Blogging is a funny thing. At times, I am repelled by this need to share stories with strangers. Who am I to think others should care? Why do we collectively want to share so darned much? At its worst, blogging is digital proof of the unparalleled narcissism that has taken hold of this era. Yuck. Yet, I’ve discovered that sharing (or oversharing, as the case may be)stories begets more stories. This can be incredibly rewarding. Since I have started Cooking With Jeanne, people have sent me some of their memories or my mother, while strangers have sent me similar stories about their experiences. Among the most poignant of these notes are those from my father. A retrospective person, my Dad has used this blog to discuss parts of his life (and mine too) that we never really touched upon before. Some are too personal to share, even for a blogger. However, his note about he and Mom’s first Christmas is too funny and beautiful to lock away in my personal files. I’m sure many of you have similar memories of “Family Firsts.” please, share away. To me that’s the endgame, my reward, for blogging.
“Jeanne’s first Christmas turkey happened in 1968. Jeanne and I were together; I had just moved into the tiny apartment in New Haven. Diane Datz (Mom’s friend) was visiting. The world seemed bursting with joy and promise. Jeanne undertook the turkey. She had never done one before and was puzzled by trussing. Datz advised sewing everything: wings to body, legs together and then to body, sewing shut the cavity for stuffing. Not ony that but Jeanne used red thread. While the bird was cooking, we made tree decorations from empty toilet paper tubes. Lots of red paper and gold dangles. When the turkey came out, it was beautiful but looked like a tangle of red power lines. It was a lovely Christmas. I got chivvied into buying a Christmas tree, a first. It never stopped after that, just got to be more and more full of decorations, trees, cookies, lights. Sometimes it seemed a kind of obsession but it became part of Jeanne.”