I will never forget my mother in her early sixties telling me that she felt 20 in her head. Sadly she passed away at 62 – I am now 64 – and since my father passed at 56, I have now outlived both of my parents. And tomorrow my only child, our son James, turns, 41. How strange it feels to have a son who is almost the age I was when my mother said this to me.
Years passing faster, days flying by – it is so very different when you are in your sixties and more. I remember school days – they seemed to drag by – day after day – until finally vacation time rolled around – and then the vacation seemed endless too. But now birthdays seem to be happening every few months instead of every year. Do you have that sensation too?
I plan to scan all the family photos into the cloud – it is just a matter of when. It is one of those daunting projects that has to be done a day at a time – and it is now in line with the other project I have to scan in all the recipes that I have collected over the years – thousands of them. It all started when my mother gave me a subscription to Gourmet Magazine when I was 18. Amazing. My mother was a superb cook as was my father so the gift was not unusual. What was, however, was the fact that I was NOT a cook at all – had never even boiled an egg until I got married. But I had hopes – since my mother Norma Wolfowitz, told me again and again the story of her first cooking experience. She was a young bride in 1939 and my father had just been called up and had to report for duty. The South African forces were entirely voluntary, and my dad was one of those who gave up his burgeoning career as a young surgeon in private practice, and joined the navy. He became the chief surgeon of the only South African Hospital Ship, the AMRA and was in North Africa and part of the Mediterranean Fleet for the entire 5 years of the Second World War.
So this was his ‘farewell’ dinner – his orders came through the day of their wedding – and before he was to report for duty, my mother decided to cook him dinner. She put the rice into a pot and put it on the stove. However she didn’t realise she needed to add water to the pot. Sigh. The rest is history.
Fortunately for me, my dad returned after a horrific five years, participating in every invasion from Dunkirk to Normandy, and I was born in 1948.
I also learned to cook after I married my husband in 1969. Sadly my father was not there to see it.