"Slow as Molasses" by Melissa Taggart
While growing up in Alberta, Canada I often heard the expression “slow as molasses." It was often followed up by “running uphill, in January”. January being the most frigid of months meant everything moved turtle paced if you were lucky. Besides this outdated simile, nevertheless we often had molasses on hand in my house.
My dad had grown up in Nova Scotia where molasses had been a staple. His birthday cake was often spiced. It paired perfectly with the winter flavourings of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. The smell of cinnamon and cloves often wafting through every corner of his home as if it had always belonged there. Christmas baking, molasses cookies provided “the warmest of hugs on a winter’s night” as he told it. When eaten straight from the oven. My father always sharing this tale from yesteryear as a rule each time he had a hankering for some cake.
Dad arrived home from work. A factory worker for years meant he hobbled while he made his way into the Livingroom. At the ripe old age of 45 he moved as quick as one would expect Methuselah could manoeuvre. Physical labour long ago claimed my father’s body and soul. Happiness was hard to come by. As if it had been stuck in a black strapped sludge of exhaustion, relinquishing all hope of a life outside of the almighty paycheck. A colorful expletive soon exited his mouth as his backside met his old recliner. Here he would remain for the rest of the evening. His dirtied baseball cap missed the side table landing onto the floor.
“Is that spiced cake I smell Frankie?” dad wearily asked.
Cracking an ever so slight smile. The Albertan winter had not hardened my father completely. After all there was still cake.