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In The Kitchen With My Guardian Angel

Author: Lady Wolfwind
Posted: January 23rd. 2011
Times Viewed: 2,901

The thing that I remember most about Mom is her cooking. She cooked all day, every day. The house was always full of the most wonderful smells. I never paid much attention to how she cooked and I was too young for her to teach me. Whenever my mother made soup I noticed there was always a leaf or two floating in them. I asked her once what they were and she told me that they were bay leaves. We never spoke of them again but they always fascinated me. It just seemed strange to me to find a whole leaf in my food. I always found one in my bowl. I suppose she knew.

As Iíve spoken of before, my grandparents raised me. I was one of the lucky ones. I had an idyllic childhood. As Iíve grown older and gained more wisdom, I realize just how lucky I was. Iíve thought back fondly of different memories and even feelings and sensations I had felt back then. Itís always been important to me that my children have the same feelings of security and happiness that I had. Of course, I donít have the luxury of being a stay at home mom, but I think I have still succeeded in most ways.

I called my grandmother, Mom, and my grandfather, Dad. They had adopted me when I was 9 months old. I didnít find out until I was 5 or 6 that they were biologically my grandparents. My grandmother was very honest with me; she felt I should hear it from her instead of someone else in the family. Iím glad that she did tell me. Now that I look back on it, Iím sure that more than one relative wouldíve jumped at the chance to burst my bubble. Most of them, as I later found out, didnít think that my grandparents shouldíve adopted me and that my grandmother doted on me far more than she should have. As I grew older I finally realized what all the headshaking was about.

There was always a generation gap between us that was sometimes hard to bridge. She was the oldest child of a large family brought up in rural Upstate New York. I had heard her tell stories to others of how they were dirt poor and she had all the care and responsibility of her younger siblings. Being younger, I heard her talk but I have no idea where mother was and why she had to care for the children. I had heard Dad speak of Momís father, on occasion. He would make comments like, ĒHer father only came home from the logging camp long enough to get her mother pregnant and then he was gone again.Ē I guess she hadnít had much of a childhood herself. Maybe she felt that she would do things differently.

There was nothing I ever wanted or needed. I had a beautiful room and a closet full of clothes. I lived in a beautiful house and had a hot meal three times a day. I remember that Mom used to get up at 4am Monday thru Friday and cook breakfast for my dad and my uncle before they went to work at the mine. The house was always clean and there was always food in the cupboards. My parents didnít fight and they didnít drink. We didnít ever have the electricity shut off and it was always toasty warm in the coldest of winters.

Mom had a huge garden, which she tended every afternoon. I can remember her sitting in her chair, shucking peas and I was eating them as fast as they fell into the bowl. I never ate canned soup or instant mashed potatoes. Mom spent all fall canning food and storing it in the basement. She cooked all kinds of soups and froze them in individual serving containers. If you had mashed potatoes, they were real. I, of course, I had had instant potatoes at friendís houses and I loved them. She refused to buy them.

Mom always made the holidays special. The house was decorated the same each year and I remember how excited I used to get. I could hear the Christmas music playing as I walked down the street from home. My birthday was the same. I couldnít wait to get home. It was always a warm, secure place to be. I spent most of my childhood with my parents and their friends, very little time with kids my own age. I was left to amuse myself more times than not. I had nothing to fear and I lived in my own little bubble, not a care in the world.

Mom got very sick with a lung disease when I was about twelve. She was in and out of hospitals for the next couple of years, sometimes bedridden when she did come home. She was attached to a hundred pound oxygen tank the last year and a half of her life. Our life changed dramatically. She passed away when I was fourteen.

Dad told me that Mom made him promise to take care of me. Her one wish was that Dad would see that I was married to a good man and that Iíd be happy and taken care of. That was important to women of her generation. It wasnít something that I was ready for. I was different. I knew, even though she raised me differently, that I could take care of myself. I think she sensed that, and she didnít like it. She never did understand that times had changed.

