It’s been a year and a half since I’ve written here, and before that, nearly a year. When I think about why, several reasons come to mind, but the most significant is one most worthy; I wrote a novel. This November represents the four-year mark of the beginning of the project and much has changed in that time. I’ve changed.
“So where are you staying?” the woman on the other side of the Avis counter asked as she processed our car rental. My husband and I had just arrived in Portland, Maine after a red-eye from San Diego followed by a botched connecting flight in Philadelphia. We were more than ready for our vacation to begin.
Last year about this time when my husband and I were preparing for our trip to Europe, I busied myself with finding recipes that might be typical of the region we would be in so I could try them at home. I was able to share a few of these before we left, but neglected to share the Cream of White Asparagus Soup I made.
I hope this finds you well, and enjoying the spring weather everyone has longed for. I know many who live in other areas of the country and understand this past winter was relentless. For us, it meant only that winter never arrived at all. My Iceberg roses in the patio planters, pruned in November, were blooming by January. I believe there were only one or two weeks we closed all the windows in the house, and the heater turned turned on perhaps twice just to take the chill off the family room downstairs in the evening while we talked about our respective days. I made peace with Mother Nature over this warmer than usual and alarmingly dry winter, promising not to complain too loudly, wanting and hoping for the rain we so desperately need. Instead I’ve patiently looked forward to our annual dose of May Grey and June Gloom, when skies are endlessly covered with a thick marine layer and the air chilly enough to require sweaters. Unfortunately, we’ve had more heat. A few weeks ago temperatures rose to nearly 100 and after a bit of a break for a week, I braced for heat again. Sadly, our Santa Ana winds accompanied the heat wave and fires burned thousands of acres of the parched brush taking many homes in the process.
We need rain.
It’s about 7:30 pm west coast time and my youngest son, husband, and I are together in our family room doing not much of anything but enjoying a relaxing evening. Another son will come at a promised 8 pm with his sweetheart and we’ll indulge ourselves in food that hasn’t been planned for or prepared carefully. That would make it appropriate for us in celebrating the dawn of a new year.
We’re all about crackers and spreadable cheese on this particular night, and the boys swear it’s not a party unless Lit’l Smokies smothered in barbeque sauce are on the menu. I think I’ve always gone along with it because by this time, I’m more than tired of cooking and cleaning up, and so welcome my husband’s offer to go to the store with a list of what to purchase. Tonight’s fare includes a loaf of French bread (the fluffy kind from the grocery store) which will be split in half lengthwise, then slathered in pizza sauce, sprinkled with cheese, and finished with pepperoni slices.
Let’s review: processed everything. It’s an only once every often proclivity. I promise.
Earlier this evening I asked my husband how often we’ve gone all out to celebrate the new year and decided it was once every five years or so. That’s quite enough. And when we consider that last year we were in Las Vegas to celebrate just to say we were, well, we’re due for “back to our regularly scheduled programming” this year.
I spent some time today going through my iPhone photos choosing many I had taken throughout this past year to make a collage. As always, I can never choose a few because so many memories are attached to each. But I did notice that very few were of food. When I consider that the whole point of this site’s existence is to share stories and photos of food, clearly something has changed. I’ve sort of fallen out of love with food.
I thought about writing one of those melodramatic goodbyes months ago. Deleting everything posted here crossed my mind more than once. But time does work its wonders and because of that, I’m thinking I might be able to find a place for writing here occasionally. No schedule. No plans. Enough to make anyone who thrives on organization and a solid routine to run crazed for the hills. At this point in my life, I know more than anything that I have to do what I want when I want to do it if creating something is involved. You may shake your head in disappointment and think, “How self-indulgent,” and I would agree. But I’ve learned when my heart isn’t involved in an effort, then I’ll be reminded each time I look at the end product.
I like that when I sit to put words in a space, I can just write. I also like to share my photos, but I also realize that forcing myself to only shoot photos of food is incredibly limiting and that writing about food keeps me from writing about other things. You know what is said about moderation. I guess that’s what I’ve been attempting to do with time and distance to help me succeed.
So here I am, apologizing for disappearing, yet thinking of how to move forward.
No plan, no organization. Simply a will to create.
I’d say that’s a step in the correct direction.
Happy New Year to you and yours. May the next year present wonderful opportunities for you to relax and enjoy the tiny things in life that go unnoticed when we’re running around like chickens with our heads off.