It’s Sunday and beginning to look a lot like spring! The snow is melting, and it was 38° when I got up this morning. I’ve heard flocks of geese moving for the last few days. There is a wheat field about two blocks from my home and they were probably looking for lunch, but they were huge flocks. Oklahoma keeps geese year-round these days but the ones I hear overhead were moving. I hope they know spring is just around the corner. According to the calendar it is about 30 days away.
I finished writing Blooming Greed, the second in the Keystone Lake series, and The Wild Rose Press has agreed to publish it, though I haven’t signed a contract yet. But it should hit the shelves within the year.
Instead of jumping right into the next novel (there are two potentials sitting on the computer) I got distracted by a different project. My cousins and sisters are putting together a book with family recipes, pictures, and memories. It has been so fun, and I already have more than 50 pages. I’m still waiting on recipes to be sent to me, but one cousin, an artist, is doing the illustrations and possibly the cover. I got phone numbers from my aunt and called up cousins I hadn’t talked to in 20 years – and they didn’t hang up on me!
One of the things that is fun is that we all have different memories of the same situation – and different recipes for the same thing handed down from our mothers. When this became apparent, I decided to make a section of the book for comparison.
An example is my grandfather’s barbeque sauce that he slathered on chicken as it grilled on his homemade BBQ grill. My mother said his recipe, given to her verbally, went like this: “Take a piece of lard the size of a hen’s egg and melt it. Then mix it with vinegar and salt and pepper and brush it on the chicken.” There were no measurements, but my memories of the barbeque sauce were wonderful. Two of my cousins had a different version and one even knew where it came from. It was a secret recipe from an old man who was the barbeque chicken king at the annual Portia Picnic in Arkansas.
But the book has brought back so many memories and in looking through a box of my mother’s mementos, I found the above picture of my grandfather’s hand-tooled leather wallet with Selective Service card, Lifetime Hunting and Fishing cards, and a drivers license. Oh, the things that wallet had seen as he strived to raise a family of eight children during the Depression and my grandmother baked biscuits to feed them all.
Expect the unexpected. I should have known when I started this project. But it is a tribute to my family, and I think my grandparents would be proud.
What are you reading this week?