That means, of course, that I’m cooking Cuban. Preparing for Thanksgiving next week and looking forward to Noche Buena next month got me thinking of pork. (That last statement totally makes sense to Cuban Americans.)
So I’ve got pork chops in the crock-pot slow cooking in mojo. As they cook, the aroma of garlic and spices is filling up our home. This triggers memories for my mom and makes her chatty.
She starts telling her stories. I know most of them, of course. I never tire of listening to them.
But every now and then she tells me something I never knew about her life.
I wonder, "how could I have known her all these years and not known that??"
Then I think that maybe it is that way with me and my kids, too. There are things they just don’t know about who I am or what has happened in my life – the good and the bad.
So I am determined to tell my own stories on my scrapbook pages. I want my kids and their descendants to know me. I want them to know what life was like for me as a young exile growing up in a strange culture. I want them to know how important family has always been. I want them to know I care deeply about the people I love and the island of my birth. I want them to know I had a sense of humor. =D
This is a great example of the pages I make now. The journaling reads:
Bet you didn’t know…
- Most of my friends from 8th grade were also Cuban. (Mayra, Isis, Yoly, Carmen, Alina)
- I learned how to sew when I was 8 years old.
- I talk in my sleep a lot – sitting up with my eyes open.
- My dream job would be to do stand-up comedy.
- The theme song from the TV show, "Cheers," makes me cry.
- I secretly love to read political commentaries.
- I won a dance contest in high school. The prize was a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young LP.
- My mother didn’t name me immediately after birth. I was almost named Marilyn or Virginia.
- I’ve read "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy at least a dozen times – 3 times out loud!
- I’ve always collected things. (paper dolls, tin buttons, plastic figurines, Nancy Drew books, art supplies, matches, ashtrays, mugs, teapots, boxes)
- I sewed and beaded my own wedding dress.
- My favorite time to go swimming in the ocean is just before sunset.
- One of my photographs (a portrait of my sister, Alina) was displayed in "The Place Across the Street from the Hotel Laguna" in Laguna Beach.
- I played in the very first Gillis Beach Volleyball Tournament in 1970. (mixed doubles category – we were out in the first round)
- I ran into Jay Leno once at LAX. I had with me a People magazine, with him on the cover and a loaded camera in my bag. We had a long conversation, but I didn’t get his autograph or even a photo. (silly me!)
- In 1960, I appeared on Cuban TV dressed as a bunny. (don’t have a clue why)
Tell your own story. In your very unique voice. It will matter deeply to someone you love.