Being Grateful

I remember the magickal smell of the yeast mixed with flour, poppy and sesame seeds at the ready, the kitchen so hot you were sweating, all waiting in anticipation for the big feast you would have later. It’s not the feast I remember. It is the time and effort, the love that my mom put into getting up early to start the turkey and make homemade rolls.  A dozen poppy seed, a dozen sesame seed. It took way too long for the dough to rise only to be kneaded again, and placed back in the bowl with a kitchen towel covering it. The waiting once more began. Impatience took hold.

Now, I wish I could wake up in the morning and smell those familiar smells of Thanksgiving and see my mom kneading the dough for her poppy and sesame seed dinner rolls. I miss those days, but I am grateful.  Grateful to have those memories of my mother in the kitchen making dinner with love for a family who didn’t know how to appreciate it. img_3461Now, I stand at the kitchen table prepping the turkey, homemade cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes with rolls. Trying to make loving memories as I cook dinner for my family, my mother, and still grateful for those cold, wintery days when the house smelled like fresh dinner rolls and turkey.

Be grateful for the memories you have. Hold on to them as they are precious and cannot be taken away from you. Remember the good in others.

Be grateful!

 

 

Making Memories

The last two weeks I have been creating beautiful memories with my 76-year-old mother.  See, I took my mom on a trip to Ireland and Scotland. With all good intentions, I had a well-thought out plan – where we would go, what we would see and how much time we needed to drive between these different places.  But sometimes the best laid out plans don’t work.  We weren’t able to see as much as I had hoped and we had to take a much slower pace when site-seeing than I was used to.  However,  through this, I was able to see and appreciate, not only the scenery, history, and culture around me, I was able to appreciate the differences between my mother and me. This is not without saying that there were moments of impatience at her ability to talk to any stranger and turn a 2-minute conversation into a half hour dialogue, her slow walking pace, which forced me to not be in as much of a hurry, or the fact that she tired so much easier during the day.

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Despite what I considered set backs, we had a great time traveling together and we made some beautiful memories. Memories that will be with both of us for years to come — walking in the rain in Edinburgh and spontaneously stopping in a pub for our first pint of Guinness… gleefully sipping our drinks and listening to Scottish music.

 

Walking the cobblestone streets and hearing the sweet sound of bag pipes drifting through the wind, peaking our curiosity as to where they were coming from so we had to seek out their melancholy, sorrowful draw.

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Driving the curvy, winding country roads of the Scottish lands, mesmerized by the different shades of green, the serene hills, and the historic architecture of the fallen castles, Abbeys, and monasteries and catching a sunset in the seaside village of North Berwick.

Our Ireland adventures brought just as many amazing memories.   From the smell of the sea and deep earth, to the hustle and bustle of the city centre, each minute was filled with a plethora of astounding and breathtaking sites and sounds.

Through all of this, I learned more about myself and my mother. I realize that I need to be more patient. Be more patient, not only with her but with myself.  I want to ignore the fact my mother is aging and deny the feelings that I have when I think about losing her. I also learned that our parents can still embarrass us, even when we are adults but we shouldn’t be embarrassed, we should be proud. Proud that they can re-tell stories of our families history, or strike up a conversation with a complete stranger and make them giggle, or let this stranger know how proud they are of you when you think they don’t notice the things you are accomplishing.  I am thankful. Thankful to be able to take my mom on this trip to see places she has always wanted to travel to, to see the sparkle in her eyes when she listened to the bagpipes playing or touched the Irish soil.  These will be the memories that will stay enmeshed in my heart and forged on my soul.