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12.19.2010

You might hear someone sing

My family is not having the Christmas that you hear about in carols and television specials. I am typing this from California, where we were supposed to arrive next Tuesday for the holiday festivities, but instead I flew down six days early to help take care of my aunt, who is in the hospital. My mother is here, too, and my aunt’s two daughters, my cousins. My aunt came down with an acute illness, very fast and sudden and serious, but after more than a week in the hospital, she’s going to be alright. Today she even cracked a joke. I was so elated that I tried out a couple of bad puns, and she actually laughed at them. It was a good day. I’m glad to be here.





My mother and I spent the late afternoon sitting in squeaky, vinyl-covered chairs next to my aunt’s hospital bed, reading books while she napped. At one point, through the wall, I could hear an old man in the next room start to sing. The sound was muffled, and I couldn’t make out the words, and he was not what is commonly called a good singer. But he sang easily, cheerfully, the kind of slow, ambling song you might hear someone sing beside a campfire in an old western. He went on like that for maybe ten minutes. I hoped he would go on forever. For the past few days, I’d been wanting to write here, but I wasn’t sure what to say. Then I heard that man singing, and I thought, Well, there you go. This is what you write about. Exactly what’s happening.

158 Comments:

Anonymous Carrie @ Rhubarb Sky said...

Oh dear. Sending healing thoughts to your aunt and strength filled thoughts to you. Happy Holidays.

12:57 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here, in this present moment. The best place to be...listening to the singing.

1:00 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Gracia said...

I hope she recovers fast and you have an amazing Christmas. I've been squeaky-vinyl-chair bound myself for a couple of weeks, and it's an experience itself.

1:10 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger quinn said...

So glad to hear your aunt is recovering! All that love surrounding her must be helping.

1:21 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger The Neck Goddess said...

Just read this during a middle-of-the-night bout of wide awakeness after a nightmare about insomnia. So nice to read such loveliness right now.

Glad your aunt is OK.

1:30 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger ailsa said...

this is a perfect example of finding the universal in the deeply personal. you're obviously going through an emotional time, but what can i say, this warmed my heart.

2:50 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Angela said...

Was it a song you knew?

3:00 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Vanessa said...

I'm so sorry to hear and my best wishes to both you and your family. Even if you're not describing a typical Christmas gathering, it's good that you're together and that's still true to the holiday spirit. Everything else is the icing on the cake.

3:01 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Pearl Lee said...

Oh honey, Merry Christmas.

3:05 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous LimeCake said...

Hope your aunt gets well soon. A little Christmas faith goes a long way. Merry wishes, Molly.

3:07 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous wild cherry jam said...

Refreshing to hear about all shades of 'real life' written on a blog... written so beautifully too. Wishing your aunt a speedy recovery. Merry Christmas from snowy England.

3:21 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous monica said...

beautiful. may we all always have a song in our hearts.

3:25 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hope your aunt feels better soon....

3:26 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Beth said...

I hope your aunt continues improving. And if you can get to a kitchen, a little christmas chocolate toffee couldn't hurt the healing process.

3:40 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hope your aunt feels better and you have a merry Christmas!

3:46 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger tweal said...

Best wishes to you and your loved ones this holiday season - I hope your aunt heals up well :)

3:47 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger 17 beats. said...

actually, i think this IS the christmas you hear about in carols -- filled with family, hope, and joy. :-)

4:03 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous I Can be Jell-O said...

Glad to hear your aunt will be ok. Wishing you guys all the best.

4:13 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Katy said...

Your post was actually just what I needed to hear today. I love to read your blog, no matter what you write about. I am taking your Kates Winning Hearts and Minds cake to my family Christmas party today :) I hope everything goes well for your aunt. I will say a prayer for her and your family. Have a blessed Christmas!
Kate

4:30 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Gemma said...

I'm truly glad to hear your aunt's getting better Molly, take care and hope this is the start to a happy Christmas for you and your family. Gx

5:01 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Jessie said...

Christmas is about family, no matter where you are, Molly. You are so good at finding the positive in a situation - even if it takes a while. I hope you never lose that!

