Wednesday, January 14, 2015
It was our Georgia turn for Thanksgiving this year. We decided to break up the drive and stay in Memphis a night both there and back. If you track it with me, that means driving through Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina to get where we were going. Isn't that wonderful? I mean is there a better region of America to re-connect with than the whole entire south?? Farmhouses galore, rolling hills with SEE ROCK CITY painted all over their barns, random mammoth fireworks stations, the most beautiful lakes and rivers, and a Chick-fil-a at every exit. If that isn't enough, almost every state has a group of the most wonderful people you or I will ever meet (my apologies Louisiana - I don't know any of you yet). Case in point, it was quite purposeful that we steered to Memphis. After living there 10 years it's hard not to get close to people - especially ones as loving and wise as these families we were fortunate to do life with.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Joshua and I made lasagna the other day. Not the 80's covered-dish version of ground beef, cottage cheese and Ragu that you used to give to your poor neighbor in need, but the real dish from generations ago. My grandparents lived in Chicago for a few years when they were a young couple and my Grandma was blessed with the recipe from her Italian neighbor. Since then, and as long as my memory goes back, it's been the "special meal" in our family. The one that's served on Christmas Eve and when folks come to visit. My Dad was the visitor last weekend so I started banging and clanging in the kitchen, preparing for the "special meal". As he does every once in awhile, Josh came in and asked if he could help. I always love those moments with him so I was happy to have his company. We got out all the ingredients and opened my recipe book and I began to talk him through each step. He loves our crazy family stories so I shared with him the history of the recipe and how I love when Grammy (my mother) comes to town so we can make it together, functioning side-by-side like an old doctor and nurse who've done the same surgery for years. I laughed as I shared how my culinary career began and ended at 5 years old when I baked cookies with my Mom and burned myself on the oven rack. Seriously, I never helped Mom in the kitchen again - and she never made me. That's something I've often pondered. "Then how did you learn to cook like you do?" Josh wondered. I shook my head and felt sorry for Greg all over again. That poor guy. His young wife practically needed a recipe to boil water. For the generations before me it was a given that 3 home-prepared meals would be on the table every day. Then, it seemed, the tradition might be lost with me. I explained that with a lot of patience from Dad, and a LOT of trial and error on my part, over the years I slowly started to get the hang of it. Then something occurred to me. The recipe we were reading from was written in my grandmother's own handwriting just for me. She had compiled a whole book full of recipes from different members of our family. The chipped bowls we were mixing in that I never had the heart to replace were gifts from my Mom. Pans I had first burned things in were from my Aunts. Bless my soul, they had all conspired at my wedding 18 years ago that I would, indeed, be a good cook. Better put, they believed in me. That realization almost made me add a salty tear to the cheese mix. What an impact we have in our homes in the power of generational traditions! The acts I witnessed all my life, the subtle words of instruction and encouragement, the gifts I took for granted ended up being the tools to equip me for the fellowship at the table in my own home. And here I was, passing it on to my son… I thank God for traditions and the people that believe in you along the way. With our own children, we ought to follow the wisdom of Deuteronomy 6, talking about and exemplifying the ways of The Lord -- telling the truth, being selfless and kind to others, working hard, keeping our thoughts pure -- in little ways all day long. A simple meal cooked together, laughing and telling family stories, can foster a bond of love. Or even be a dish to share with your poor neighbor in need. The creative ways in which we purpose to build and equip our kids could become the little traditions they might cherish and keep as their own. And one day when they are grown with their own children, hopefully they too will drop a tear of thankfulness into their "special meal".
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Monday, September 22, 2014
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Do you remember the scene in the movie 'Apollo 13' when the manned capsule is re-entering the atmosphere and they temporarily lose communication with the ground? It's a great analogy a good mentor once gave to me as a way to view the teenage-raising years (more on that later) but it's also a good way to describe the last three missing years on this blog. What started as the beginning of the end of our PC also turned into the beginning of the end of blogging. I regret that. For myself, I regret that. Looking back over past posts, I realize there were many moments in our family I would have otherwise forgotten had they not been photo journalized, and they were all the little things that make the whole big sundae of life. How tragic they would have been as forgotten! So, of the last 3 years, we've taken lots of pictures (thankfully) and lived another scoopful, but I haven't written a word. Not one word. And that is tragic... potentially. No more time to rue, I'm armed with my Mac, fresh in inspiration, and ready to pick up the best I can with where we left off. So much. God give me keen memory! Here's to three years and counting...