As a child, I gave no thought to where I came from, who my ancestors were, or why I do the things I do. Later in life, I began asking questions. Sometimes I was not prepared for the answers. There are things in life we cannot change.
Looking back, I see now how I might have exasperated my dad or broke my mother's heart while exercising my right to explore and grow into adult life.
When the novel comes out, be prepared. I say that jokingly ... well, sort of.
On the lighter side, when I need reminders of why I am the way I am I visit with my cousins. Holy cow. The way we speak about things and mannerisms and political views and food and such are very similar. It could be we are pretty much cut from the same four bolts of fabric, and I do not joke when I say that.
Today's memory was triggered by a memory of my cousin's daughter's wedding. We made 100 or maybe 200 kuchen together. As you know to try to live up to all those pre-conceived notions of how good kuchen tastes. Well, that's a lot of pressure.
The moment that sticks out in my mind, however, was the cream for the pudding. Emptying the carton into the measuring cup, my cousin said, "Now pour the milk into the cream carton. Then pour it in the pot, so we don't waste any cream."
We are a frugal people.
Every time I make a batch of kuchen pudding, I will think of Marion. And every time I wonder about why I do the things I do I think of all the cousins around my age. Some days I wish I could go back into time as a spectator and watch us interact as an enormous family, especially at holidays.
I'm baking today and remembering and putting all that love into the oven.
PS: I rinsed out the cream container with the milk. Thoroughly...
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.