Reading your thoughts is such a pleasure. Almost as much as cooking with you!

5:09 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger vivian hoebe said...

following your blog for a while, and touched by this post... wising you a merry christmas and a healthy 2011.

5:10 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous vicki said...

Dear Molly, So glad to hear she is laughing. Sending tender thoughts and prayers for your aunt, cousins, mom and you. May it be a sweet Christmas for all of you, and the man in the next room.

5:14 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Jess said...

Molly. Things must feel so precarious right now. I'm thinking of you.

5:16 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Maggie said...

I'm glad your Aunt is going to be okay and you could enjoy an out of tune old man singing. Merry Christmas.

5:37 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger GirlSavorsLife said...

In some ways, although maybe not how you would have chosen to start your holiday, this captures the spirit of Christmas more than any gift exchange celebration: caring and being there for family, glimmers of joy as your aunt heals, sounds of song even when circumstances are less than ideal, having a few quiet moments for reflection. All you're missing are the wise men...or maybe they're disguised with white coats and stethoscopes.

Merry Christmas. May your aunt continue to heal and may you continue to find these pockets of peace.

5:54 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Amy Worline said...

Molly, I am so happy to hear your aunt is going to be all right. Hospital vigils can be so difficult - isn't it lovely when you hear singing in the background? Thank you for sharing, as always, and may you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

6:05 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Ricki said...

So sorry to hear about your aunt, Molly, and glad she's on the mend. I hope you enjoy the rest of your time with family and loved ones! (with a little singing, maybe).

6:13 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Amy said...

I am glad to hear your aunt will be okay. I'll be sending you all cheery thoughts for the upcoming holidays (including the man next door!).

6:17 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Clarice said...

I'm glad to hear your aunt's health is improving and that you are there with your family. Thank you for simply writing what you are feeling. The photos are lovely.

6:20 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Jen said...

I'm so glad that your aunt is getting better. I think the "idealized" perfect Christmas is really just what you make of it.

6:25 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous A Plum By Any Other Name said...

It's amazing what a bad pun or bout of caroling can do for the spirit. Glad to hear things are looking up!

Happy holidays Molly.

6:25 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Emily said...

Hang in there, Molly. So glad to hear that she's doing better.
Merry Christmas!

6:31 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Laura said...

I hope your aunt will be able to sing for many years to come, same for that man. Was he singing to a sick relative or was he the patient? Healing thoughts to your aunt. I hope your Christmas will be Merry.

6:34 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Charcuterista said...

amen, sister. amen.

6:35 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Laura said...

I think I met you aunt at your book presentation in SF, she is your mom's twin right? Hugs to you all.

6:36 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger christy said...

the joking & the singing both remind me of what madeleine l'engle called "whistling in the dark."

6:41 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Ruth said...

Beautiful. So glad you shared.

6:48 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Heather said...

I am so glad your aunt is recovering. This was beautifully writeen.

6:53 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Heather (Heather's Dish) said...

this is a beautiful post...i'm so sorry that your aunt is not well, but it's the beauty that you see all around you even in the hard times that makes life worth living!

7:03 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Jane said...

So glad that in her illness you were all able to be there for your aunt - and even gladder that she's recovering. The laughing-at-the-bad-joke stage is a great one.
With all good wishes for a very special Christmas, full of lovely moments like the singing that you so movingly wrote about.
Jane

7:08 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Brandi said...

I'm so glad to hear your aunt is doing better. Yes, you may not have a picturesque Christmas, but you have all you need to make it matter: your family. Happy Holidays, Molly!

7:13 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger lilalia said...

Great post. Very moving. Brings home how we should all be very grateful for the little things. I once heard the type of singing the man was doing as, "wandering off to find the notes". All the best to your aunt and your family. May she have a full and speedy recovery.

7:14 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Annemarie said...

I'm glad your aunt is doing better. And that that man was able to sing...

7:17 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger A Day That is Dessert said...

I'm so glad your aunt is going to be alright, Molly.

7:17 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger lisamarie said...

Isn't it cool when something like that happens just when you needed it. Maybe it would have happened anyway, but it feels like it was just for you... Best wishes to you and your family.

