The Burner Covers

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Story written by Pat Adams

My Mom loved to cover up her burners on her stove with these cheap metal decorated covers. I always remember her stove had them. I guess she didn’t like the way the electric elements looked. Who knows?

When my husband and I decided to move to West County and ended up about a mile from my parents home, it worked out real nice that she babysat my kids every day at my home. The downside of this wonderful arrangement was she insisted on decorating my stove with burner covers. I hated those things and certainly did not want them on my stove, but what the hey, she was babysitting my 3 kids every day. So I agreed to just look away from the stove.

Every once in awhile I would come home from work and wonder what “that smell” was. I would ask the kids, “Did somebody burn the popcorn?” All I would get in response was, “Nope, no popcorn.” H-mmm….that’s weird, something really smells burnt.

Oh well, I thought and moved onto the next thing. One day is snowed a lot. I came home from work, again smelling something over-cooked. Not really dwelling on it, as there was always something going on in our household. I walked out on our deck to look at the beautiful backyard all encase in snow. I happened to look down and there in the snow were 3 black circles. Nothing else there except 3 perfect black circles. How odd I thought and then an image popped in my mind of those burner covers. I ran to the stove and sure enough 3 burner covers were missing! Thinking back, I did remember noticing the burner covers decorative patterns had changed a few times!

Oh my gosh, my mom was burning the burner covers!

I yelled to the kids to come into the kitchen and asked them what was going on. They finally confessed that Grandma told them not to tell me or she wasn’t bringing them donuts anymore, which was something else they weren’t suppose to tell me! WHAT???

Apparently Grandma’s stove was configured differently than mine and instead of looking closely at what knob went for what burner, she would just turn on the knob she thought was right. Not removing all the covers from the stovetop, she would ultimately burn up the covers. The kids told me that Grandma used tongs and took the flaming covers one by one and hurled them out the door into the snow. Before she left she picked them up and threw them away so I didn’t see them.

Need I say, after this episode, I didn’t allow burner covers in my house any more. Funny, I never smelled burnt popcorn anymore either!

This story was from an episode that happened many years ago. My Mom is now 89 years old and in an assisted living facility. She is very active walking, dancing, and up to the first of February bowling on a senior league. My Mom bowled for years and she was quite good. Her memory is fading quickly. In January, she was having problems remembering where to place her fingers in the ball. Her teammates would help her out and she would turn to throw the ball and bowl a strike! Believe me she was good. It was nothing for her to throw nothing but strikes. She loved to show her scores to everyone she met, her kids, the grandkids, neighbors, doctors, butchers at the grocery story….everyone!

Well the first of February, her bowling days ended when she placed her fingers into the holes and went to throw the ball and forgot to release her fingers! She and the ball went flying down the alley! To the surprise of all her teammates, and the owner of the alley, she started laughing and laughing more. “Wasn’t that funny? What a riot!” Need I say the owner didn’t think it was so funny and now she can’t bowl at that alley any more. I guess all good things have to come to an end sometime.

Knowing how much my Mom loves bowling, my brother and I have taken her out to eat for a few weeks after we quit taking her to bowling. Luckily she doesn’t seem to miss it much, she doesn’t even remember bowling. That’s the plus and minus of dementia. She is very happy in her world and that is all that counts.

My Mom was quite the character. My kids were truly blessed to have her as a babysitter every day they were growing up. She kept them laughing and taught them so many wonderful things about life.

But in all honesty, sometimes I really miss the smell of burnt popcorn.


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