Oh childhood......It never ceases to amaze me as I age, the different prompts that transport me back in time to those carefree days of youth. Often it's a song that jogs the exact who, what, where, when, why memory. Sometimes it's a photo, a walk on the beach, laughter of children, or the taste of ice cream.
Today it's the aroma of meatloaf and baked potatoes, sizzling and crackling in the oven, our impending dinner. As this mouthwatering scent permeates the house, I'm mentally 3000 miles and too-many-years-to-say-out-loud away from here! It's a Sunday afternoon and my family and I are doing what we did so often back then. We're spending the afternoon/evening working and playing on Yvonne's farm.
Yvonne was a distant relative, a great aunt in a round about way, a character in her own right, one of my favorite all-time people. She had been widowed young, owned a local small-town gift shop, and had a tucked away, home and acreage that was a delight to our family. It was the idyllic New England property: funky Cape Cod style home teeming with fire places and creaky, wide plank floors, an unheated upstairs, babbling brooks, overgrown apple orchards, stone walls. It didn't matter what season it was, we were there, we never lacked for things to do, and we always had a memorable meal together.
Flashing forward to 2010, I'm grateful for the dinner I've prepared today that I'll soon share with my kids. I'm equally grateful for today's wonderful sidetrip to my past and to paying homage to a wonderful woman who lived simply and passionately. My heart is teeming with love for Yvonne, our family cohesiveness, meatloaf and baked potatoes!