7:18 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Michelle Stiles said...

Sometimes comfort can come is very odd shapes and various tones.

7:19 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Fresh Local and Best said...

I think your aunt getting better would be the best Christmas gift the family can ask for. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

7:28 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger S. Krajicek said...

I'm sorry that your aunt is in the hospital, but glad that you and your family are there with her as she recovers.

It's funny how the human voice can be a balm, isn't it? I always get goosebumps when I hear voices raised together.

7:37 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Laura said...

Yes.

7:46 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous blair said...

Molly, I am so glad you are with your family and that your aunt is improving. Life has felt so fragile for our family and loved ones this year. Christmas is what it needs to be for all of us. xoxo, Blair

7:55 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Michele Hays said...

I am sorry to read that you've been under such stress and glad that things are moving in a positive direction. I hope your Aunt is back to full health soon, and wish a peaceful holiday to you and your family.

Thank you for sharing with us.

7:57 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

We'll all be singing when she comes home from the hospital!

7:58 AM, December 19, 2010  
OpenID growfamilygrow said...

Hoping a swift recovery for your Aunt and joyful times in the Orangette home this season. Yeah to out of tune cheerful singers and the smiles they bring.

7:58 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Food o' del Mundo said...

A simple, lovely post. Thank you!
~Mary

7:58 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Anita (Married... with dinner) said...

Beautiful cabbage, beautiful story. I'm sorry your aunt is ill, but delighted that she's doing better.

7:59 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Krysta said...

Classic! I love that!

8:04 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Morgan said...

I have been awaiting your next post with anticipation, since I started following it shortly after your last post.
Isn't it amazing how singing effects the soul? Though not quite the same, lately my two year old daughter has been singing songs we didn't even know we sang around her. It's enchanting and beautiful... and like you in that moment on that squeaky chair, I never want it to end.

8:12 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Gwen said...

I'm glad your aunt is on the mend. Wishing you and your family an extra merry Christmas.

8:18 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not what you hope for at this time of year, or any time for that matter. May your Aunt continue to get better and many Christmas blessings for your family!

8:42 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous heidi said...

yup, there's nothing like "notes" from the universe (haha). my best to you and your family. - heidi

8:45 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Rachel said...

While it may not be the Christmas you planned on, your family seems to be having a much more authentic and memorable Christmas than you'll find in a carol or TV show. Time together, even in illness, is good.
I love your description of the old man singing in the hospital. Write what you're experiencing and you'll notice all kinds of beautiful things.

8:50 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Julie said...

It's amazing how life turns on a dime when someone we love is ill. We lost our mom is August, and I'm so glad I canceled all of my "priorities" when she became ill to spend every minute I could with her. Wishing your aunt a speedy recovery. (And take care of yourself, too.)

8:51 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous molly said...

Blessings to you and your family, Miss Molly. Sometime's a bad pun's the very best medicine.

8:54 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Jackson said...

Wow, Molly - I'm so sorry, but so glad she's alright. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

9:12 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Amy --- Just A Titch said...

This is lovely. Sending good thoughts to your aunt. Take good care.

9:42 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Liz B said...

I'm feeling the same way Molly. I'm due to fly home for Christmas this week, but will arrive to sadness as my Grandad has just passed away.
I'm glad you managed to find the words for this post, you've comforted me and helped me find mine.

I'd like to add also that if my Grandad was in that hospital, i would bet he'd of been the man singing, he always did say 'Shall i give you a song?' and happily sing to us for a little while.

9:49 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Sizzle said...

I hope your Aunt continues on the road to a full recovery.

9:58 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger asiajane said...

Funny how suddenly, and unexpectedly, inspiration can strike.

PS: I'm making your cheddar crisps for the second time in two days! Don't worry-- I have been giving them away, not eating them all myself.

10:00 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Ilke said...

Hope your aunt feels better soon and you guys have a great Christmas all together! At home, hopefully, not in the hospital!

10:12 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous splendid market said...

What a wonderful image. Song is powerful. I hope your aunt is okay.

10:17 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous morgansmenu said...

