My next blog is titled, “Connections” and can be seen below. But before you start reading it, I’m relying on our digital connection to ask you to pass on the following link to all your social media networks. As many of you know my novel, “My Mother’s Kitchen: A novel with recipes” is slated to come out in October, 2014. This link will allow you to check out the advance reviews for the book and to pre-order the title. I appreciate your support of my writing and thank you in advance for your help. My publisher tells me it is time for a quiet book to make a big splash! I’m counting on your help to do that with “My Mother’s Kitchen.” Here is the link: http://homeboundpublications.com/my-mothers-kitchen-bookstore/
July 2014 Connections:
Connections were very important to my family. “Do you know…?” was a common start of many of their conversations. Our family tree and the kinship between family members, cousins, uncles and aunts would put Facebook to shame. Some of my family members relied on the village matchmakers for all the town news. These women carried heavy canvas bags (yes, we used cloth bags way before it was the cool thing!) filled with notes and astrology charts. My own family had a Facebook Friend in the person of Rukmaniammah. She had a charming, almost shy manner, about her but she was relentless in her pursuit of the latest piece of news whether it was an announcement of an engagement or a birth or a family scandal. She knew all the latest news and was not afraid to spread it. As teenagers we rigorously avoided her and we would cross the street to escape her piercing (but beautiful) brown eyes and endless questions. She was a “friend” we would have loved to “un-friend.”
But there was someone with whom I connected on such a deep level that from the first moment I met her (at age six months) and now nearly 50 years later we are still “friends.” Actually we are more than friends. Those of you who know me can guess the person I’m talking about: It is my aunty C who is a young 93-year-old. Even though we are not related by blood (she married my uncle EE) our relationship is deep and abiding. We share a great love and respect for my late uncle EE, for good literature and bittersweet chocolate desserts. So it was not a big surprise a few years ago when I discovered that aunty C and I had something else in common. A brief back story: In the early 90s, my father-in-law was retiring and looking for a place to live on the water. He and his wife, my darling late mother-in-law, traveled up and down Virginia looking for just the right place. They found their haven in a small town called White Stone. Now here is the incredible (really jaw-dropping!) connection between White Stone and me. Drum roll, please! Turns out that White Stone is where my aunty C spent her childhood. Later I had the honor of meeting her two younger sisters and other family members.
Not that we needed one more thing to talk about but my connection to White Stone brought us even closer. After a recent trip to White Stone I was able to bring back news of her hometown. She has known me almost my whole life and so we share many of my childhood memories when we get together. So I suppose it is fitting and appropriate that I am able to bring a small slice of her childhood back to her. We impress our family and friends as we rattle off names of towns and places she used to visit. Mosquito Point, Irvington and Kilmarnock.
Aren’t connections amazing? Some are obvious like the ones we have with co-workers, friends and family but others are harder to explain. Can you connect the dots between me (from south India) aunty C (from White Stone, VA) and my in-laws (from New Jersey)? Weird, uh?