I spent a deliberate amount of time this holiday season thinking about how to be grateful. I was trying to get beyond, “We’re so lucky to have heat and jobs and three kinds of cheese and cable TV.” We are incredibly lucky to have all those things this year, but I was hoping to get below that, to dig underneath the stuff and find something less (and thus, I suppose, more) tangible.
Things our storage unit has eaten lately:
1. A box of my childhood photos that also included irreplaceable (non-digital) photos of Jackson’s first year
2. A bunch of Jack’s musical equipment that seems to mean more to him than it does to me (strange!)
3. The box containing my Yoda and C3PO Christmas ornaments, as well as the light-up, color-changing star/tree topper that I sort of loved and despised at the same time
Without whom this book would not exist.
This is a page from a magazine my mother received when she left the hospital with her first child in 1953. The drawing accompanies an article called “So You Can’t Afford a Nurse!” I don’t know anyone who brought an actual nurse home with her baby, did that used to be a thing you did? For normal, healthy babies? It sounds like a thing that Modern, Scientific People would have done when faced with the medical anomaly that is a helpless, pre-verbal human. And God forbid you’d put your own unsterilized nipple in its mouth.
When bagels are too round, and not enough like Twinkies.
Apparently carrots take the masculine article at Whole Foods.
What happens is that you go apple tasting. Apple tasting! Whoever heard of such a thing! You’re swept away by the novelty of the experience and when you come to you find you’ve purchased a jar of apple butter, a handful of disgusting apple-cinnamon taffy, and a ten-pound bag of the most delicious apples you’ve ever had in your life.
It slowly dawns on you, however, that you can’t eat ten pounds of raw apples, even if they are made of melted halos and sunshine. (more…)
Dear Homeless Folks Who’ll Be Considering Eating the Thanksgiving Pies I Constructed;
First of all, I wasn’t intentionally experimenting on you. I felt sure that the fancy store-bought crust–even though I’d never used it before–would produce a much more beautiful pie crust than anything I could concoct. I had no idea it would shrink when I baked it. I thought all that stuff flopping over the edge was extra, and that I could fold it over and flute it like Mom taught me and there would still be room to pour a quart of pumpkin pie batter into the shell. I hope you like thin, flat pie! It’s probably better that you don’t eat too much, anyway.
Jackson’s school had Fifties Day a few weeks ago. I still don’t know why. We had Fifties Day when I was a kid because of American Graffiti and we were all addicted to “Happy Days,” plus all these girls’ moms had kept their poodle skirts. It sort of made sense. It made sense going back twenty years because it was like dressing up as your parents. But doing it now is just making your kids dress up like their estranged grandparents in Bakersfield whose house burned down in an oxygen tank fire. I wouldn’t exactly call it a history lesson.
I spent the whole weekend on the phone with Alice finishing editing book pages and adding images and updating photo credits and such! And then sending the book back to New York via UPS! And now I’m drinking Champagne and I’m not about to try to post anything substantial! So here’s a good one from the archives. My parents’ house in Chicago was robbed in 1955 and apparently this was big enough news to make the Tribune. My dad lost his Heidelberg ring in the robbery.