Molly,

I am sure your aunt appreciates your company and good humor. Sometimes holidays are not just about cookies and carols, but instead are about leaning on your family and friends to get through a difficult time. My uncle passed away a couple of months ago and two of my family and friends have suddenly been diagnosed with terminal illness. All I can hope for this holiday is to provide as much support and love as you are doing right now. Hang in there.

And Merry Christmas, with love.

10:31 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Eden of Woolflower Boutique said...

Best wishes for your aunt's recovery and a merry Christmas.

I've gotten good responses on the whole wheat sables I sent to friends. I didn't have nibs on hand, so I put pecans on top. Thanks again for an easy, delicious cookie recipe!

10:49 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Shayna said...

Hoping your aunt makes a full recovery and you're all able to spend a wonderful, happy holiday together. Having just spent some time in the hospital, I understand how that singing would have been really wonderful to hear. Take care and all the best to you and yours.

10:58 AM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Katie said...

So sorry to hear your aunt is ill--it's nice you can be there for her and your mom. Wishing her a full and speedy recovery and good health in the new year!

11:10 AM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Alice Q. Foodie said...

Lovely post! Hugs to you and hope you have a peaceful holiday with your family. So glad your Aunt is going to be ok!

12:11 PM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger christina said...

This post was incredibly touching. I have been in those same vinyl chairs, feeling that same way...just waiting for someone to sing. Thank you for sharing...xo

12:43 PM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Yolanda said...

Yes. There is this, and only this. this moment. And it doesn’t have to be a fictionalized T moment to be one worth acknowledging, and even celebrating. Best wishes to you and your family.

12:47 PM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Barbara said...

When you think about it, in those television specials, usually something worrysome happens that brings the family together under extraordinary circumstances. People show that they appreciate each other by being there for each other when they need them most. Then, when the worst is over, the problem is solved, or some other miracle occurs, they smile, hug, and often, someone sings. And then we, the viewers, know that all will be well. So, not so different from your current situation, no?
Best wishes to your aunt. And merry Christmas to all.

12:48 PM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Lisa said...

Molly, Sending warm thoughts your way.

It can be difficult to write what's happening in the present moment--especially when a loved one is ill.

Hoping you share many healthy and special moments over the winter holidays, Molly.

Thank you for sharing your love for family and food here. I'm going to share your peppermint bark this week.

12:51 PM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Sometimes there is a little something beautiful that emerges from sadness or difficulty. This pairing of words and images is lovely. Thank you. My best to you and your family. Take care.

1:15 PM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Caroline Shields said...

Can we hear the bad pun?

1:16 PM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Victoria said...

Wow.

(I'd like to hear the bad puns too.)

Glad she will be fine. Merry Christmas to you all.

2:32 PM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Shelley said...

I hope the rest of the holiday goes better for you and your family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

3:03 PM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Valerie @ City|Life|Eats said...

Molly - I send lots of healing thoughts your aunt's way. And idealized Christmases are just that, idealized. Hugs.

4:37 PM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Amanda said...

Thank you for sharing. I'm glad to hear that your aunt is on the mend. Merry Christmas!

5:16 PM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous white mountain chappy said...

It seems as thought you might have one of those Christmas's they sing carols about after all. Wishing you all the best.

5:48 PM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous the Leftoverist said...

yes. Amen.

6:01 PM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Kim said...

All best, darling. All best to you and yours.

6:33 PM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Sarah said...

happy holidays to you where ever you are. your story was so very sweet. it was a huge reminder that the holidays is more in your heart than under a tree in your home.

6:43 PM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Oana said...

This is one of your most beautiful posts. Thank you for it.

6:53 PM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sending warm wishes. I always find in the tough moments life throws us, it's the simplest things that bring great joy. Thank you for sharing.

6:59 PM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few years ago my 95 year old father-in-law was in a convalescent home after a stroke, when he came down with a fever -- indicating pneumonia that we knew would be quickly fatal. He was immediately moved out of the room he shared with a minister to the private room next door. My husband and I stayed with him that evening, and through the night. During the evening, a group of friends visited the minister next door, and burst into gospel song; they serenaded us for over an hour with joyful music, and asked the nurse to tell us they were singing for us. I am quite sure it was the last sound that my father-in-law was aware of as he slipped into a coma a quietly died. It was the most beautiful expression of pure love I have ever experienced, and I bless those lovely people every time I recall that night.

