July 24, 2019.

I brought these cookbooks home from mom’s last weekend. While it’s true that I am a notorious book girl, these three books are special. They belonged to my grandmother, her sister, and their mother. Familiar handwriting fills recipe cards and notes tucked into two of the books. My grandmother’s and my great-aunt. My great-grandmother died when my mom was 18. I was blessed with knowing three of my four grandparents and one great-grandparent very well. My children have two grandparents still alive and we lived just a few minutes from their paternal grandparents. They also spent time with three of their great-grandparents. One of our children stated the other day that now that they are older, they appreciate the opportunity to have relationships with their grandparents and can remember the great-grandparents they spent time with.

As we’ve been helping my parents downsize, I find myself bringing home bags and boxes of things from their house that came from the farm or this was your great-grandmother’s. To make room for it in the downsizing of our home, I’m having to be ruthless about getting rid of stuff that I don’t have an emotional or familial attachment too and, obviously, the stuff that we just don’t use or need. Mom says I’ve always been the one who pulled out all the old boxes of photos and spread them out and asked, “who is this” and “what is their story?”

I have always felt I belonged in the days when my antiques were new. Where horses were the primary mode of transportation and candles and lanterns softly lit the rooms. When baking and cooking and chores and taking care of the children would have been my daily life. I love the simple times even now. Cooking all day for a family gathering. A daily routine that begins with a nose nudge from a furry critter. Even though I retired three months ago, I still haven’t settled into what I want retired life to look like. I’m ready to get serious about an intentional life. One that (of course) is going to include trips to help mom and dad. I am now free to do that and want to do that. One that includes a regular morning routine of journaling and writing. Actually using the the cleaning and chore schedule I created right after I stopped working and making that a part of my every day. And most definitely, keeping these three treasured cookbooks front and center and doing some baking, which has always been my love. Now that Shawn is off to Texas on life adventures, maybe some cooking. Sarah has stepped in and started doing a lot of the cooking now that she and Travis have moved in for a time. I don’t feel guilty in the least for letting her take over that chore. It’s time for me to get back to some good, old-fashioned baking. Maybe I will chronicle some of that here? Let me know if you would be interested in that.

Thanks for indulging my nostalgia this morning.

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