Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The women of today are the thoughts of their mothers and grandmothers, embodied, and made alive. They are active, capable, determined and bound to win. . . Millions of women, dead and gone, are speaking through us today.

Matilda Gage,

I finally have enough room in the freezer for bran muffins and oatmeal cookies so I pull out my baking paraphernalia and get to work. As I gather ingredients, in predictable and delicious silence, I am struck by the contentment that falls over me.

Baking is not my favourite thing to do—in fact I wrestled with myself this morning, feeling the lure of the woman cave where I could write and practice photography—yet I find myself surprised every time I pull out the pans because I am transported to another dimension where it is home.

it’s a place where my mother lives, my grandma too (though she’s kind, not crotchety, there), and my beloved Aunt Edie. They, and others from the past, come alive when I bake. Conversations, real and imagined, dance through my mind. Cups of coffee, Formica kitchen tables, radios playing softly in the background, prairie—it’s all there, and it’s all good.

As I measure flour and add it to the creamed butter and sugar, I am walking through Crescent Park on a still and hot summer afternoon. I’m remembering the burning of the pavement on my feet that day when someone stole my brand new sandals while I was swimming at the Natatorium and I had to walk home with bare feet.

I’m thinking about a little book called Love and Laughter by Marjorie Holmes that caught my attention when I was maybe twelve or thirteen. I bought it and read it repeatedly—short essays about ordinary things centered around home and family and the way I imagined life would be for me one day. An odd book for a young girl to be interested in, but important enough to me that it’s still on my bookshelf.

And so I drop balls of dough on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets as women from the past keep me company. The kitchen begins to smell like comfort as the countertop fills with oatmeal cookies and memories.

It doesn’t take long—I glance at the clock as I’m wiping the counter—maybe an hour and a half, and eighteen bran muffins are cooling alongside the cookies. Dishes are done, ingredients are put away, and I hang my apron back in the closet. Finished.

I head to the woman cave, content.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. I too remember reading Marjorie Holmes (Mighell) in my younger years. She wrote winsome words like I find here daily, including the Matilda Gage quote which definitely echoes the sentiments of my blog post today.

    Whether you are cooking, baking, writing, you are exercising creative muscles, Linda. Thank you.

    1. Enjoyed your autograph book post, Marian!

  2. Your mention of Marjorie Holmes tripped something in my memory, and I had to look her up. I remember reading “Two From Galilee” as a young girl, and how I loved that story. Thank you for the sweet memory, Linda. I love this post, and the quote. Warm thoughts on this chilly day.

    1. Oh yes! I remember Two from Galilee and Three from Galilee! I read them years ago. Wishing you a warm and cozy day, Karen. 🙂

  3. OMGosh…I was just thinking of my Mom and Aunt today (the one who helped raise me) and I was thinking, what would they think of the state of things in the U.S., and couldn’t we just have the greatest conversations at the dining room table or the kitchen table about solving all the world’s problems. I miss them very much today. I have a few friends I can talk to about my frustrations, but I don’t have Mom and Ang, their wisdom, their experience. When I glance at the clock and see 12:08 (our old address), I think, oooo! they’re sending me a message. 🙂

    1. The state of both of our countries would give fodder for good conversation. Still, I imagine if we were blessed with the opportunity to converse with our mothers one more time we would talk about things of greater importance. ??

    2. The state of both of our countries would give fodder for good conversation. Still, I imagine if we were blessed with the opportunity to converse with our mothers one more time we would talk about things of greater importance. ??

  4. Ahhhh Linda I thought I was the only person who talks to my ancestors ? Now I realise I’m not alone . Loved this blog I was with you in your kitchen drinking tea and eating bran muffins and oatmeal cookies ?

    1. Ah, we are not alone, Cherry! Thanks so much for stopping by and virtually sharing a cup of tea and a cookie.

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