Merienda Alarm Clock

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In the hard drive of the brain are buried the myriad experiences of a lifetime, irrepressible memories ready to spring like a jack-in-the box, surprising us with their unpredictability. For example, around 3:30 on any afternoon at school when I'm not buried in work, when there is an unexpected lag in the usual mad teaching schedule, when the door of my classroom is closed and the rest of the world is on the other side, there is an alarm clock that goes off somewhere in my mind. Suddenly my memories turn to the routine (and the glories) of the merienda hour of my childhood. A chilly, rainy afternoon like today reminds me of how by this time, my mother would have had the table set with hot cinnamon tea or a glass of milk and a plate of hojarascas, semita, campechanas (her favorites) and conchas for her three daughters. Sometimes we were joined by aunts from across the river or señoras … [Read more...]