Thursday, August 5, 2010

Her Hands Always Smell Like Onions

As I was driving to Physical Therapy today, I was thinking about little things...little things that have made a big impact on me and the way I approach life.  The big things are obvious, but those little things are not always so apparent.

When I was in college I was talking with my friend Bets.  I have no idea WHY we were talking about what we were talking about, but the topic eventually got around to her mother.  She confided in me that the smell of her mother's hands was always comforting to her...they always smelled like onions...her mother was always cooking good food for the family and her hands carried that sweet aroma of her love for them.  (I'm almost 100% certain Bets did NOT say it like that, but that is how I understood it.)

Now, MY mother always cooked for her family too, until we were old enough to evict her from the kitchen...I was 13.  My own memories of my mother's cooking are not pleasant...she is NOT a good cook.  Why? Well, because she does not love cooking.  She did not express her love for us through delicious food.  Her expressions of love came in the form of dresses, carefully stitched and embroidered for her girls, and sweaters and scarves knitted for all of the family.  Yes, she cooked, but is was not HER expression.

So, when Bets told me about her mother's onion scented hands, I guess it just stuck in my brain.  Years later, when I started my own family, I cooked for them and loved doing it.  I always wondered, as I tucked my kids into bed, and when I hugged them as the left the house....wondered if they thought about it like Bets did....  But I seriously doubt THEY have told their friends that my hands always had that comforting smell of onions!

Another of my friends, Dottie, told me of the time her older brother told her to put her fingers in the socket where the light bulb went...he then turned on the light and burned her fingers in the process.... I never forgot that story and was diligent about making sure I knew where my kids were and what they were doing...I was NOT planning to let my son's curiosity result in his sister's fingers being permanently scarred.

Of course, I had my own memories from childhood...those things that I felt were SO important to my personal development, such as my mother's reading to us at night, sitting on the stool in the hallway with all of the doors to the bedrooms where her six children lay in bed....reading us books, a chapter a night, followed by a reading from the Bible....and my father's singing with all of the kids, all of us sitting in the "boys" room in the dark so we didn't giggle and goof around, but would really sing with him.  The singing was something that was a natural for me while the reading aloud to my own children was not so much.  Still they are both avid readers and singers...both love to cook and NOBODY ended up with scarred fingers from impersonating a light bulb....

See what I mean? It's the "little things" that were important!

Judy with onion from the garden.............

Joe with Mammoth Sunflower

Judy with same sunflower

Judy's Home-Styled "physical therapy"

So.... my kids are grown and I am still cooking and still singing....reading...not so much.  And I wonder what THESE kids would have to say, if they could talk!




11 comments:

Sharon said...

I laughed when you said your Mother is not a good cook! My Mom didn't like to cook and she showed it in her meals, there were things the dog turned his nose up at!

You have such wonderful memories of your childhood! A childhood does really for the adult.

That's SOME onion!!!

Sharon said...

I meant form... I IS tired!

mixednut555 said...

Not sure why, but this posting brought tears to my eyes. Thank you once again, Judy. I look forward to whatever you choose to share with us and love that you do it with pictures too! Thank you.

Judy's Corner said...

Hahaha Sharon...my mother SERIOUSLY taught us to make spaghetti sauce using campbell's tomato soup...ick! (However, spaghetti is still one of my all time favorites!

When I was 13 we politely suggested that we, the kids, would take over cooking meals...we took turns...when we adopted my sister's boyfriend (another story) we had 7 kids and we each took a day to perform all the chores, including cooking...

Judy's Corner said...

kat.... I think onions bring tears to the eyes...yes? LOL

Thanks for reading and commenting.

These are all good memories, with more in the making....

Happy 10th anniversary!

Nekkid Chicken said...

Hee Hee J, You are a short stack to be sure. I laughed at your mom's cooking description. While my own mom could cook very well; she quit when I could reach the back burner. Thus, I started cooking the stories I could tell about my learning endeavors. I am happy to report no one has died and Chef Ramsey has not called me for an interview. SNORTING!

Canyon Girl said...

My husband is from New Orleans and for him cooking is love -- his mother could stretch a chicken to feed as many as necessary. My mom not so much and me neither. But what a lovely blog you have -- I know I will enjoy visiting you here.--Inger

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I really enjoyed reading your post--You are so right!!! I've just come back home from Kentucky where I'm from and it was filled with memories of my family and those smells and remembering all those "little things" that have helped to mold and make "us" who we are!

Judy's Corner said...

Mal! (I'll be honest... I had to ask Joe what your short stack comment meant! DUH! I am 5'4" tall, so not really short...that sunflower is just TALL!

LOL at your cooking...trust me, my mom made SURE we asked politely to leave the table rather than "over eat!" (I wonder if that was planned...hmmmm?)

Judy's Corner said...

Inger, thank you for dropping by. I found your blog through Sharon's and love the pics and the story. I am partial to that area...very beautiful country!

Judy's Corner said...

Kim, thank you. I actually have been reading your blog post, but haven't yet finished...I love it!