I baked cookies yesterday. Funny how simple things flood my mind with memories. The recipes are family traditions. Using recipe cards hand-written by my parents or grandmother, I find myself thinking of them. Their contributions to our holiday table continue long past their days on earth.
Many memories of Mother involve simple, delicious, baked goods. She was known for fixing a certain apple coffee cake whenever any of her progeny visited—and sending it home with us. In a visit with my younger sister on the sixty-second anniversary of their wedding, we noted how this same recipe has found its way into the next generation or two. Mother would be pleased.
Grandma Georgia baked cookies. Her son, my dad, was a cookie lover. In his retirement years, he mastered his mother’s recipes and shared the products with the rest of us. Keeping the tradition, I pulled out the recipe for molasses sugar cookies and whipped up a batch. The smells and the tastes coming from my oven brought Daddy and Grandma vividly to mind.
Somehow, I ended up with my grandmother’s recipe box. It is full of recipe cards in her own handwriting. The collection is precious beyond words. Gone from earth more than twenty years, it’s almost as if she lives within those inked cards.
Expert cooks from my past also provided recipes for contentment and success in life. Ironically, their lessons become more clear the longer I live without them.
Christmas is a family time and I find myself missing my parents very much. Through memories and traditions, they live in my heart. My children scatter across the miles to establish homes of their own. Some of these traditions live in their lives also. We weave threads that show up in tapestries that link different generations together. It’s hard to predict when the connections will show up in the lives of our children. But when they do, it’s like Christmas any day in my heart.
Thank you, Mother and Daddy. Thank you, Grandma Georgia and Grandmother Mary. I remember you at Christmas time with deep gratitude.