All about how to stay connected, strengthen ties and talk politics with your big, happy extended family.
But First, Cake
Every summer I would stay with Aunt Carla in Oklahoma. Her home has always been a magical place situated in a tiny town named Clayton surrounded by mountains, with a gorgeous view of the Lake nestled at the bottom of the Potato Hills.
A Mother's Legacy
To My Mother-In-Law in Heaven, Yes, we have been introduced. We have been introduced through your son’s stories and daily reflections of your memory. I can not tell you what I would give to have the honor of meeting you face to face, just to thank you. I wish I could thank you for raising the man of my dreams. I am notoriously not a hugger, but I would hug you. I find it so funny how I’ve never known someone I have never met as well as I feel I know you. Your artistry, your eloquence, your free spirit, and your no-nonsense way of getting your opinion across all tell me how much I would have adored you. Everything I hear, I can see vividly, and it is all on my same quirky wavelength. With each memory, story, or photo shared with me, I wipe a little fog from the mirror.
Color Bleach of Life
The color Bleach of life. There was a box on the counter. The thin canes made a box, beautiful, pleasing to the eye, at the behest of an artist. The box is surrounded by delicate threads of red Sunil's cloth wrapped around it. The small size of the jewelry box is as if it has expanded its existence as needed. I thought this is an invitation to happiness—a modern example of a basket of sweet Laddus types of chocolates. The handle was wrapped around silver-plated wrist scissors.
Rainy days were chocolate cake days. That was why it was important to always have a box of cake mix in the pantry. He used to stand on his toes to watch his mother bake, waiting for the all-important moment when she needed him to lick the bowl clean. Thirty minutes in the oven, and--hey, presto!--warm decadent chocolate cake was being sliced and plated.
“Arrgh! No signal!” The storm in her mind is more severe than the rain pummeling my rooftop. I’ve endured many storms over the century. Up until twenty years ago the Coles took care of any damage Mother Nature inflicted upon me. Now I stand alone, weathered by time but still able to shelter any life that ventures within, as is my purpose.
Heidi and the Barn
The snow lay thick on the ground as Papa’s old Fiat struggled up the hill towards the farm. Heidi and her sisters were beside themselves with excitement. As they rounded the corner, the familiar buildings came into view. The house where Onkel Rolf and Tante Ingeborg lived with their family. The cottage was the home of their grandparents, Mormor and Morfar. During the summer, the flower boxes in the window held a profusion of brightly coloured flowers. And Heidi’s favourite building, the barn.
At Home in the Barn
A place of character can make an impact on you as much as a person of character. There are people I have met in my life that never made the impression on me like my grandparents’ barn.
The summer farm
The Summer Farm I stood, leaning against the still warm hood of my car looking at the barn where Uncle Henry taught me his lessons on life. The red wood of the barn wasn’t quite as tall against the sky as I remembered. The tobacco advertisement on the side was a bit more faded than it had been the last summer I spent here, twenty years ago.
Another Old Barn Story
As a pre-teen boy in the 1950’s, escaping the confines of 361 Spring Street in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, was exhilarating; even if it meant I had to take my younger brother, Chris, with me. It was freeing, knowing parents weren’t looking over our shoulders and we could do what kids do. What that was, was never sure, but it started with walking out of the back door (“don’t slam the door”) and out of our driveway, which, at the time, was made of small sharp stones. Kicking a rock down the street, and crossing over North Elm Street, Chris and I were headed toward the opening on the odd side of Spring, just before reaching the Spring Street School further down on the right side.
Now I am not surprised
Now I am not surprised Don't be discouraged by marriage statistics. The institution of marriage is not fading. We have not been able to adapt ourselves to the new conditions.
Mithai - sweets
My grandpa’s youngest cousin, Dhanilal Kishorilal Srivastava, used to live in Pratapgarh, India. Dhanilal was called DK by everyone. He worked in the post office as a junior finance officer. He lived with his wife Ratna and son Sunil. Nearly every year they would visit us in Lucknow for a few days or we would visit them for a few days.
Violence Has No Name Or Face
Does violence have a name? No? Okay, how about a face? I am half awake and from a distance, I can hear a female voice talking. I am not sure what she is saying I can tell that she is angry even if I'm half asleep. First, I feel convinced that she is in the company of another lady. Perhaps they are leaving a house party and they are as high as kites. I am also certain that they are at the gate giving the guard a hard time and hence struggling to get into the court.