A Happy Home Recipe

24 Jul

From the time I was about 5 years old my parents owned a vacation home in the Palm Desert area.  They started out with a mobile home in a private community and worked their way up to different condominiums in private, gated communities.  It was my favorite place to be.  Pool, tennis court, golf course, shopping. 

A typical day would find me and my mom sitting by the pool or curled up on the couch reading our books.  It was the definition of relaxation for me. 

Breakfast could be something as simple as a bowl of cereal or cantaloupe but for my mom and me it was bagels with lox, cream cheese and capers.  When lunchtime rolled around we took out all the fixins to make the best deli sandwiches.  Today, that’s still my favorite lunch!  At night, my dad might barbeque steaks, or we’d make homemade pizzas (each person made their own!).  It didn’t matter what we had, meals always tasted better when we were at our house in the desert.  I slept better too.  Maybe it was because the environment just encouraged rest and relaxation. 

We rented a lot of movies too.  After dinner, we’d gather around the couch with our bowl of popcorn and watch the newest flick or two.  I know how fortunate I was to grow up in a family that could afford such a place and it not even be our primary residence.  I know how blessed I am to have such incredible memories and grateful I was able to share the house and “lifestyle” with my own daughters.  For almost 40 years I had access to this mini-retreat. 

My mom passed away from cancer in 1994.  Her death is still the most emotionally devastating event I’ve ever experienced.  Spending time there after she died was bittersweet.  I could still feel her in every room.  I’d walk past the living room and my mind’s eye would see us both curled up reading.  I’d step out on the patio and see her eating breakfast while she and my dad shared the morning paper.  As I walked through the house I was reminded of her creative side.  Much of the artwork on the walls was painted by her. 

A few years ago my dad finally sold the house, and as you can imagine, it was really difficult for me.  I’d grown up there and most of my memories are tied to the special times with my mom.  In addition to the various art and sculptures, there was a framed recipe that hung in the kitchen.  It was there for as long as I can remember.  I don’t know where she got it or how much it cost, but it’s hanging in my kitchen now and its value is priceless.  Of all the recipes I have, this is by far my favorite.  I hope you enjoy it and prepare it often.

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2 Responses to “A Happy Home Recipe”

  1. Dava Desjarlais July 26, 2012 at 3:53 am #

    What a wonderful childhood you must have had. Such a wonderful place to escape & be together as a family. You were indeed very lucky. However, you embrace & realize how lucky you were not taking the moments or memories for granted.

    So sorry about your mom. Losing my own mom to breast cancer, I can totally relate to your loss. Moms are a center part of the family & are often the ones who make a “home” for the family.

    Also, sad that your dad decided to sell this special place, but maybe he needed to have closure from that part of his life.

    Luckily, you will ALWAYS have your memories & your mom’s recipe.

    May you pass down your own memories & your mom’s recipe to your own daughters some day.

    • My Bungalow Days July 26, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

      Dava,
      Indeed my childhood was wonderful and I look back on so many great times we shared as a family. The love and support my parents gave us is evident today in the relationships my 3 siblings and I have.

      I’m sorry to hear of your mom’s passing as well. Your words are so true about the role a mother plays. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about her, miss her, want to talk to her and wonder if she’s proud of me. She missed so much of my daughters’ lives and really what keeps me from losing it, is the hope that she’s watching over them from Heaven. Sounds dramatic I know, but there are so many days you just need your mom. And when she’s no longer just a phone call away, sometimes it’s just unbearable. I talk to her in my prayers and just have to have faith she’s listening and watching.

      If I learned anything from her passing, it’s that material things go away but memories and the impact we have on someone’s life will last a lifetime. I’ve had the framed recipe for several years now and it wasn’t until a couple months or so ago that I came home from work and noticed Greg had put it up on the wall. My heart was so touched. Sadly, I don’t know that I even thanked him. I hope he knows now how special his gesture was and what it means to me. It’s now a daily reminder; of the house in the desert and the wonderful memories, of the ingredients and how to dispense them and of course my mom.

      Thank you for reading my post and most especially for taking the time to write such a lovely comment. Best to you…

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