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Monday, December 31, 2012

Dear You:

Dear You,

Yesterday was your birthday, if you are reading this and yesterday was your birthday then you know who you are. I don't even know if you read this. I won't use your name because I know you don't like big, showy, public gestures. Do you remember your birthday, years ago in Albuquerque, sitting on that snowy stoop outside your mom's house--drunk as a skunk. Or my 21st birthday, you had to pick me up from Danielle's house and I forced you to buy me jewelry because I thought that's what adults gave each other for presents. Do you remember when you picked me up from the train station in Rome and we hadn't seen each other in months and you felt like a stranger but I loved you anyway. Those silly little poems I wrote for you--I meant them. Those years filled with fighting or cooking or laying in bed or walking to class or sitting on trains, I loved them too. Even though it didn't work out for us, in 6 years not a day has gone by that I don't think of you in some way. And rather than write about a new year or resolutions I thought it was better to let you know that you are a constant. Whatever strange ups and downs our friendship seems to take, I will always care for you.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Cookies with Meme 26 Years In the Making:

“These need to be thinner,” my Meme would scold as she hovered over us little girls while we rolled out batch after batch of sugar cookie dough. This dough, this special concoction that had been passed down from generation to generation needed to be paper thin as we gently pushed the old, metal cookie cutters into the yellowy batter. “My little grandma liked them thin” our very own little Meme would tell us. Tradition meant homemade frosting and thin cookies. Almost the best part about making cookies with Meme was not making cookies but the ritual of sneaking into her hall bathroom closet to pick out which apron we wanted to wear all day, aprons covered in flour and powdered sugar and sprinkles. After hours of baking we’d become tired and carless and our paper thin cookies would become thicker and thicker in an effort to do less work. Meme would catch on every time, “girls, look at this,” she’d exclaim. “These are too thick!” I was always amazed that my miniature grandma could stand for hours at her sink mixing frosting and kneading dough without complaining, without sitting down.

Life is altered so much from year to year, feelings are fleeting, relationships are fleeting. Sometimes it seems like almost nothing sticks. But one thing that never changes is baking cookies with Meme every December. For the past 26 years we have baked our way through doubled and quadrupled batches of dough, and that is comforting. Now when we bake cookies she has to do a little less standing and a little more sitting but that’s ok because we are a little less messy and we roll the dough a little thinner.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Turkey Meatballs With Asparagus and Parmesan:

Tonight I made this delicious dish--the recipe can be found over at Ambitious Kitchen.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

To Land Where?:

I thought this picture was funny--me within me. But then I looked at it longer and I realized it explains how I feel. Me looking at myself looking at myself looking at myself for forever, for infinity. Am I supposed to stay in the dessert? Am I meant to keep searching for happiness here or am I meant to land some place far away? I always had these dreams of living in great cities. I saw a psychic and she didn't help me, she told me I wasn't meant to live around others but rather in nature. Is that true? If I sit in the bathtub for a million years will the answer come to me?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

An Open Love Letter to My Mother:

If I were fluent in fifty languages, I would still be lacking in words to describe how wonderful my mother is. This one is for you mamma.

Dear Miss,

 The phrase I dreaded hearing most growing up was we’ll see. Can I have this? Can I do that? Can we go here? Can she come over? Can I stay up late? So many questions would run through my little brain and the answer was always the same, we’ll see. That one tiny contraction contained everything in the world-- promise, hope, fear, longing, expectation, denial, anger, patience. We’ll see meant I never knew what would happen, something good or something bad or nothing at all. I was on the edge of my seat for 18 years. Back then I thought you used we’ll see as a shield or a stick, something to keep my constant nagging at bay. Back then we’ll see was this elusive answer that hung in the air and kept me guessing. Back then I hated we’ll see.

I have never been a patient person and waiting to see if something would pan out in my favor felt like you were asking me to paint a house and watch it dry or count the sand in an hour glass grain by grain. It felt impossible. I was stubborn, and feisty, and I pushed for answers, pushed for everything. At my best I was always pining for something and at my worst I was a child mule refusing to budge and demanding a “yes” even if the answer was “no.”

But somehow over the years I grew up, and I went from 6 to 26. And somehow over the years I began to see that you weren’t using we’ll see as a shield but rather as a tool. You were a crafty little mother teaching me patience all along. Sometimes life punches you in the stomach, it knocks the wind right out of your lungs. It makes your heart hard and your head hurt. During these times when I feel like I can’t breathe I think to myself, “what would my mother do?” and the same answer comes to me every time, just like when I was little—to be patient, to wait and see.

 You’ve taught me to let the universe unfold in front of my eyes, to let things happen as they will, to allow the beauty and the anticipation of we’ll see to linger.

I love you Miss


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

One Should Always Indulge:

Life should be lived in moderation. A little good, a little bad. Except where wine and laughs are concerned, then one should always indulge.