I asked for my mammaw's recipes when she died.
Maybe an odd request, I'm not certain. I don't think anyone fought me for them. If so they didn't let on and I recently received a box filled with them.
In fact, I spent several hours last weekend with a Russell Stover candy box in my lap. There wasn't any candy in the box but rather dozens of her recipes.
Sunday is Grandparents Day. Perhaps I should whip up a dish from one of the recipes. It would likely be a disgrace rather than an honor.
I don't know why I wanted her recipes. I think some part of it has to do with the fact that a lot of the recipes are handwritten and the ones that aren't, well I hope they were at least hand picked.
When I went through them last weekend, I remember wanting the moment to be perfect. I got a cup of coffee, nestled into the couch and went through them carefully as if they were precious antiques. Some of them were carefully torn out of magazines and others were snagged from the back of a Cool Whip label.
I think the back of one recipe might have the remains of a scrabble score left on it.
It seems as though BBQ sauce was a hot item in which to have a recipe for. There were two that were handwritten and were from the last names of other family members. There were lots of casseroles -- but not broccoli, I scored that recipe a long time ago.
Along with the box of recipes also came a bag of cookbooks and a box of old pictures.
I love looking at old pictures, it doesn't matter who or what the pictures are of. Rummaging through the old photos brought forth a cocktail of emotions.
When you're one of the youngest in the family, you get, and thankfully so, the things that you think are sentimental but the other, older people think is just junk that is taking up space. I suppose this is a part of growing up, aging and dealing with life.
I remember when my aunt called me and asked me if I wanted the pictures in my mammaw's house. I was flattered and I was confused. Sure, I said. And then jokingly, I said I mean you're not throwing them away or anything, are you.
When she replied what else are we going to do with them, I couldn't breathe. Literally, the air went out of my lungs and it must have went to my stomach because my stomach felt awful. I was sick.
My brother assured me I was dramatic.
So as it turns out, I ended up with a trunkful of pictures that nobody wanted and while I didn't particularly need all of the ones I got, I am happy to house them.
In the box I found one particular photo of my mammaw that is just stunning. Of course I'm biased. She would have been in her mid-30s according to notes written on the back of the photo.
She had a tall posture, not the way I remember her. She had hair much softer and much darker looking than I remember too. She wore a soft pink lip color with a matching earring and necklace set. What a find I had stumbled on. I clarified with my aunt that it was in fact mammaw. It was.
I had asked for the recipes. I got so much more.
Angela Turner is a staff writer for The Times-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.