Monday, January 20, 2014


It’s a new year, but I haven’t felt it yet. Maybe it is on account that I went sans sparkle this New Year’s eve and rang in 2014 from the quiet corners of my home. Tucked in the folds of my family with a glass of bubbly before crawling under the covers long before the New Year reached my time zone.

The start of a new year is like a fresh pad of paper. Clean white pages, wrinkle free, and no rough edges. The possibilities are endless. Hopes. Dreams. Goals. Desires. Schemes. Grand plans. Where to begin? Sharpen your pencils folks.

I started the New Year thinking about lists. As I scribbled down resolutions, plans, notes, books to read, and recipes to try, I took some time to think about my roots. The other night I sat under (an almost full) moon in the car with my mom talking with my aunt. By blood, she is not my aunt, and when I ask my mom who her cousin is to me, she responds, “Who knows, some stuff is really complicated.” The truth is, I don’t care where our family ties cross and connect, we are related. As I huddled over the speaker with my mom, I watched our words form into small cold clouds. Our conversation led to family ties and stories that arched over long spans of time, covering generations, pulling in women I will never get the chance to know.

Hanging up the phone, I felt lucky. There are so many women in my life who have taken on the role of aunts, grandmothers, cousins and best friends. The stories of my genetic ties live on through these women, and regardless of bloodlines, I am forever tied to them. They have taught me everything from my grandmother’s favorite flower, to the importance of applying mascara before leaving the house.

This week I lunched with a woman whom I closely identify as an honorary grandmother. She is effortlessly classy, from her thank you cards to her jewels. She is gracious, thoughtful and warm. She is one of the few women that I know that was close friends with grandmother, and I can’t help but feel deeply connected as I pull her into a hug. She is my link to the past, my grandmother connecting us, and regardless of genes, she is and always will be a part of my family tree.  

This year, my 2014 list is short. I am working on it little by little. The truth is, I don’t make plans, I wait for them. Not a day goes by that I am not dreaming of something or someone, but I can’t get too wrapped up in plans. I like keeping my pages clean, crisp, and plan free, so that when something comes along, there is a place for it. If you end up planning everything there will be no room for the surprise houseguest, the recipe that you clipped out of an airline magazine and wanted to try, the friend that calls to invite you on a trip through South America, or the beach house that becomes available you’ve had your heart set on for years. Most of the time I am happy to be plan free so that I can make time for those extra links in my family tree, those spur of the moment phone calls in the dark, and a reason to keep listing, logging and wondering what tomorrow will bring.

 Beginnings of 2014

1.     Reading
a.     Nelson Mandela-A Long Walk to Freedom
b.     Into the Wild by John Krakauer
c.      A Living History by Hilary Clinton
d.     Aimless Love by Billy Collins

2.     Listening
a.     Head and The Heart

3.     Running
a.     In the trees, on the trails, through the woods
b.     With friends
c.      Alone

4.     Sleeping
a.     In
b.     Early
c.      Often

5.     Cooking from:
a.     The Kinfolk Table
b.     Vegetable Literacy
c.      Plenty

 This cup is for (Aunt) Gina, and (Honorary Grandmothers) Bernice, Gaye, Barbara, Caroline, and Mary.

No comments:

Post a Comment