On the second day of Xmas vacation…
I made two loaves of Tartine bread. And I spoke with my sister as these guys went in and out of the oven. That’s something I don’t do often enough. Talking to my family, that is. I make plenty of bread.
I moved across the country from Philadelphia to San Francisco in 1996. No one is left in Philly (blood-wise), with my parents now in Tennessee (after West Virginia, Delaware, and New York) and Becky is just up the coast in Seattle. (There’s an older brother in Ohio, but we have absolutely nothing in common and barely speak more than once a year, if that.) The first few years I dutifully flew home for the holidays to hang onto what we’d always done on December 25th. At this point, it’s been at least ten years since I did that.
As time wandered on, we have each made our own lives, with new families of choice and traditions in our new communities. For me that’s a meal out on Christmas Eve with Chris, friends over for brunch (the loaf on the left will become my first attempt at strata) and knitting on the day of, and an incredible dinner made by our friend and next-door neighbor Annie that night. Don’t forget a potluck at Sonya’s on Boxing Day. In some ways, it’s smaller and less significant than once-a-year Santa wake and all-important school break from growing up, but it’s also more personal and intimate. And it’s mine.
History for history’s sake is no reason to reenact the past. Memories can be far more touching and important than their recreation. Especially when there is no there there. My past is long gone. There’s no childhood home or neighborhood where I grew up. There were ten moves up and down the East Coast before I graduated from high school. Wherever I head back to, It would simply be a visit, not a homecoming or reunion.
As I grow and evolve, I’m ok with my “traditions” transforming according to my life. That said, I wouldn’t mind inviting my mom & dad or sister to the Bay Area to share how ill be soendig the next three days and to see what new memories we can create while toasting some of the old ones.