Friday, November 8, 2013

Creating History

There are a few things that change around here as soon as the cold weather arrives-the wood stoves are cranking, I have all I can do to stay up until 9 p.m. and the family gathers for what has become traditional Fall and Winter meals.  Thoughts of Friday night conjure up testing yeasty dough for proofing and using four hands to decorate the pizza pie.  Some weeks the house is filled with hungry teenagers and older Keene children with significant others, while other Fridays are pretty quiet with wedges of left over pizza available for a snack late into the night or for the perfect "take and go" breakfast in the morning.  Food does not last long around here.

My childhood Sundays were filled with mass at St. Mary's Church in Biddeford and then a big family brunch at my home on Dearborn Avenue.  I think that is where I learned to overeat.  This meant that family was gathered around the table eating and chatting until everyone was finished.  The longer I ate english muffins slathered in peanut butter and bacon (after a course of bacon and eggs) the longer I had to listen to family stories.  These tales uniquely bound us together.

My children are big story tellers.  Recently, Jerry and I learned over Sunday waffles (homemade by the way) that Gabrielle was the scape goat for many escapades instigated by her older brother Alex and twin sister Elizabeth. No wonder Gabrielle was always in trouble, I ponder as I toss a few fresh strawberry slices on my blueberry waffle.   Of course, no one else was there on this particular Sunday to deny or to support this point of view, but nonetheless the stories flow freely among the Keenes and their significant others or friends who choose to join us.    

While writing about my childhood and family through the years, I realize that what has been most important to me has been the constancy of traditions and routine.  Over the past week, we have jostled between summer like temperatures in the mid-60's or have endured the frigid task of scraping frost off the car windshield when the thermometer read 23 degrees.  This is our season of gathering and telling tall tales over some mighty good homemade food which is part of our family history. I am ready.

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