Home, Sweet Home
Last week, we and thousands of other Californians were asked to evacuate our home because of approaching fires. We found safe shelter and then experienced five days of disbelief, disorientation, wondering, hoping. And then we got the word that we could return home. How lucky and relieved we felt.
Home. What a lovely word. What a cherished place.
For months, we’ve been seeing signs saying “Thank you, heroes” referring to the pandemic health and essential workers. Now we read those signs for all the firefighters, sheriffs, and community members who are fighting the fires and keeping neighborhoods safe. Yes, thank you.
And thank you friends and family for your calls and messages of love and concern from near and far, and for the offers of your home for shelter. Such blessings.
Now, as we start up our lives at home again, how divine it feels. John is watering the plants and picking ripe tomatoes. I am making my morning coffees and writing in my journal. We are talking to neighbors as we look across the fences or take our evening walks in the slowly clearing air. And we are spending time in our kitchen—making fresh yogurt and plum ice cream from the last of our tree’s plums.
We are unpacking slowly, cautiously, looking at everything differently. We are regrouping, rethinking, reorganizing. Values clarification big time. And through it all, we are filled with gratitude.
At bedtime, we pull up the blanket with our doggie’s image on it and read comfort books. Mine—surprise!–are two cookbooks about Italy, with short, simple introductions and enticing recipes and photographs. That’s about right for my current psyche. Comfort reading about comfort food.
One book —Pasta Grannies by Vicky Bennison—is a heart warming profiling of Italian grandmothers—nonne—who are the keepers of the pasta tradition. It has many recipes I look forward to trying and reminds me of all the times I helped my mom and nonna make ravioli. I think making some ravioli is in my near future.
The other is A Table in Venice by Skye McAlpine, a Venetian resident, that presents recipes from my father’s home territory, some familiar to me, others to be explored—like spinach with pine nuts and raisins, deep-fried sage leaves, and of course, three variations on the quintessential Venetian Prosecco aperitivo, Lo Spritz
So there you have it. “Bring Joy to the Table” this time ‘round is all about the joy of having and being at home; about love, comfort, nurturing, and gratefulness. Mamma mia. How fortunate we feel.