Wednesday, January 04, 2006

In a sentimental mood

I heard yesterday that some of my relatives lost homes or other property to the wildfires in Texas over the weekend. For most of you reading this, I am probably the only person you know who can say, “I’ve visited Ringgold, Texas many times, and have many happy memories of the town.” After all, the population is only 100, and there isn’t a lot to attract an outsider. (I did go to a concert there once. We saw Gov. Jimmie Davis at the school auditorium.) Now, some 80% of the homes in this little community have been destroyed. Please keep these people in your thoughts.

A few days ago, Aser wrote this:

All our writings are like that. All our stories. They may be lame, they may be of interest only to ourselves, but I guarantee you there will come a day when your relatives or friends or descendants wonder about what you thought about, and if you don't write them down somewhere, the relatives and friends will be shit out of luck and wish they weren't.

Write, you hounds. Write about it all.

How true. I can’t tell you how many times I begged my parents to write down some of the stories they knew. If I could tell you, that would also tell you how many times they didn’t do it. Now they are both gone, and I find myself thinking, “What was that story about the guy and the biscuit?”

Listen to Aser, and write down your stories while you still can. Trust me, future generations won’t care if the spelling is off or if you go on a bit. If you don’t know where to start, go find the book, “To Our Children’s Children” by Bob Greene and D. G. Fulford. It has lots of ideas to get you started.

Now while I didn’t get the stories I wanted, Mom did do one thing I asked. Once when I was looking through her recipe collection, I said, “You should mark these or something, so when you are gone, I will know which ones were the good ones.” The next time I visited, I saw that some of the recipes had red dots and the word “Good” written on them. When I cook one of the “Good” recipes. I may not be following the latest in health recommendations, not unless I make some changes, but I will be recalling how a 1960s Midwestern housewife kept the family fed.

Which is a long way of saying, tonight I made Pizza Loaf for dinner.

And it was Good.

Meanwhile, in other activities Chez Get A Grip, I finally got into the second skein of the alpaca scarf.

I love the way the brioche stitch looks with this yarn, and it’s really easy and fast to knit, but if you make a mistake (easy to do with the slip stitches), it is just about impossible to drop a stitch down and fix it. I’ve frogged it once, and tinked it more times than I can count. Amy says I am getting maximum knitting pleasure that way. Then I poke her with a needle.

(Glossary for non-knitters: Frog = yank out the needles and rip-it, rip-it; Tink = unknit stitch by stitch.)

(Glossary for knitters: Brioche stitch is worked on a multiple of 3 stitches. Yarn over, slip 1, Knit 2 together. I put an extra stitch at the beginning and end so I wouldn’t have to figure out how to YO on the first stitch.)

Don’t mind my whining, though. The yarn feels great and I cannot wait to wear the scarf.

Katie has resolved to improve her mind in 2006.


Brian Cummings said...

My kids encouraged me to write down my recipes as well. I went a little overboard (as I usually do) and ended up with a book called "You Said a Mouthful: Great Recipes and the Stories They Evoke." With the self-publishing sites available today, it's relatively easy. And it made for great gifts. Keep up the pressure on Mom.

Brian Cummings

bigbigtex said...


I drove up to Ringgold Monday to see how my parents fared (their home was not burned) and also took a few pics.

I was born in Ringgold in '58 and graduated there in '76. May I ask who you came to see wen you visited? Do you know me?

Kelly Campbell

Kathy said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your families homes. I can't imagine such a devastating loss.

Cheryl said...

Kelly, my mother was Mary Lou Fenoglio's cousin, and my dad was from Fleetwood/Terral, so we came down that way at least once a year. I never lived around there, so you probably don't know me unless you wandered by to look at the unfamiliar kids when Sonny and Mary Lou lived across the street from the school. I'm glad to hear your family is okay. Any chance you'll be posting the pictures to your blog?

Kathy, I agree. I can't imagine being in my 70s and having to start over from scratch. An acquaintance had a relative in Guthrie, OK, who lost his home a few days before his 100th birthday. Where do you even start?

Brian, I like your approach to recipe writing. We don't always stop to think how evocotive our food memories can be. Thanks for stopping by.