Posts Tagged ‘grandfather’

You Are A Magician!

October 10, 2017

I got the sweetest text tonight as I was wrapping up at my internship.

My boss had sent me a message extolling my baking prowess.

I made the family an apple tart tonight.

It was going to be a pie, but they only had tart baking dishes so I changed up what I was doing and made a butter pastry, yes, by hand, it’s not that hard, and did my version of apple pie filling.

The nice thing about it too.

All the apples came from their tree in the front of their house.

It reminded me of when I learned how to make apple pies.

I was twelve, we had just moved from Madison, Wisconsin, to Windsor, Wisconsin.

I went from being in an urban multi-cultural neighborhood and school to rural white country in a blink of an eye.

I didn’t think much of it at the time, the racial stuff, the class system and structure, I got lumped into the “farm kids” group even though we didn’t live on a farm.

And yes, I have drank milk straight from the pail underneath a cow’s udder, I remember very distinctly that it was warm, but I was no farm girl.

I can pass for one though.

I currently pass for very urban, the tattoos do that and my funky style of dressing, which has been evolving for years, but it is still quite urban.

However.

I can pass for a country girl too, not so much a farm girl, but I know a lot about living in the country and the seasons, canning and jarring, making preserves, putting up food for the winter.

We had a pantry in the cellar.

And it was a cellar.

Oh, sure, we had a basement, but we also had a cellar too, an unfinished one with a dirt floor, which was spooky as fuck and after one winter of storing stuff there I declined to ever go near it again.

Some places are just too goddamn creepy and I had a penchant for reading Stephen King in highschool, which did nothing to help matters.

Anyway.

This country girl can also jam and she can bake.

My mom taught me.

We had an apple orchard on the property–4 Red Delicious Trees, 1 Golden Delicious, and 7 Cortland trees.

I don’t know that there are any Cortland apples in California, there might be, but I don’t recall seeing them in the stores.

I have dreamed once or twice about having my own apple orchard.

A modest one.

Maybe a hobby one.

I would be a famous writer.

Or better.

A writer who just made money writing.

I would have a big house and a small barn.

I would put up apples and preserves and make apple jelly and apple pies, apple sauce, and oh!

Apple butter.

So freaking good.

And of course.

Lots of apple cider.

I would write in my office in the barn and have a braided rug and a rocking chair, a big desk and a fireplace.

I would drink hot tea while the snow fell and be super content listening to the hush and crackle of snow falling.

I would fall asleep under large comforters.

I would have my bunny slippers of course.

It’s a sweet fantasy.

One I could imagine having here, partially, but it would be outside of the city, obviously.

Or.

Maybe I could just have my own house and I would have the trees that I like, a couple of apple trees, the Envy varietal or Pink Lady, I also really like the Mutsu apples.  And a persimmon tree.

Fuck I love persimmons.

And it’s persimmon season.

When I get done with my blog I will be having both and apple and a persimmon as my evening snack, I shall cut them up, sprinkle them with cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt and pumpkin pie spice.

The best.

I might have a pear tree too.

And definitely a fig tree.

Then a little kitchen garden–tomatoes, lettuces, onions, herbs–rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, heck, maybe even some sweet corn.

But really I want tomatoes, like the ones my grandfather grew in his garden in Lodi.

My grandfather helped my mom quite a bit with the planning of our garden in Windsor, we had an acre of land and the back of it was a big sprawling yard, halved by a grape arbor and then the back was the orchard and the garden.

The garden wasn’t as big as my grandfathers and I remember my stepfather (step asshole, step asshat, step misogynist, oops, sorry, digression) got some weird ideas about what to grow.

One year it was a god awful amount of cabbage and he decided we were going to make sauerkraut.

We made so much sauerkraut that four years later I could still find it in the pantry in the basement, not the cellar mind you, but the basement.

Another year it was potatoes and broccoli.

There was also a small strawberry patch, some raspberries, and red currants as well as rhubarb.

One of my mom’s masterpieces was her strawberry rhubarb egg custard tart.

God damn it was a miracle.

And my mom taught me her pie crust recipe.

Which, to this day, I can see on its index card in her small recipe box, the way she wrote her letters and the fanciful swoops and curves of her lines and the flourishes.

When I think of my mom sometimes I think that her creative soul can be found in her cursive handwriting.

I didn’t even need to look at the recipe card after a few years, I had made so many pies that it was unnecessary.

I made apple pies, of course, until the cows came home.

This is a saying, not literal, although there was a farm just down the road that the dog liked to go occasion once in a while to piss off my mother by rolling in the cow manure.

There is nothing fouler to smell than a dirty dog in cow shit.

Anyway.

My mom taught me well and it was nice to dip back into those memories, to feel the seasons change, to think about fall abundance and harvest.

I miss baking sometimes and I’m a good baker, so it was super sweet and a bit special to make the tart for the family I work for.

I cooked a lot today for the family as it was a stay at home day for the kids, Columbus Day school observance, but the pie made me the happiest to make.

I didn’t need to taste it, I don’t eat sugar or flour, so that was out of the question.

But oh.

I smelled it.

And it was so good.

