Friday, July 21, 2006

Some may say I'm wishing my days away

I'm going to my class reunion next weekend. On top of that, I just finished reading Sting’s memoir “Broken Music” and am currently reading a book called “In My Mother’s Kitchen.” It’s a collection of stories and recipes from chefs and writers. Plus, my uncle’s illness has progressed and every time I call home I’m told the doctors say he’ll die “any day now.”

The books and reunion have me thinking about my youth. I’m reminded of the person I thought I would be by now. To a certain extent I am that person: I’m independent, headstrong, a writer. Back then I thought I was going to be a best-selling novelist who also happened to be a large animal veterinarian (I read a lot of James Herriot growing up) living on a huge farm with horses, goats and about eight dogs. Oh, and I’d be married to Sting. I know I’m not going to be a vet, but I still hope to write a book someday and I’m sure Sting will come around soon.

I’ve also been thinking about my parents and their youths. I’m planning to take a notebook home so I can take down some of their memories and some of my mom’s recipes. I want to make sure I have my grandma’s recipe for peanut brittle. I doubt I’ll ever master the technique but I want to try. If I ever have kids, I want them to experience making peanut brittle on the kitchen table.

Mom would mix the candy in a heavy skillet and then pour it out on a buttered slab. We kids would gather around with butter on our fingers and pull the peanut brittle out to a thin sheet. After it cooled, we broke it into pieces and sealed it up, but not before sampling enough to get a stomach ache. I’ve never tasted peanut brittle that rivals Mom’s homemade.

Thinking back on high school isn’t all bad but it certainly isn’t good. I’m going to my reunion because (1) I like my job, (2) I have a younger boyfriend who is successful and good looking and (3) because I didn’t get fat and I want to see who did. Yes, I’m that shallow. Anyone who goes to their reunion to hang out with friends is either a liar or a loser (or both). I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say about the reunion when I get back.


Conqueress said...

I have a notebook to scribble down my parents' old stories... my problem is that their stories are so wonderful and I wonder if I'll be able to tell my children stores they would want to remember. Recipes are the best... no one knew how to make sugar cookies like my grandmother!

Pammeey said...

I used to think my family didn't have any real traditions because we didn't have a strong ethnic identity. But looking back I now remember a lot of things that were family traditions -- whether it was making peanut brittle, decorating cakes with mom or playing Yatzee at the kitchen table. I'm sure kids remember things more fondly as they grow. So, share whatever stories you have. It'll mean a lot to them.