I stand here in the kitchen on a hot day making beans because the idea of beans, fried potatoes, and cornbread with some creamed onions sounds like one of the finest meals in the world. My family will all disagree tonight and turn up their nose at the beans but clamor for my cornbread. I've managed to love on but not convince this group of outlaws that beans are a treat. It's not just that I find them to be delicious but also because they hold memories. They hold memories of picking through them with my mom Carla and grandma Jewel. They remind me of times we had little but as kids didn't mind much.
Oh my kids have had a lot in the easy times and the two oldest have lived through just about nothing. They know all about why we had pancakes for dinner some nights and they also realize the importance of knowing how to feed yourself on pennies. Some of our most memorable treats have been in the times we were on thin ice. I would make things like divinity candy which is mostly sugar, Karo and water. To this day I end up mailing that candy to family members and fighting my kids to stay out of it for five minutes as I plate it. It's a simple creation as far as ingredients but the devil to fight with if you don't know the tricks of it. I assure you it is always filled with love, even if through gritted teeth.
I have a love for feeding people that surpasses anything else I enjoy. I can't fix everyone's problems, I can't possibly tell them how much I love them or welcome them into my home to my satisfaction. The only time I feel as if I come close is when I set a plate down in front of them. There is an instant connection between us when I do and it's a thing of magic. We talk, laugh, cry, and sometimes just sigh as we chew. It's a healing thing and a loving thing. I am known for feeding people as they come into my home or mailing them treats to say I am thinking of them. It is as much a gift to me as it is from me. It nurtures something inside of me to know that I have always somehow been divinely taken care of even through some very rough patches. I want to pass that feeling of being loved along to everyone I can.
Mostly, as I stand here over these beans I am thinking about how fine of a meal I always thought I was being treated to as a child and the women around me who made them. I didn't think of it as a food I ate when we had nothing. I thought of that magical pot as a dish they loved over for hours which I anticipated eating with great excitement. To those who understand this love of beans in this way, we are rich in ways others will never understand.
Just a woman on the edge of something every single day with a good sense of humor to assure I don't drive away Thelma and Louise style. This blog is just a way for me to share some realness with all of you.