Monday, July 6, 2015

Cookbooks and joy kind of go together.

Dearest Readers, 

I'm long past overdue for a blog post, I know. Forgive me. There have just been too many words hovering in the edge of my fingertips with this move. I've painted the pages of my journal with them, but they're too incoherent to publish for the world. 

It's a hodgepodge of emotions. I'm barely getting used to the rhythm of this new life and soon I'll be moving again. I feel unprepared and as if I'm just floating in space--without roots and with little idea as to what tomorrow will look like. I'm also excited when I think about Spanish conversations and new perspectives on literature to listen to and new essays to write. But also terrified I'm going to fail. I keep studying Spanish as if that's the anchor that determines my success. 

I love the sheltering trees and the lovely people who have welcomed us warmly. I love my school and know I'll love orientation this week. I love our across the street neighbor and the fact that I was able to take an empty measuring cup to his house last night and return with one filled with sugar. I love that he kept his porch lights on for me as I promised to return bearing cookies. 

See? A hodgepodge. 

Tonight I was looking through my most beloved cookbook--The Mitford Cookbook. The Mitford books are my high school years--I strived to create Mitfird in our corner of Arizona everyday. 

The cookbook is peppered with notes--occasions when I made this, how I changed that, ways to improve it. Many talked of surgery.  "I made these the night before Benjamin's surgery..." "I took Mom a mini loaf in the hospital..." "Made on Mason's first day home!" 

Wow, those brought back a flood of memories. I baked because those summers were hard. I baked with my iPod plugged into my ears because I couldn't listen to how painful therapy was. I baked because I missed my mom so much it hurt. I baked because I was scared and sad. 

And my notes reminded me of the joy that we fought so hard for those summers. The night before Benjamin's surgery when we played games and ate brownies that were way too rich. That day in Mason's recovery when we shot a rocket into the air. When I got up early his first day home to make Cynthia's vanilla muffins...and then wrote about it in my book. 

Those surgery summers made up a large part of my childhood. And some people might say that's sad. But not me. Would I love to go back in time and change it so my brothers didn't have to hurt so much? So my parents didn't have to worry? Yes. A million times yes. But those summers taught me something so incredible. They taught me that joy is ALWAYS ALWAYS there. 

It just might take an old cookbook to find it. 

Your blogger, 

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