Tuesday, November 23, 2010
A is for Always
Whenever I prepare for the holidays, I always think of my American grandmother, Anna Ruth Coble. Her twinkle, her cleverness, her endless work at the kitchen counter, her pies, her potatoes, her laugh, her smile. Several years ago when I was about to cook my first official Thanksgiving turkey in my own home, I thought of this smock-style apron that she always seems to be wearing in my mind's eye. She made it for herself, a fact alone that I adore. It was given to me after she died because we share the same name, and if I had ever thought to ask for just one thing from her home, it would have been this. I knew I had it tucked somewhere, but I almost never wore it so it wasn't at hand. I think I spent so many years with babies spitting and pooping on me that I never gave much thought to kitchen messes. But cooking a turkey was different, I needed her apron. I couldn't find it. I tore the house apart. I realized that I hadn't seen it, perhaps, since before we moved. The dread set in. A sick feeling in my stomach at the idea of loosing it. To bake pies without Grandma's apron seemed almost impossible, like my arms would freeze up rendering me useless at the kitchen counter. But I did. I made Thanksgiving dinner without the apron. It was fine. I'd almost forgotten over recent years that I was missing it. If ever I thought of it, though, my heart would break again.
Until. Last week I was finally putting this place back together after all the Quilt Market messabout. I had taken along the dining room hutch for my booth display which meant I lugged all my linens, platters, goblets, etc. out of it before we left, and they were waiting for me on the studio floor in piles to put back in place. As I carried a pile of linens to the dining room, I dropped a few. And what fell out from between two rarely used tablecloths but the A.R.C. of the Apron! Found! Joy! Thanksgiving! Turkey! Pie! Potatoes! Smile, twinkle, laugh, cleverness and her apron. All of it, it was mine again. Our apron. Thank you, Grandma. We're all headed to George's (my brother) on Long Island tonight to be with him, his wife, two nieces, two nephews, one Juliana and a Juliana-friend too. And the first item packed into my suitcase today? Take a guess.
Now get back in the kitchen!
Lots of love, Happy Thanksgiving, and see you back here soon.