Saturday, November 12, 2011
Hungry for Stories, and Chocolate
I love history. It was always my favourite subject in school, and I used to dedicate a lot of my time to reading non-fictions during my recreational time (back when I had an excess of it). My family is the same way; my mom keeps our family's genealogy records and is constantly updating them, my brother has assumed history as a minor in university, and my sister had recently developed an interest and is going on a school trip this spring to Belgium to see the war memorials and so on.
Despite this, my family's roots aren't really in history. My ancestors were all simple farmers, right up to my mother's father (who was actually rejected to join the army during the war because his 'trigger' finger on his right had was cut off when he was a boy, even though he was actually left handed).
I'm trying to say that we doing have any hero stories or special badges or medals passed down. I used to be a little ashamed of this. But then I though, alas, there had to be some who stayed behind.
Since I work at a retirement home, I was lucky enough to have some of the residents show me medals and pictures from their late husbands. It was really fascinating. I often fantasize about what it would have been like to live during that time, and this isn't something I go and tell people, but I think on this kind of thing often.
One woman was married when she was seventeen. Seventeen. I'm older than that now, I thought. Because her eyesight isn't so good, I read out a little poem for her about soldiers going off to war. I finish, and I notice her eyes are glistening, and she's no longer looking at me. And it hits me.
"Where did all the years go?" She asked, to no one in particular.
I just sat there, awestruck. She's holding and old leather case in which two hand-coloured photographs are kept: from nearly century ago, an elegant, young married couple in their late teens.
I can't help it, I just think of my grandparents who have been gone so long, when I was so young, that I can barely remember their faces now. Where did all the years go, indeed.
I think I can learn a lot of things from these people. There are things I would like to ask my grandparents and stories I would like to hear, but I cannot do that, so this will suffice. All the residents have some stories to tell, they're just waiting for someone to listen. More than being proud, I believe they just don't want those memories to be forgotten. Therefore, they are looking for someone to pass down those stories to, so the memories of their loved ones can continue on. I'm always all-ears.
I'm not too sure where I was going with that, it's a bit of a mess. Just like those chocolate sables at the top of this post. If you haven't forgotten them already, throughout my blabbering.
I think I messed up, probably because I didn't measure the baking soda (oops). They certainly don't look like these. But they taste good. I will try this recipe again and actually measure things properly this time. I just get impatient, you know? It's chocolate, for goodness sake.