Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is, by far, my favorite holiday. It is all about food (Sofia today told me that eating is her favorite activity; it is certainly one of mine!) and friends and remembering the things in our lives that are good.

I started cooking this morning and currently am waiting for my second apple pie to come out of the oven and proofing yeast for Parker House Rolls a la James Beard. I've also made Sweet Potato Souffle (to be baked tomorrow) and cornbread for wild mushroom and pecan stuffing. Tomorrow the turkey will take up the bulk of the oven and I will just have to put the stuffing together and maked mashed potatos. Wine, vanilla ice cream and non-carbohydrate food will appear tommorow with the guests; all told we will number 13.

There have been very few Thanksgivings in the past 20 years that I haven't cooked for. Even when we lived in Argentina I celebrated, inviting family and friends for a traditional meal, with ham instead of turkey.

One of my most memorable Thanksgivings was the first I cooked when I was 18 years old. I lived with my then boyfriend and a couple of friends in a big industrial loft in the East Oakland. We invited everyone in our building who had nowhere to go to our place and had to build a table out of sawhorses and scrap wood to seat 21 guests. There was Alan, the 3-D neon sculptor from next door; the Czechoslovakian art restorers who lived down the hall; a group of friends who had landed at our place after a cross country journey; and the printmaker from across the hall (who I almost gave a heart attack some weeks later when my Black Rat Snake got loose, crawled up through the rafters and fell onto her easel while she was working). I can't remember who else was there, but there was a TON of food, lots of smoking and drinking and hilarity. I still remember looking around at everyone in my own house at a table full of food I'd cooked and feeling for the first time like I'd landed somewhere I belonged. I was home.

It is exactly 20 Thanksgivings later and I still know that feeling. Even though I'm not in a physical place that feels like home I know that, for me at least, home is less a place and more a feeling. I'm with the people who know me best, who love me despite my many failings and stick with me when the breadcrumbs back to this place I call home get blown away and I feel lost. That's something to be grateful for...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My outfit today: a vintage 50s skirt, black t-shirt and sandals. What? November?

This is the first Fall season where I have completely missed that feeling of nostalgia that the season has always brought me. I often thought that it was the beginning of the school year that brought that wistful, inward feeling of Fall. Now I know better; it was the chill in the air, the turning of the leaves, that glow the trees gave off on sunny afternoons giving everything an otherworldly feel. Do people who grow up in Southern climes have that turning inward? And if so what prompts it? Maybe with time I will come to see the end of the opressive summer heat as the signal of something different. For now I just feel like I am waiting for something that has yet to come. A friend here told me that winter consists of waiting for winter only to find Spring has arrived and Summer is just around the corner.

I remember when I lived in the SF Bay Area I missed the seasons. Two of the things that most struck the Northeasterner in me was the lack of window screens and the fact that no one ever commented on the weather; it was almost always "nice" in the East Bay. Here in Houston the weather is definitely a topic...When will it ever cool down? What streets are flooded and impassable after one of our epic tropical rainshowers? My neighbors told me the other day that after Hurricane Allison some teenagers around the block were shuttling people out to the main road in their canoe. A few weeks ago two women, a mother and a daughter, drowned in their car when they got stuck under a flooded freeway underpass. Luckily our house has never flooded, but we do have flood insurance, just in case.

There are ways I know I can turn this weather to my advantage; a second growing season, citrus trees, months of bike rides along the bayou. It is strange though to feel the weather as a stranger, to realize how much my life in Northern climates was tied to the rhythm of the seasons. My guess is I will find that rhythm here eventually, possibly while standing in my backyard in February eating snow peas off the vine.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sit right down. I don't know what I'm doing back in the blogosphere. I just want something simple to keep track of projects and to enable me to participate in other bloggy activities that require having a blog. My previous incarnation won't be up for much longer. I don't want to pay and I don't much want to play with Moveable Type so here I am again. We'll see...Now I just need a digital camera that works, mine died. Here is one of the last pictures it uploaded for me.; a cushion cover I knit inspired by Alterknits, but in a mosiac design of my choice.