My mom competes with herself. It was a fun game to learn while I was still in the house – she would “shop her pantry” and bet against herself that she wouldn’t be able to finish every last bit of an odd spice jar, or an odd-ball ingredient she had picked up along the way. Or she would “shop the freezer” and see how long she could stretch every last bit of food to feed her army before she’d have to get groceries again. I might be wrong, and I know it’s changed since she’s only cooking for two, but I think she once made it 3.5 weeks before needing to buy anything beyond milk, cheese, eggs, or flour.
Sometimes I can’t remember anything about my childhood. My kids ask for stories and the entire canvas of my past is blank except for the really painful moments. Death. Abandonment. Tragedy. Those aren’t the bedtime stories they want and I’ve learned to memorize the few I know always please them so when I’m put on the spot I can always offer something to comfort them.
The day I got my cowgirl boots. The night I learned how to ride a bike. When our family dog had puppies. Bringing my brother as my show-n-tell. Life in a different place with no snow! My peaceful tree.
Lately it’s been a sudden rush of remembering. Vivid dreams, overlapping moments with my children and the memories of my childhood. It comes like the tide, slow and undeniable until my feet are covered and the land is gone.
I’m the island in the ocean of my memories and they’re washing me ashore.