In search of story

November 26.19


The road to here

from distant there

is mapped as

greasy thoroughfare.

‘Mid stain and splotch,

old gizzard drip,

evolution in

encrypted scrip.

Notes to self

in mishmashed order

chase themselves

around the border,

not merely scrap,

timepiece instead,

the years piled up

like cubes of bread.

From my neatnik Mom

through freeform me

the family stuffing


preserved in splat

of butter, sage,

for, I hope,

another age.


There was nothing like it: the smell on Thanksgiving morning. No, not coffee and bacon. Onion and celery and butter! Smells to float on. Dad would go to Mass and some years I went with him, but usually I stayed home to help. OK, so it should be “help.” I was very good at putting things away just before they were needed, and I was very good at reminding my mother how I disliked pumpkin pie. What a model child I was!

I hope your Thanksgiving memories are good ones, dear reader, and that, amid the bleakness of our times, we can give thanks for the things and people we know to be true and good.

I thank all of you who have stopped by my blog and left an encouraging word or like. Writing is ever on the edge of not-writing, and your kindnesses have kept me going many times.

A very happy Thanksgiving to you, dear reader!

If there is travel, may you and yours come and go in safety.


8 thoughts on “November 26.19

  1. I inherited my grandmother’s recipes. Some were handwritten with grease spots and others were cut out of magazines and newspapers. I bought a small photo album with plastic sleeves and put them all in there. Sometimes, I just get it out and browse. It makes me smile. My grandmother was an exceptional cook so I spent many happy meals at her table. Today, my daughter is the exceptional cook so on Thursday I will fill myself on her good cooking. I would gladly eat your share and mine of pumpkin pie, but no one here likes it except me. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving, Maureen.

  2. How wonderful to have that album of memory! I think there is something deeply personal about handwriting, and even when it’s all greasy — or maybe ESPECIALLY when it’s all greasy — it brings back someone in a very real way. Those recipes from your grandmother are beyond treasure. And how fantastic that her culinary talent was passed on to your daughter! I bet you got your share, too, though. I would trade you my piece of pumpkin pie for your piece of mincemeat, but something tells me you would drive a hard bargain. As long as you wouldn’t make me eat Brussels sprouts, though, we could work something out. A very happy Thanksgiving , Judy!

  3. Wonderful memories! My dad wouldn’t eat turkey or any other fowl, so I didn’t grow up with that yummy Thanksgiving fragrance of roasting bird. Mother did make great pumpkin pies though, and my favorite “helping” chore for the holiday was grinding cranberries and oranges by hand to make the cranberry salad. I hope you and your family will have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • No turkey on Thanksgiving! And no chicken ever? I am trying to imagine! It sounds as though your house smelled pretty great anyway, and I madly applaud the grinding of the cranberries and oranges — good smells for sure! A very happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, too! I don’t know yet if family will be here, but with or without them I’m having turkey and stuffing!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving! I’m sending a big thank you to you too for your fun, insight, creativity and words of wisdom.

    My cooking needs all the help it can get, but after a good deal of brow furrowing, looking sideways and up and down, no, I can’t imagine working with that, even though I can appreciate the weight of family love and lore.

    I am interested in what’s on the reverse of the paper. Here’s to another age, as you say, but if the back of the paper isn’t empty, you might need to think about taping an extension page on.

    • You hit on the big question for me when I wrote this: should I also post a photo of the reverse side, which is the part in my mother’s handwriting? It also has a few scribbles from me, but the contrast would be quite obvious. Her handwriting was beautiful, and her version of a recipe didn’t require quite the same furrowing of brow or sideways eyestrain. A very happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Susan, and many thanks for all you’ve taught me!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.