spatula – noun
- a kitchen tool that has a handle which is bent upward and a wide, thin blade used for lifting and turning foods on a hot surface
- a kitchen tool that has a long handle and short, soft blade and that is used especially for mixing, spreading, etc.
- a kitchen tool similar to a knife that has a flexible blade and that is used for mixing, spreading, etc
Today was special for one reason: Nana and Paps were bringing my family a surprise! They brought us surprises a lot. One time, it was a tire swing and a seesaw they made from scraps. Another time it was an exotic food cookbook from a flea market (my father doesn’t like any of the meals Mom made from that cookbook so far) and the last time, they gave us a recycled picture frame with them in it. The surprise could be small or it could be big, you never knew. We took turns guessing what the surprise could be.
“A puppy!” Leesa, my baby sister squealed, as she threw handfuls of dog food out for Lila and Jack, our hounds.
“A T-Rex!” said my little brother, Drew.
“We already have two dogs and dinosaurs are extinct,” I told them.
“I hope it’s a new cookbook so I can try new recipes,” Mom said.
“I hope it’s not,” Dad joked. Mom shook her melted spatula at him. It was a family joke how her favorite spatula came to be that way.
Dad had accidentally dropped a pan-flipped pancake onto the hot gas burner and grabbed Mom’s favorite plastic spatula to scoop the pancake up but melted the spatula in the process.
“Should have used the metal spatula to begin with.”
“I didn’t use a spatula at all to begin with,” Dad said.
Mom was angry for a millisecond before she laughed. She then schooled him on the different kinds of spatulas and their use.
My guess was the most practical, “I think the surprise is Ol’ Blue, Paps old truck. He said he wanted to buy a new one soon.”
Mom smiled. She liked that idea. Her and I helped Paps wash, wax and work on Ol’ Blue since I was big enough to hold a sponge. It was a classic that he drove only on special occasions or for hauling. Ever since I’ve known Mom, she’s wanted Ol’ Blue. I hoped she got it too, because I wanted Ol’ Blue after her.
We all knew that sound. Nana and Paps were here!
And they were pulling a covered trailer behind them.
“Is the puppy in there?” Leesa asked, pointing to the trailer.
“It’s too big for a puppy. But not for a T-Rex!” said Drew.
Since they brought a rented trailer, I was now sure my guess was wrong. Maybe it was a baby T-Rex.
Nana scooped Leesa up as soon as she got out of the truck.
“Where’s my puppy?” Leesa asked.
“You already have two dogs,” Nana said. Leesa stuck her tongue out at me. It’s not my fault, Nana and I think alike.
“Is the T-rex in there?” Drew grabbed Paps hand.
“It could be a T-Rex,” Paps said. “But what if that toothy dinosaur tries to eat my grandkids?” He chased Drew and Leesa around the yard.
“How about we eat lunch first and then we can see what’s in that trailer,” Mom said.
After lunch, we gathered outside by the Ol’ Blue. Nana pulled a skinny, long package out from under the seat. She handed it to Dad.
A shiny wide metal spatula with a long handle greeted him as he opened it.
“Perfect for flipping pancakes,” Nana said.
“The handle is a little long to be used on the stove.” Mom said.
“Follow me,” Paps said.
We followed him to the trailer. Once opened we could all see a short space with a blanket covering.
“Pull off the blanket,” Paps said to my Dad.
“Presto!” Dad said, uncovering the loot.
“Yippee!!! Can we play on them?” Drew begged.
“Do they bite?” Leesa asked.
“Now I know why I need that long spatula!” A spiffy gas grill caught Dad’s eye.
“Help us get these out Amy,” Paps said to me.
I helped him, Nana, Dad and Mom unload the rest into the backyard by the see-saw.
Mom had to stop Leesa and Drew from climbing on their new Doggy and T-rex spring riders.
“Not until Paps and your father bolt them down,” she said, laughing.
I helped Mom and Nana place the grill.
“Open it,” Nana said.
Mom opened it and shrieked. “It’s my favorite spatula and one of your favorite cookbooks!”
Nana had given Mom one of her old spatulas that she said were tried and true.
“Since Darin melted the original one I gave you, knew you could use another. And I have the recipes in that book, memorized. Thought you could use it now that Amy is learning to cook,” Nana said as she winked at me.
I smiled at her. I liked cooking but I wasn’t as fanatical about as Mom and Dad were. Seemed like everyone got something they really longed for. Except me. I was too big to ride on the spring riders and as I stated, I really wasn’t much into cooking. But the spring riders would keep Drew and Leesa out of my hair for longer times.
I looked at the trailer. It seemed like too big a trailer to hold just a grill and two spring bouncers.
“Why didn’t you just put the grill and the bouncers in the back of Ol’Blue?”
Mom nodded in agreement.
Nana said, “Ask your Paps?”
So I did.
Paps told us all to follow him back tot he trailer. What we didn’t see at first, he showed us; the wall had a handle at the top and he pulled it down.
Inside was a shiny black, new car.
“She’s a beauty!” Dad said.
“Is this another surprise for us?” I asked, confused.
“Nope, this is,” Paps said as he threw Mom a set of keys. “Drive the car out please.”
Mom carefully drove the car out of the trailer and parked it next to Ol’ Blue.
As she opened the door to get out, Paps said, “Leave the keys in but pull out what’s under the driver seat.”
Mom felt under the driver seat and held up another set of keys. “These are the other set of keys to Ol’ Blue.”
“Yup. I figure you’re going to need them in about three years.”
My eyes grew big as saucers. I was only three years away from getting my driver’s license.
“Dad?” Mom questioned Paps.
“I’m giving you Ol’ Blue. We’ve been wanting a sports car for years to travel in and I know how much you and Amy love Ol’ Blue. It’s time Ol’ Blue earned her keep and was used.” He threw the other set of keys to Mom. “All you have to do is sign the papers for it and she’s all yours and Amys’.”
Mom and I gave Paps and Nana a huge hug and thanked them.
“There’s only one catch,” Paps said. “You have to take the trailer back for me. That little hotrod can’t pull it.”
“Deal,” Mom said.
“SURPRISE!” Nana shouted.
Best surprise ever!