Past Visits Present

Hello everyone! I hope this week has started off well for you. I had a fun little visit from the past today in a well-packed little package in my mail box. I was reminded of a couple of things and thought I would share those thoughts with you.

My sweet package was a book which shocks anyone that knows me! Hahaha! It was a cookbook on good meals and how to prepare them. Now mind you, this book is a third edition with a copyright of 1927. I know from my experience that those times were hard for my ancestors and they learned, because they had to, how to make food go further and to use what was available to them. Now the fun part was looking inside the cover to find recipes that had been kept in there and were cut out from a newspaper. I immediately thought of my mom. She had SO many of those and some were pasted to a 3×5 card and others were just stuck in between the cards. We had a whole big draw of them to go through when she passed away. Some of them went to my kids; especially some that were hand written by her. I still have many, many of them along with those she collected from friends.

This bookshop took such great care in how they packaged the book to make sure it arrived in good condition. What a blessing that is when you are purchasing a rare and hard to find vintage book. With everything being so disposable in this day and age, I find it very refreshing to know that someone cares enough to find and share these books. It is their business to find them and their business to share them; even to the point of leaving recipes in the book as they found them. They aren’t just tossing books out because they are not relevant to today. We have moved toward making our life a toss-away society…what once was is not for today. That gives my heart a squeeze of sadness. I have many old treasures in my home and they are still giving life to me just as they did to my parents and grandparents and maybe beyond them. I love that a book of tried and true recipes that are simple but good, can still be a part of my present. My mom sure would have enjoyed this book.

We are inundated with new and sparkly things for our life and home. We have access to more and more ideas, recipes, fashions, dec√≥r, name brands and acquiring the newest of everything. I have done some of that myself. However, I also value what is old and sturdy and works for me. I value having less and I’m working on that by sharing here and there with others to streamline. But… I never tire of the tried and true traditions that I have known as I grew up. I treasure them now more than ever. These old ways would be like saying that because this Bible that was in my dad’s things is not relevant for today because it is old (which sadly seems to be what many believe today), when the truth of it is, that is says the same things today and it gives the same insight and teaching as it did the day it was printed. There was a lesson folded in it that was printed in 1919 and that was the year of his birth. So you see, we keep the old because of what it can teach us today, as well as, the lessons we may not learn today because we see them as irrelevent.

There are many items in the cookbook we don’t eat today, but for cooks in that time, it was what was available to them to feed the family. I often think of my grandma who cooked on wood stove her whole life, with the exception of the last maybe 5 or so years. What a job that was! But I never heard one complaint from her. It had been her job as a young girl to cook for a farmer’s crew. Now, at this time, to have the recipes and all the other helps to be a good cook and housewife is a pretty cool book to have and to learn from!

So what does this have to do with today? Maybe we need to go back to some of those simple ways, to dial down and enjoy days like today with the snow falling here and stand on the porch of our homes and enjoy the silence the snow gives. To enjoy the blanket of beauty the snow brings…it won’t last forever. Call a friend and say hello with a voice call instead of a text or email. Because you see, those old ways and old people, as some see it today, have a story to tell. Why do you think Ancestry has become so popular? People want to know about those times and people that came before them. However, many didn’t ask or care to ask. Later, they wish they had taken the time, or pressed for answers. I think sometimes our relatives didn’t think we really cared so they didn’t share even when asked. I feel like it is more important today than ever! We get so busy with life and running and new and the best, that we forget we aren’t promised a tomorrow and we never know what is around the corner.

So I opened this book up and found a simple recipe for apple fritters and made them. Fantastic! It made my day. We have time for social media, many of us, so cut that time in half and do something with your family and friends. Get an old cookbook out, read a classic, have a tea or coffee on FaceTime with a friend from miles away. I think my folks would be proud of who I am and who I became. I hope my family sees in me those traits we can learn from a simple book in the mail and… the past that makes its way into the present.

Don’t miss it. It can bring joy right into the deepest parts of our hearts if we let it. Share in the comments your thoughts and pictures of your special treasured item or activity that you have done, or might do in the future.

Until next time…

~JoAnn

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The Legacy Continues

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Today starts a new legacy for something that I have had in my home for about ten years, but has always been a part of my life. What is that, you ask? My dad’s jewelry box. I don’t know about yours, but my dad’s jewelry box was a treasure box of stored goodies. Anything from jewelry to an old ceramic marble could be found in there! One of my favorites? A little tiny bible that you can actually read out of. It was so cool and we had to be very careful when we opened it so nothing would happen to it. I don’t know the story behind that bible or where it came from, but I know it was always there as far back as I can remember. I have that Bible today and Ethan finds as much joy in that little book as I did. As a child, I loved to browse that jewelry box often. He even had coins and silver dollar bills and some $2 bills that could be found in there. Good times and memories!

So this weekend as Ethan and I were talking, he mentioned he really wanted a jewelry box for his ring and a few necklaces he had. So I thought today was a good day to share more of the story, empty out the items and send it home with him. I also told him how much I know my folks would have loved to meet him and that they would be proud of him wanting that old jewelry box for his treasures! He was very excited and told me how he was going to take such great care of it. I love passing the legacy of stories along to him. That is how he can learn more about where he comes from.

So I am happy to report it went into his little backpack to its new home and somehow I feel that mom and dad are looking down with big smiles today on that little boy who wanted that box.

Sharing life…walking the journey with you…