It reminded me of home, the days crisp and cool and the leaves turning and the grass still green but cold now on my feet when I was out picking through the windfall apples in the tall orchard grass.

I am so glad and grateful that I get to live in San Francisco.

But once in a while.

Yes.

I do get a touch nostalgic for the Midwest.

And baking today felt good.

Sweet.

Homey.

Cozy.

It stirred me and I was grateful for it.

And touched too, that the mom would send me such an effusive message.

I am glad they liked the pie.

I probably liked baking it more than they enjoyed eating it.

That might not seem possible.

But.

Well.

I think it is.

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You Got Some ‘Splain’in

September 3, 2016

To do.

I have not told you guys something!

I’m off Tinder.

Yup.

It’s official.

I cancelled the app and deleted it off my phone.

Now comes the hard part.

The sit and wait part, the let it happen without looking for it part, the re-integration of lost things and places and experiences, the growing up part.

The.

Oh, dare I say it.

The adulting part.

I did some work at Burning Man and not all of it was fluffing, a lot of it was spiritual work, growth, therapeutic work, allowing myself to look at it like a dusty spa of spirituality and a sort of recovery conference in the desert.

I got my God on.

Heck, I even did a shaman journey.

Yeah, I know, shush.

I have been living in California for 14 years, please, it rubs off.

And I was ready for it.

Especially.

When I ran into my friend who was at the first camp I stayed with ten burns ago.  We hugged and reconnected and talked and I shared my experiences being in graduate school for therapy and psychology and that I want to pursue a doctorate now, I mean, really, it might be time for a new playa name, Dr. Carmen has a nice ring to it you know.

Anyway.

We chatted, he’s a therapist and he also does shaman work and I recalled a time when he had offered to take me on a spirit journey and how I sort of pooh poohed it.

Then.

I found myself wanting to ask when I saw him this past week at the burn.

And.

I found a great big lump of fear on my chest.

Oh.

How interesting.

When I feel that much resistance to something it is rather indicative to me that it’s time to do some work on something.

So.

I asked, and I admitted my fear and then we laughed and he said, of course and then asked me to ponder a question or to sit and be with what it was that I wanted to address.

What popped into my head?

Sober boyfriend.

Yeah, like that.

We met the next day in the heat of the afternoon, in the middle of a white out dust storm.

Things were said, deals were done, navigation of emotions, experiences, lots and lots of therapeutic theory.

He knows his stuff and I recognized a lot of the techniques he used and I wasn’t uncomfortable with the way it went, despite, yes, there being some fear there too, but mostly a curiosity to see what would arrive and an eagerness to address these baffling relationship issues that seem to crop up for me often when I am least expecting or most wanting to have a relationship.

It’s like a wall, glass, that I can feel, that I can see through, but can’t quite figure out how to get to the other side.

We talked and talked and got down to some root things, which when expressed from his perspective was obvious, so obvious, it made me feel a bit baffled then I realized how I am most often unable to see what others see so clearly, I have no perspective on my own life or abilities.

None.

Hearing all the things come out of my friends mouth, with a broader perspective of my history, trauma, and adult male patterning that I did when I was a little girl.

Well.

Fuck.

Of course I tend toward being single.

Hello safety.

I am either chasing after the unavailable boy or I am being the mother to said boy.

I don’t date adult men.

I don’t know how since I hadn’t seen healthy adult relationships growing up as a little girl.

I often tend toward two ways of being in relation to men I want to date.

I have been the mother–my longest lasting relationship was five years and I was definitely the care taker.

And then.

A long series of men, boys, that I chased, who were not often, or ever really interested in dating me romantically.

These paradigms made a lot of sense to me and I think I have been dancing around this knowledge for such a long time that when it was finally revealed it was less a great big aha moment, but more of a softening and relaxing into myself.

I had a lot of compassion for myself and a gentleness that I found so tender that I was in tears just from the relief of that.

So.

My friend made some suggestions.

Stop chasing.

Stop being the mother.

Write it out.

What does an adult man look like, what qualities do I want?

And lastly.

Be patient.

Don’t expect it overnight and stop looking for it.

It won’t be the impetuous passion of a sixteen year old in a romantic crush.

It will probably not be someone I’m crazy wild about at first glance, it will be softer, and I will be pursued and I will be seen and my power, who I am will be my calling card.

He will be strong.

He will not complete me.

I won’t have to mother, and I will not chase.

What a relief.

At first when I deleted Tinder I was pretty ok with it.

Then.

Yes.

I did re-install the app for a half day.

But.

I realized.

Nope.

It doesn’t serve, not after the experience in the dome, in the dust, in the heat, my heart opened, the little girl response to dating laid to rest in the resplendent gold dust light.

My friend said write about it, at least once a day, a paragraph, what my adult man looks like, what I want.

And.

Then.

Heh.

Text him when I start dating.

It won’t be long.

I’m ready.

I am happy, healthy, smart, employed, in graduate school, sober, loving, lovable, funny.

It’s on.

And I’m done with the dating apps and the chase.

I am here and available.

And I don’t need to chase.

I am fucking awesome.

I would date me in a heart beat.

I don’t need fireworks, although passion is lovely, I’m not going to try to make anything happen.

I don’t need to.

It already is.

 

 


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