Dad was grieving throughout the rest of my growing years and he didnít have a clue as to how to deal with me. We spoke very little and saw each other rarely. I craved the home life Iíd once had. Dad paid the bills and bought me everything I needed and most of what I asked for. Back then I felt as if he was buying me stuff to keep me out of his hair. I now know that he bought me stuff because thatís the only way he knew to show his love for me. I think he felt guilty that he couldnít provide the life my mother had.

I always left Dad a grocery list and almost everyday he went to the store and bought whatever was on that list. I cooked and I baked. I experimented and I burned a lot of food. Finally, I could cook - somewhat. I think my dad enjoyed this time together even though he never said so. We never really spoke to each other. We tried, but it was always awkward. The generation gap that Mom and I had trouble bridging was impossible for Dad and I.

My life changed. I had children. I continued to cook but I never had the money to cook the way I wanted. We were like most young people, struggling.

Now Iím in my forties. My life has been blessed. Every step of the way it feels as though I have been guided and looked after. I am amazed sometimes at the feelings of a guardian angel beside me. It seems as though Iíve made all the right choices. I stand back periodically and look at all that I have accomplished in my life and Iím proud. The more I realize how blessed I am the more confident I become. There are so many things I still wish to accomplish, sometimes I get carried away. Iíd love to open my own restaurant.

Iíve always felt a presence around me. Iíve always felt thereís been someone there whispering in my ear. I hear her sometimes. Unexpectedly, I hear my name called, always by a female voice. Itís never loud or demanding, just conversational. It never scares me. It makes me smile. I never have to turn around and look. Iíve always wondered who it could be.

Now I create magic in my own kitchen, if I may say so myself. I always wonder what area of witchery I fall into. Well, duh. I guess we donít get to choose which area we will perfect. Itís not just me, but others whoíve eaten my food continually ask when Iíll cook for them again. They tell others of the wonderful meals that theyíve eaten. Strange thing, I am a restaurant manager, I just run the wrong restaurant. I was guided in the right direction anyway.

I put Manhattan crab chowder in the crock-pot the other night to be ready for dinner the next night after work. The next morning I put out some bread to rise to be ready to bake when my daughter came home from school. I tasted the chowder and it just didnít taste right. I was missing something and I couldnít place it. I continued on my way, getting ready for work.

As I stood, undressed, testing the showerís water temperature, I heard a voice whisper in my ear. I heard, ďYou forgot the bay leaf.Ē I smiled to myself, redressed and went back to the kitchen to put a couple of bay leaves in the soup. Turns out, it was just what it needed.

There is no doubt in my mind who is guiding my steps. I think that Mom has been right beside me all along. I think she felt she had unfinished business. Iím not sure why she is still with me now. Maybe she enjoys my company now that Iím older. Maybe itís just the time she missed out on, not getting to know me. I just didnít look deep enough or try to figure it out hard enough. She erased all doubt when she told me to add the bay leaf. I think she is proud of me even though my life didnít turn out the way she saw it. I think sheís been trying to tell me that I need to cook for others; it is my passion. I think she cooks right alongside me and takes great enjoyment from it. One day I expect to hear her laugh in delight that I turned out a lot like her, after all.

I wish she was physically here right now to tell her how much she meant to me. I wish I could give her a big hug and tell her how much Iíve missed her. Iíd tell her that even though I was so young when she left, I still remember the wonderful life she created and how much I learned from her. I want her to know that that feeling of security is the most valued treasure that I have today. That I understand the importance of it and that itís not worth trading for all of the money on this earth. Most of all Iíd tell her thank you and that I love her, then Iíd tell her to stir that soup on the stove. I can hear her chuckle and ask me, ďDid you remember the bay leaf this time?Ē

Love to All My Fellow Witches,

Lady Wolfwind


Lady Wolfwind

Location: Okeechobee, Florida

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