Wednesday, September 19, 2007

To remind you of the ones you love

I believe, with all of my heart, that life is made up not of the big dramatic moments....but the tiny little ones in between. Weddings are great. And magical and beautiful and special and amazing and all that jazz. But they are a day. It is the small moments, the ordinary moments, that build a life together. The way Russ rubs my back when he first gets out of bed on the way to the bathroom to shave and shower. The way Cosette shouts "I am your munchkin!" when I ask where my munchkin is. The way my students laugh at me when I stumble over my words and end up saying BLAH! in a very loud voice. The way my mom's cheek feels when I kiss her hello--soft and warm and very mom-like. The way my sister laughs at me when she is the only one who catches me doing something totally stupid. The way my mother and father in law greet me with the biggest smiles on their faces, no matter where we are or what we are doing. These small moments are the moments that make up a life and that build memories....

Nothing reminds me of this more than Nonnie. Lately, there have been moments in my life that have reminded me of her. One of those moments happened recently.

I have been slowly making an effort to become more "Italian". To learn the home cooked meals like Nonnie used to make. Well, this summer, I decided to try something new--making sauce using tomatoes from my backyard. The best part about this story is that my memory of how this worked was clearly skewed. I remember Nonnie's rather large veggie garden. And I remember the fireplace she had outside. And I clearly remember a big pot on that fireplace, where she'd toss tomatoes, seemingly fresh off the vine, to cook.

Apparently, there were a few steps in between that I missed. When I asked my mom if I needed to dice the tomatoes, or just toss them in the pot whole, she laughed and explained the process. First you wash them and cut off the tops. Next you boil them until the skin just begins to crack. Then you cold shock them, and peel them. If you are really snazzy you can seed them now too, but I'm not that snazzy, and neither was my Nonnie. Then you chop them roughly and then, and only then, can you cook them in the big pot that I remember.

A few weekends ago, I did this (again....the first time I went to my Mom's house to learn). In that moment, with tomatoes standing like sentinels on my counter, spatters from the sauce all over my stove, the smell of fresh sauce bubbling away and all of the accouterments of cooking scattered across my kitchen....well, in that moment, I felt closer to Nonnie than I have in awhile. These are the memories of her that will last a lifetime, and that I will cherish for a lifetime.


Anonymous said...

OK now I'm crying ;o(
Your Nonnie lives on-- in you, Tina,
your Mom - and you three will teach Juliette and Cossette and the circle will continue. What gifts she left!
Love this post!
Mom S

Kelli said...

Great post, Li.

I agree that it's the little moments in life. When I think about people I love or miss or have lost, I don't think about the moments when things were a big production or event. I think of little things like they way they'd laugh or hold my hand or a goofy grin or sitting down to dinner together.

And I'm hungry...

Tina said...

I love this post. Lately I feel like Nonnie has been with me more now then she had been in the last year or so of her life. And I miss her, the way I remember her, like in this story.

Beth said...

Beautiful Lisa! I can't wait to taste some sauce.