A String of Memories

This picture is my favorite of all time. I bring it up fairly often, because it brings up so many memories and emotions for me. It was taken about 4 days after my younger son was born. My family came to visit. Those are my grandmothers, me and my two boys. Everyone has such a distinct expression, I just love the feel of this photo.

Grandma on the right looks like she’d kill anybody who came near her precious package. Her jewel. Her diamond……Grandma in the middle, Mimi we called her, looks like a Cheshire cat. So pleased. I distinctly remember that my hand was on my knee and the table next to me because, four days after having a baby, you just need to give the core a little support ….. :  )

That was our side deck. If you could see to the right of the photo, you’d see acres of horse country. There was a pond and two weeping willows that grew just to the side of it and hung over it. Picture perfect. Our yard was an old orchard. We had 8 apple trees, 3 pear, 1 peach, 1 huge black walnut tree and so many berry bushes we had to take a machete to them just to walk through in the summer. I loved that home. Loved it so much. When we moved from it to come to Colorado I cried so much. Even though I wanted the move, I so loved that magical house. That’s how I thought of it – magical. I thought that was “the” house and I’d never have such a beautiful, magical place to live again…..

I was reminded of this photo because of the apple cake I’ve been making these last few weeks. It’s the recipe I just shared before this post. The first time I made it was in that house, using the apples from my trees. I’m still making it 20+ years later. The little boys in the photo are 16 and 18 now. That recipe brings back all of these memories. It’s amazing how that can happen, isn’t it? Don’t you have some recipes that just bring you back?

I’ve been picking my neighbors apples, with permission, this fall. As I ran yesterday, I noticed that throughout my neighbourhood there are many many apple trees. And, it made me think of my old home that I loved so much and how I never thought I’d have such a wonderful place to live again. And, I realized I was wrong. I love where I am right here right now so much that I am conscious of it every single day. I honestly wake up with thanks in my head every morning.

And, as I ran and saw all the apple trees, it was almost as if God was reminding me of this, of how I thought I’d never love another home as much as the one I had to leave, and I do. And, how I thought when my family fell apart that, that was it. That the magic I had had was gone forever, and I was wrong about that too. And, how I was so scared my boys would be broken, and they aren’t.

And, all of this came back to me because of that apple recipe. I’ve been making it all week because it goes so fast. And, I spread the love……I dropped a package on Sir G’s door step and sent some home with my son to college yesterday. The recipe that brings back so many memories for me, will now be creating memories for my boys. Isn’t that funny how food can do that?

I cannot believe that the kid in this photo at left is the same one standing in the middle at the top, and one apple bread recipe had the power to bring back all these memories of horse country, apple trees, my old property and gratitude that when I thought all was lost, it really wasn’t. Everything goes on, things heal, things grow, everything is okay in the end. And, if I make a simple pan of apple bread with vanilla butter sauce, it takes me back to beautiful places and times.

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