The Way It Was

There were 50 years between us. I sat scrolling through my iPad browsing pins and she sat amazed at the technology of the screen responding to my touch. I was showing her recipes she might like for her New Year's Eve gathering. We found one that seemed simple enough, yet appetizing for guests. I was explaining my love for the app called Pinterest and how it has helped me in the kitchen. And then I got schooled.

There were no packages of crescent rolls, she explained. There wasn't a bag of already shredded cheese or frozen bags of microwavable vegetables to steam. There wasn't even a microwave. I heard tales of when bread was started early in the morning and took all day to rise and bake. The vegetables were cleaned and cooked only after they were hand picked from the garden. Chicken certainly didn't come in a can. No, this was another case of being responsible for first catching the chicken then ... Well, you get the picture.

Back then they worked hard for everything. But they didn't know any different because it was just "the way it was." The winters were hard and cold with feet of snow and the warmth only meant it was time for harvest. Farmland in New England meant big families who were all expected to play their part in helping on the land and in the home. The way it was made her who she is. And at 83 years of age the stories she tells are the lessons that have shaped her. And I wonder...

I wonder what I'd do without recipes from Pinterest?
I wonder what I'd do without packages of crescent rolls?
I wonder what I'd do without meals made simple for my hectic busy life?
I wonder what I'd do if I couldn't google every question I have about life, health, sickness, recipes, remedies...and so much more.

I teased my own mother for revealing to me her secret of googling answers when I ask her advice or questions. The way it now is is all I know, but it's a far cry from how it was. And the value in what I'm learning is there's always something to learn. No matter how hard or how simple life is.

I'm basking in the stories and realizing my own present experiences will one day be just faint memories of the way it was.


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