8:03 PM, December 19, 2010  
Blogger Dawn said...

Lovely post. I hope the man next door wasn't alone. I'm sure he would appreciate your sentiments very much. Have you thought about sharing them with him? Don't be shy. BTW, I have just finished your book, saw it randomly in the library and am so very glad I found you. Looking forward to more loveliness. Dawn.
http://veganfazool.blogspot.com

8:45 PM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Anne said...

Honesty much appreciated -- it isn't all sugar flecked cookies and happiness, is it?
Good health to all...

10:23 PM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Aku said...

Thanks for the beautiful post Molly, and wishing your Aunt a speedy recovery. Hope you and yours all have a wonderful Christmastime. I have just finished reading your book and thought it was thoroughly fabulous.

11:14 PM, December 19, 2010  
Anonymous Koek! said...

Lovely. I felt I could have been right there myself, having that experience. That is the gift of your writing.

1:19 AM, December 20, 2010  
Blogger anya said...

I'm happy to hear your aunt is going to be alright. Let 2011 be polite and friendly to you and your family!!

3:30 AM, December 20, 2010  
Blogger Dandy said...

Your blog is transforming as your life changes. It's OK.

5:19 AM, December 20, 2010  
Anonymous Natalie Thiele said...

Glad to hear your aunt will be OK. So good of you to change plans so that you could be with her and your family. It makes such a difference.
Happy holidays!

6:23 AM, December 20, 2010  
Blogger ed and cindy said...

You are so totally right. You write about what's happening, and the real-life-ness (is that a word?) leads us all straight into the intimacy that is at the heart of Christmas. And we're even going to get the happy ending of recovery--now there's a Christmas present worth writing home about!

11:00 AM, December 20, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminded me of my elderly father who loves to sing too - best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful Christmas full of love. I hope the old man whose song you heard has a loving family like yours.

kind regards

11:18 AM, December 20, 2010  
Blogger valkuan said...

Wishing your aunt a great recovery. Thanks for sharing as it is blog. Christmas is where your heart is. Merry Christmas!

12:44 PM, December 20, 2010  
Anonymous Zoe / pearled earth said...

It's a lovely feeling - a reminder to be in the moment, so you can soak up the beauty there is right now. Glad your aunt is well. Good tidings, those are.

1:57 PM, December 20, 2010  
Blogger Anne Stesney said...

Best last line of a post ever. Here's to a healthy, happy holiday for your family.

2:08 PM, December 20, 2010  
Blogger linda said...

you are a very special person…your aunt is lucky as is your mom.

i had an aunt that i treasured as you with yours…i traveled by plane to her hospital bedside…we laughed, cried & told sweet stories of the early years. i was very glad that i went & spent that quality time with her & my cousins.

the new year always holds promise for new beginnings…wishing you & your family bright promises enjoyed in good health.

6:27 PM, December 20, 2010  
Anonymous CCP said...

Thank you for this post. Simply beautiful writing, as always.

10:06 PM, December 20, 2010  
Anonymous sonya said...

best wishes for your aunt's recovery, happy holidays and much singing.

8:52 AM, December 21, 2010  
Blogger andreagroves said...

Thanks for sharing the story, and the pictures! I love your photography.

12:29 PM, December 21, 2010  
Blogger Siri said...

I hope your aunt recovers soon Molly. This month at our book club, we are reading A Homemade Life. You sure have a magical way of setting up a scene for the upcoming recipe. I am loving every bit of it and you have one more extra fan for sure.

Best,
Siri

1:30 PM, December 21, 2010  
Blogger Pink of Perfection said...

Molly, I love this post like something fierce. Thanks so much for sharing that moment, however small, however worried.

3:08 PM, December 21, 2010  
Blogger balderton said...

I will pray for your aunt and all your family through this time.

