feet hard enough to shake the floor and then he would stomp off.

That night my Dad lost that fight and as he stomped off to the dining room where the phone was. she leaned back and took another hard drag on her cigarette.

That was her version of a parting shot and it must have gotten to him because he stomped his feet hard enough to make the candy dish ( which served as a back up ashtray) and the actual ash trays which were always full dance on the coffee table.

I never got tired of watching those ashtrays dance.

I heard my Dad’s voice rumbled through the walls. ” God. No. When? ”

He came back out into the living room.

He held his hand out to my Mom and sort of snapped his fingers. She leaned to the side table and took a cigarette out of the pink quilted cigarette case I had given her for Mother’s Day and she tossed him one.

He lit it with the cigarette that was dangling out of the corner of his mouth and then he stubbed it out in the candy dish/ashtray I had made in Brownies.

“Velma went in to wake up little Amby- he was gone. It got him. Crib death. ” My Dad said.

My Mom who had went in to my little sister’s room a few years ago and found her gone the same way too, winced.

” We just can’t keep them, can we? ” She asked my Dad.

He sat back down and he reached out for my Mom but she pushed his hand away.

” You kept me. ” I said. I flopped back on my belly and watched Lawrence wave his baton from side to side. He was smiling. I liked his smile. ” I’m still here. ”

” You’re different. ” My Grandmother said from the side chair in the darkest corner of the room. ” Crib death didn’t take you. A car did. ”

” It took all three of us. ” My Grandpa reminded her from the chair he haunted next to her.

Lawrence’s audience started to clap and the bubble machine behind him went off.

I rested my chin in my hands and Christmas music from the tv floated out towards us.

Smiling, just a little, I thought about babies and empty rooms and stuffed dogs and cats gathering dust in rooms nobody went into anymore.

It Was So Dark

This morning there was a power failure in Puyallup, Washington

It was eerie at the train station but not because of how dark it was …

Photo A.M. Moscoso This was all you were going to see- smudgy outlines of buildings and trees.

but how quiet it was.

I shot this on the train platform and you would never have guess that there were close

to 80 people standing around me.

Normally you’d hear people talking or background noise like phones.

I guess they were afraid if they made to much noise the monsters would get them.


Why was the power out?

Well the stories I heard were entertaining.

Some people said there was a gun fight and that a stray bullets took out the

transformers. Yeah. Not even close to reality, but Puyallup has it’s share of

Gunhumpers so their minds ALWAYS go there.


Next up- the homeless guys did it-because in Puyallup the homeless guys ALWAYS do

it. To make themselves feel better they make it clear these homeless people are from

Seattle, so it’s not really a Puyallup problem. Yeah well, a big part of Puyallup was

sitting in the dark since 10:30 last night until close to seven this morning so claiming

claiming that ” Seattle did this ” isn’t going to keep the food in your fridge cold, is it?


The reality was around 10:30 p.m. Monday, wire thieves cut down a power pole that

then fell onto another power pole, knocking out power to 11,000  addresses.


So being that people on the train were telling stories, I’m going to add to that effort:


I’m willing to bet these thieves  were local good ol’ boys driving those big trucks that I

have learned are call ” Bro-Dozers” I’ll bet when those poles came down at least one of

them recorded it on their phone because people are STUPID.


I may not be close to being right but that’s ok. I got a little insight into the human

psyche this morning and to a writer, that’s worth it’s weight in gold.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: Grandma’s Kitchen

First published November 14, 2019



Republished For Fandango’s Flashback Friday

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Some people have stories

about watching their Grandmothers or Great Grandmothers

baking fresh bread in their kitchens.


The sun was always streaming through the windows on those bread baking days

as  Grandma told her stories  about her Mother baking bread

once upon a time and long ago

and magically you could still smell Spring flowers in her warm Fall kitchen

as she melodically told her story

and you clung to each word.


Sweet memories

always warm and tasty as we share them

exactly like the  bread Grandma used to bake.


My Grandma

didn’t bake bread and she didn’t tell sweet kitchen stories

from long ago.


My Grandmother

used to tell me ghost stories

that she kept warm on her baker’s rack

we shared them

hungrily, ravenously

between us when the world was  dead asleep.


Her stories still  come alive for me


they  chill   the air

falling around me like crispy autumn leaves

when I am in my kitchen

and the world is dead asleep

and winter is setting in.