When I first started talking with Jess, my mother had recently moved my beautiful 90-year-old grandmother to an independent living facility. It was her first Christmas in her new digs, and I was struck by how much I missed her home. It was connected to my own richly layered childhood memories. Cartwheels across their acre of yard, playing hide-and-seek under her huge sewing machine, looking at all her trinkets with an examining eye, and so on. I can never go back and sink my hands into her brown shag carpeting or listen to Harry Caray narrate a Cub game on an old tinny radio through the open kitchen window.
“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.” – Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
So, what started out as one conversation with Jess evolved into a incredible memory preservation session. We wanted to simultaneously document their today as grown (and amazing!) sister & brother & his lovely new wife with their truly fantastic parents, but also celebrate and enjoy the memories of their own special and ordinary moments in their childhood home.
There was a friendly (?) football game rival among them before I arrived, and then good wine, delicious food, happy & engaged conversation, a trip down memory lane, and then ended by roaring backyard fire and candied apples and gooey s’mores. The best! Early fall never treated us so well, and this crew was so fantastically connected. They all shared such a genuine comfort in their presence, and I can only hope that I’ll have a similar relationship with my own adult children in (an all too short) ten to fifteen years.
“Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.” Craig Claiborne
Thank you for sharing your beautiful evening with me!
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