On a food note, I tried the sole meuniere recipe a while ago -- thumbs up. The simple, clean taste of butter, parsley and lemon with that fish was an eating delight. Thank you for an enjoyable recipe.

4:18 PM, December 21, 2010  
Blogger Alessandra said...

Sorry to hear that. I am actually here for the first time, your blog is lovely, I feel a bit 'invasive' leaving you a personal note like that today, not knowing you.

My thoughts go to your family.

take care

Alessandra

1:30 AM, December 22, 2010  
Blogger margie said...

Beautiful photos and a beautiful story. I am so glad that your aunt is on the mend, and I will send you good thoughts throughout the holidays.

8:30 AM, December 22, 2010  
Blogger Monica said...

I recently spent many hours at the bedside of my father, who was dying. It was not unexpected -- more a relief -- but nonetheless a very sad and solemn experience.

My mother found a group of singers known as the Threshold Choir, who volunteer to visit people in hospice and hospitals, and essentially sing them over to whatever comes after this life. They came twice to sing for my father. We could see him respond, through the fog that enveloped him in those final days. Their unaccompanied voices and simple hymns were a beautiful gift.

Glad to hear that your aunt is on the mend, but wanted to share my own story about music in times of trial.

12:40 PM, December 22, 2010  
Anonymous Rebecca Wellman said...

Molly, I have read your lovely book and have just now gotten around to checking out Orangette. Love your writing, love your photos and am glad to have checked in!

Like you, I am a blogger, and a professional photographer and when I'm feeling especially enthusiastic, blog my second love...food and cooking.

Have a wonderful holiday season, and happy you are able to be with your family. All the best to your aunt.

5:30 PM, December 22, 2010  
Blogger Amanda Hawkins said...

Thank you.

9:24 AM, December 23, 2010  
Blogger fiona said...

Oh my, the story about the singing man just made my heart ache. Hope your aunt feels better soon and thank you for the beautiful story. It really is all about the little beautiful moments.

1:13 PM, December 23, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it moves me that though most of those who regularly read your blog...though they have never met you....feel a certain kinship with/for you...and we are moved to be concerned about your personal life that we are not a part of. glad to hear your aunt is well.

4:48 PM, December 23, 2010  
Blogger Keri said...

There is never a good time to be called to the hospital for a dear aunt; somehow the holidays make it much more poignant. I had a little tear hearing that your aunt is on her way back to health. I've had my own heaping helping of sad news this holiday, and loved the simple beauty of anonymous singing beyond the curtain.

9:48 PM, December 23, 2010  
Anonymous shedilly said...

Dear Molly, I am sorry about your sick aunt. We all met her at your reading in Corte Madera in the spring. May her recovery be speedy and complete. And there you go finding the silver lining...I think it is all around, if we can only adjust our vision. May your togetherness bring you joy all around.

10:40 PM, December 23, 2010  
Anonymous michele said...

Good news: I finally found the Lyle's Golden Syrup. Bad news: I forgot what recipe it was for. But, I guess I'll be ready next time!

8:23 AM, December 24, 2010  
Blogger mary said...

I just finished reading your book. What a delight. It was the perfect book for me. Being ADD (self-diagnosis) makes it hard to read a thick book with a long story. Reading your short stories within the book was perfect. Except that I found myself reading the same story again - short term memory loss (also self-diagnosis). Thank you for sharing your life.

11:28 AM, December 24, 2010  
Anonymous Ena said...

@michele: It was for flapjacks featured in Molly's Bon Appetit column last March.
Also, I was wondering will you continue with your Cooking Life column as I see there is another writer now? Is it just for this month?

7:11 AM, December 25, 2010  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh, Molly. You made me cry! I am glad to hear that your dear aunt is on the mend and hope that continues to be true. Thank you for the gift of yourself--your stories, recipes, anecdotes, laughter--all year long. Merry Christmas!

11:50 AM, December 25, 2010  
Blogger Payal Shah said...

Dear Molly,
Merry Christmas! Hope your aunt is doing better. XOXO - Payal

12:30 PM, December 25, 2010  
Blogger pdxfoodguy said...

