It was one of those phone calls you never want to receive …
With a lump in my throat and a pit in my stomach, I called in sick and made the three-hour drive from Raleigh to the coast, wondering what awaited me. Earlier that morning I had received a call from my uncle telling me that Mom wasn’t looking good, and hadn’t gotten out of bed in days. “Just thought you should know, sugar.”
A solid life. That’s what it’s always been about with this house.
Permanence…real materials, reclaimed goods, lasting quality, a search for what’s real amongst the fake. So, soapstone countertops instead of formica, stepback cupboard in place of veneered cabinets. An 1800’s restaurant worktable for dining, battered hardwood floors (well, they are now) and Mom’s cast iron frying pan.
I hear my uncles A.D. and Delmer and Elbert when I cook with that heavy black pan, their voices forever crusted onto the surface, I smell the laughter, their cackles and whoops, feel the humidity of those sticky, summer noontime feasts as the steam rises over my sizzling hot stove. I’m creating/recreating a life that had meaning, or that’s how it seemed to me, though I’m sure that when the price of tobacco fell and the fish weren’t biting, they probably laid awake at night scratching their Brylcreem-oily heads, wondering how they were gong to meet their bills, just like me.
Are you already in HOLIDAY OVERDRIVE?
I just read a blog post about the importance of holiday traditions; the headline was, Creating Memorable Moments. My immediate thought was, “Can we actually ‘create’ memorable moments?”
Being the creator of memorable holiday moments is a pretty daunting responsibility, don’t you think? Producing, or making the holidays ‘happen’ generally falls on the woman. Yes, we love it and yes it makes us crazier than the proverbial fruitcake.
How will you celebrate the holidays?
Words fascinate me. Hauling out my five pound Webster’s 1828 Dictionary and logging on to www.etymonline is a regular part of my writing ritual. In his book “Grace Notes,” author Phillip Yancey says,
“As a writer, I play with words all day long. I toy with them, listen for their overtones, crack them open, and try to stuff my thoughts inside.”
Crack them open …. I love that! That’s really what etymology is all about: studying the origins of words and how they evolved. For example: