Yesterday, I once again brought a kitchen theme to my groups.
At the Community Center, I tossed lots of vintage utensils on the table. That's all it took. The stories followed.
My Sweet Bunch
We started up, just identifying these funny old tools.
I laughed about my grandmother's potato peeler, which I still use. Ramona talked about using a potato masher, to mash beans for Mexican dishes.
Wooden Paddle and Whisk
It was surprising how many remembered a stove like the toy on the table.
Our only gentleman in the group, said he learned how to cook on one just like it. He must have still been thinking about his old kitchen stove, when he later answered my question, "What's the worst thing about cooking."
"When the fire goes out."
What's the best thing about cooking?
Mary said "the aroma" was the best thing about cooking. Most agreed, and then we talked about our favorite kitchen smells.
Others talked about the fun of cooking with others. That got us off on remembering our mothers in the kitchen. I heard stories or moms making tortillas and pies. I got hungry hearing about cornbread and cakes.
Books, Movies, Songs
After browsing through some of the cookbooks, we began to wonder if there were any books that revolved around cooking.
Then we brainstormed movies and TV and got off on a tangent, sharing our favorite I Love Lucy episodes. There were a lot of good scenes that took place in the Ricardo kitchen!
The Ice box
I was surprised at the reaction to my miniature ice box. Quite a few had them in their homes and remembered the ice man delivering big blocks of ice. But the sweetest sharing happened later, when Wilma and Betty lingered as I packed up to head out. Wilma took another look at the ice box and told me how the ice was tied up in a rope for carrying. I was confused, since I'd heard about the giant tongs that lifted the ice. But Betty chimed in and they both filled me in, as they recalled together.
"I got to keep the rope..." Wilma began. After the ice melted a bit, she could remove the rope and soak and soften the rope pieces in water. Then she removed strands from the twisted rope and curled the straight pieces on a pencil. "I made hair for my dolls." Wilma recalled with pride. "Oh, we couldn't afford dolls, we made our own."
I'm not sure why this touched me so, but it was such a sweet moment. I loved imagining these 2 dear women as young girls, in their kitchens. I honestly felt a lump in my throat being pulled into their special memories.
I shook my head and sighed. "Thank you so much for sharing. This is why I love coming here. We just have an ice box on the table and suddenly I get to hear these wonderful stories."
"We Feel Safe"
Betty smiled back and spoke. "And this is why we come. These things you bring remind us... and we want to share. We feel safe in sharing at this table."
What I Learned:
It was sweet to know that this group feels safe. Of course some do more of the sharing than others, but all are given a chance.
I hope it's okay that I share here. I have no idea if anyone even reads this blog... it's mostly to record my good memories. I would never share anything more personal than these good thoughts.
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For 20+ years children have called it the Magic Quilt. They've danced and pretended all over these colorful squares. I've dragged it to schools, shelters and studios where children have climbed on top to hear Magic Quilt Stories and to act them out.