Good for you all to be there, and so glad she is doing better. Cheers to the man who was singing, and living that moment in time through your words.

Best to you.

12:36 PM, December 27, 2010  
Anonymous Heather said...

Here's to speedy recovery. The black and white photos are beautiful.

4:21 PM, December 27, 2010  
Anonymous Marie said...

You never know what form (or sound) a Christmas miracle might take. Thank you for a lovely story. Best wishes to you and your aunt.

6:30 PM, December 27, 2010  
Anonymous Row said...

Sending you hugs from afar. I hope everything works out okay. :)

9:24 PM, December 27, 2010  
Anonymous hannah at bake 5 said...

i just read your book and loved it. hope your aunt gets better.

best wishes,
hannah

10:35 PM, December 27, 2010  
Anonymous Ashley said...

So glad to hear that your Aunt is doing better. My mom had something happen like that once and it was the most horrific thing my family has ever been through. It was such a relief when we found out she was going to make it. --I just wanted to let you know I finished your book on my flight home last week and absolutely loved it. Tonight I made the Chana Masala, and my husband + I were blown away. Can't wait to try out more of your creations! Thanks Molly. :) Take care.

11:43 PM, December 27, 2010  
Blogger Molly said...

Thank you all for your kind wishes! My aunt is at home now and rapidly improving. I think she'll be back to normal in no time.

Whew. What a ride that was.

And Ena, re: BA, there are lots of editorial changes afoot there, and sadly, I am no longer writing for them. I will have a story in the April issue, but that looks like the end of it.

6:23 PM, December 28, 2010  
Blogger Irina said...

Hi Molly!

Just wanted to say that I was in Paris about 10 days ago (my first time!) and had the best pain au chocolat ever at a cafe on rue Saint Antoine. I thought of the pain au chocolat story from your book as I ate it.

Happy New Year!

Irina

11:46 PM, December 28, 2010  
Blogger red ticking said...

blessings to you... it was a very sad christmas for 3 families who we love dearly... i am glad your aunt will be ok... truly being together is what life is all about...
family, health and love... nothing else matters...
wishing you a happy and healthy new year.. xx

12:01 PM, December 29, 2010  
Blogger PopMom said...

Wow...this sums up how I was feeling. My step-dad just passed and I hadn't written on my blog in awhile. Then, I didn't know what to write. Then, I kept thinking of non-related things to write, kind of funny things, but didn't think it was appropriate. Finally, I just wrote. I just read this and it made me smile. Thanks!

12:53 PM, December 30, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

laI am so glad your aunt will be ok. What a joy to hear the singing - you suddenly feel that all is well right now.

I was squeaky-vinyl-chair bound in 07 when my husband was in for some heart problems. I read so many books, some of them my son had brought me, fantasy ones and also guy type adventure. Dirk Pitt. The books just hit the spot, taking me out of the hospital room to other places and times. I haven't read one by either author since, but I sure did enjoy Terry Brooks and Clive Cussler for a week or so.

Linda C

10:11 AM, December 31, 2010  
Blogger kristina - no penny for them said...

i've just been through something very similar and so relate to how you must feel. moments like the ones you describe are so precious.

a very happy new year to you and your family.

10:28 AM, January 01, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the black and white photography, austere yet stunning. Hope you had a good Christmas and Happy New Year.

5:50 AM, January 02, 2011  
Blogger lolo13 said...

Thank you for sharing your blog with us this year! Wishing you love and laughter in 2011.....

6:49 PM, January 02, 2011  
Anonymous dc sarah said...

Happy, happy new year, Molly. I hope your Aunt is feeling much better now, and that you were able to have some much-needed relaxation over the holidays!

6:27 AM, January 03, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was checking in at your blog to let you know I just finished reading your book...crying over the parts about your Dad. Then to read on here that your Aunt is ill, I thought Oh Dear not again. I am so happy she will be okay.
I used to cook a lot but over the last 10 years or so I just don't seem to have the time. But after reading your book, I am so energized to start again. I want to try every last one of the recipes, a la Julie and Julia..ha ha.
I was also conceived in Northern California, San Mateo to be exact, and now live in the Pacific NW...How lucky we are. My second home, where my inner self resides, would be London. Funny that you would choose Paris and I London. Not so very different I don't think since London has become a much better 'food' city. My French is rough at best and so I stick with the English.
Just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog, your photos and your book.
Thank you
Gretchen
On Flickr, I am Yankeemiss

3:27 PM, January 03, 2011  
Blogger bakedinmaine.com said...

