The year end portion of The Momma Mia Tour 2018, while fraught with mishaps, miscommunications, and maladies of a physical nature, still managed to delight and engage Mia and myself on multiple levels. If you follow my sporadic social media presence the fact that Marvelous Mia spent her fall semester studying in Denmark comes as no surprise. She thrived during her months in Copenhagen. I visited for a brief moment, getting to switch places with my newly minted world traveler - but that’s another post altogether. Before taking off for Scandinavia Mia mentioned the prospect of taking extra time to continue her European experience. Actually… her statement fell somewhere between an inquiry and a demand. No matter - She could have ended her request with the surliest of attitudes and nastiest name-calling (not that she ever would; apparently mine is the only potty mouth in this family) and I still would have fallen over myself trying to make reservations.
DATELINE 4 December 2018 - As a kid growing up on Long Island, my favorite cookies arrived pre-packaged from the local A&P or, more often than not, from my mother’s grocery runs to the commissary one town over in Hempstead’s Mitchell Fielid. Our household favorites rotated between Mallomars (my brother) Chips Ahoy (sister & mother) and Fudge Town (your’s truly).
That my mother died after suddenly suffering a stroke during a last -minute trip to the commissary did little tamper my appetite for cookies, or food, for that matter.
While the following post was composed on National Cookie Day (big thanks to @theBaseHicks for alerting me to that fact. How is this not a national holiday?) my attention to TonisTable.com grew sporadic, as I entered the pre-trip chaos from which I write to you today. In this instance, I am not referring to an entirely, or even nominally, negative situation. While this place of disorder can feel terrifying, in this case it holds such beauty and potential. According to shamanic practitioner Lena Stevens, “Chaos is the astral plane, or spirit world revealed, without form, where anything is possible if you are willing to let go of resistance and use your creativity wisely to arrange those moving parts into something you want.” As one who spent decades moving from one chaotic scenario to another - sometimes externally created, too often self-generated - realizing that to let go is to harness a kind of profound power over self and develop the capacity to withstand, learn from and even thrive in the aftermath of chaos.
Today, marks the 98th anniversary of the birth of Rosa Maude Boyette, my Mother. She passed on before reaching the age I am today, and before I, still young enough to call her Mommy, had the chance to store enough indelible memories to ease the heartache of her absence almost five decades later. Memories of this Kittitian mother of four mostly stem from stories told long ago, the faintest of recollections inspired by old photos and cups of sweetened hot milk flavored with a drop or two of vanilla, accompanied by shortbread sublime in it's simplicity and pure goodness.Yes, it always comes down to food with some of people.
Count me in as a member of that particular tribe. You may know one of us, maybe you are one of us: who holds a mental menu for every occasion, whose waves of grief, elation, terror, curiosity, fury and boredom are no match for a well executed sole meunière, Mac and Cheese, or whatever makes ones tastebuds tingle at that particular moment.