I was tooling down the road in my white convertible the other day (80 degrees and sunny in Florida) with the radio blasting country tunes. My thoughts ranged from the mundane - pick up the dry cleaning, make the bank deposit and get home in time to meet the carpet cleaner… to the more serious and significant - how will I ever come to terms with leaving the town where I have lived for the last 23 years. Don’t get me wrong-I can’t wait to settle in to our new house and life in Maine. But I am struggling…struggling with the notion that my kids will no longer have the house in Florida to come home to roost; to gather with their friends, to recall the innocence of their youth and to return to the “Mother Ship”. We have built a life and a family here and while it may be time to move on to the next stage, it is extraordinarily difficult to let the previous one go. To add insult to injury, when my son Chad was asked to describe his 19 year old brother’s thoughts about the upcoming move, he quipped, “you mean that he cries himself to sleep every night!” Chad has always had a tendency towards the dramatic so it didn’t take long to confirm that these words were a bit of an exaggeration. But there was a hint of reality in his words-for all of us. And if Chad’s comments weren’t enough, Kenny Chesney’s lyrics wailing through the air waves reminded me that “life goes faster than you think.”
Thank goodness I have a wise sage at the other end of my gmail account. Christine from My Plate or Yours counseled me “to remember that when there is loss or change in our lives, even good change, we grieve for the people we once were as well as the things we are losing in the change.” Furthermore (gosh, I sound like the lawyer I once was in my previous life), she advised me that my feelings were a testimony to how good that stage of my life had been. Thank you for those comforting words.
I am certain you have noticed that the pages of this blog have been conspicuously blank since the beginning of September! Please understand that it has not been for lack of subject matter. I have traveled extensively; enjoyed Southern hospitality and cooking; experienced an authentic cowboy Dutch oven feast for a group of 75 hungry folks and have begun to immerse myself into Maine life and culture. The house we recently purchased in Harpswell was built in 1795 and is just begging me to write about its history and tradition. I have written an article for a Needham, Massachusetts Parents newsletter and one for a Portland, Maine weekly newspaper about the importance of preserving family traditions. I have baked Challah with my grandchildren to celebrate Shabbat. If you have a few minutes, check out my wonderful son-in-law's creation posted on Youtube
So why the long absence? It may sound crazy, but I just had to complete this venting process before I could share all of my other culinary experiences. The house in Florida is not yet sold; the move is certainly not completed and my thoughts are still not settled. But my mind is a lot clearer about my family’s history and its future and where they both fit. I do know one thing with certainty: it is critical to remember the past, embrace the present and link the two. There is no better way to honor this mission than through food: cooking, eating and being together. See you soon around the table.