Beautiful writing and fabulous recipes!

I'm inspired....

Merry New Year!

Lisa
xo

10:39 PM, January 03, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I hope your aunt is recovering well! From personal experience I can understand how everything is put on hold when a loved one is in hospital. I just wanted to tell you that your book was chosen by the Italian magazine Hachette Home in their Facebook page. :) I've been reading your blog for over a year, even though I have never left a comment. I think you do a great job here. Best wishes from Venice, Italy.

- Laura

8:44 AM, January 04, 2011  
Blogger Monica said...

Hi Molly, just finished your book and wanted you to know I loved it. Hope to read another from you soon. I haven't made any of your recipes yet, but it is so nice to have the story behind them all - it will even make them taste better, I'm sure. Hope your aunt is feeling better!

8:53 AM, January 04, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an ICU nurse and just yesterday my patient, rather disoriented, started singing--out of the blue. I can't tell you exactly what he was singing, but I can tell you that with my love for music, hearing him break into song elevated my day from the mundane to the glorious. Such a sweet, serendipitous moment such as you experienced. Thanks for sharing...all you share, Molly.

11:09 PM, January 05, 2011  
Anonymous Tracey said...

Molly, I am glad your Aunt is recovering! I am making a first ever post to a blog (I feel so techy and hip for an almost 50 year old chick). I just wanted to let you know that our 42nd Street Book Club here in OKC read your book A Homemade Life as our selection for January's meeting. We all loved your kind and gentle nature in the book. We each cooked a recipe from your book and took it to our meeting. I have to say, we all agreed it was definitely the most fabulous spread of food we have ever presented. And, that is quite a compliment since we have been meeting for at least 7 years and we always have great munchies. Thanks for sharing your life with us... We hope to hit Delancey in our travels soon. Best to you and yours for the New Year.

7:34 AM, January 06, 2011  
Blogger Oana said...

Molly, this is just to send you good wishes. Keep well.

1:35 AM, January 07, 2011  
Blogger maria said...

What a lovely text, thanks for sharing.

I hope you're aunt is fine by now, and I wish you all a happy new year!

2:23 AM, January 07, 2011  
Blogger la ninja said...

:)

3:43 PM, January 07, 2011  
Anonymous Susan in Miami said...

Molly, you haven't written again since this, so I'm going to the bad place, thinking things aren't going well for you. Please at least let us know how things are going?

5:31 PM, January 07, 2011  
Anonymous Sara said...

Thank you for posting this. I work in a hospital,and the moments like this are what really make a difference and renew hope.

7:54 PM, January 07, 2011  
Anonymous Lee said...

Missing you and your words.

3:29 PM, January 08, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, was that man a convict? Being guarded by gentlemen in Department of Correction uniforms?

6:48 PM, January 08, 2011  
Anonymous emiglia said...

So sorry to hear about your aunt. You have a way of writing about things--even serious, hard-to-talk-about things, that is just incredible.

1:50 AM, January 11, 2011  
Anonymous Kate said...

Praying for your Aunt. And loving the idea of Split Pea Soup at the same time. You're an incredible, strong writer (and probably person too)! Wishing you and your family a healthy New Year!

8:22 PM, January 12, 2011  
Blogger Alyce said...

Hadn't been here in a while...hope health is still in the air!
Wanted to add that one of the very few times my best sous (hub) and I got away when our kids were small was to camp one cold fall weekend. And what did we cook? Split pea soup. It's great camp food because it really does cook pretty quickly and keeps you full and warm. Blessings on the new book when and if...

9:18 AM, January 13, 2011  
Blogger rose said...

that was a beautiful post. made me smile and my heart warm up :) i hope your auntie gets much better
x
rose

8:33 AM, January 15, 2011  

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