Sunday, August 07, 2011

A Pickle and A Pix

Yesterday a friend shared a jar of homemade pickles with me which I happily welcomed with open arms -- both friend and the pickles! It's interesting how powerful the sense of smell is -- at least my sense of smell. When I popped the seal on the jar and got a whiff of dill and vinegar I was transported back to my grandma's kitchen on Flower Street in LA; I immediately felt her warmth, the sense of safety and the love I always felt when I was with her. She was an amazing spirit and even as a young kid I knew that about her. I was a tiny one and the youngest of all the cousins -- so needless to say I think I got special treatment -- but maybe all the cousins got the same treatment and thought they were getting treated in a special way -- whatever it was, she made me feel loved in a very unique way. I can close my eyes and see the big kitchen that always smelled of fresh vegetables, freshly canned pickles or something wonderful baking. I see the deep sink and can almost reach out and count the tiny tiles that lined the back splash and counter tops. Boonya (as we called her) would tie an apron up under my arms and push a kitchen chair up to the sink so I could stand and help her do whatever it was she was doing. In her eyes, it was about the process, not so much the end product. If I broke or spilled something -- it didn't matter. We'd clean it up together and go on with whatever it was we had been doing. If we were cooking or baking - it really didn't matter if it didn't look right or taste all that great in the end -- it was all about doing something together. I know that my love of cooking and baking started early and with her and I thank her for that.

Stay with me here -- this is related! I spent the better part of yesterday cleaning out part of the garage -- my dad's desk is now out there and as I looked through one of the big drawers I found a cluster of old photographs and this one was in with the bunch. While my Boonya was my mom's mom, she and my dad had a special connection of some sort. I think she really understood my dad on so many different levels. So I wasn't surprised to find this image in with the others. I think this pix captures Boonya's caring spirit -- sitting in the pasture at my mom and dad's old place feeding a cow and the geese. Honestly, who sits in a pasture feeding the cow? That was Boonya. I am so grateful to have shared a life with her that was rich and full. As I write, I do so hope that when I am physically no longer in this life, people whose paths I've crossed will have nice memories of how I touched their lives in some little way. After all...isn't that what it's all about?