Counting My Blessings

By Rebecca Thorsen / August 19, 2020

Over the past year my now ninety year old father experienced everything from a broken hip to recovery stay infection. Being the tough  guy he is, he managed the up hill fight and is still with us. That is why I am reposting ‘Counting my Blessings. Enjoy!

This past week a high school classmate shared the loving and caring way he and his collective family went through the last days of his mother’s life. He wrote about the people, family and friends who came to spend time with his mother, and how they all interacted with her through stories and prayers. He and his family are quite faithful to their Christian foundation, and thus I was moved by the last words he wrote: “It is finished”, followed by “…absent from the body… at home with the Lord”. Even in the grief I know he must be experiencing; he holds ever fast to his faith.

I am blessed to still have both of my parents with me. I realize everyday with them is a gift. That is why I decided to write a ‘memory’ post this week.

One of my fondest memories about my mom is cooking with her when I was still young enough to take naps. Enjoy!

All my life I have had a love of cooking. When I was little I remember waking up from my nap and because I was the oldest and my other siblings were still asleep, it gave me some alone time with my mom.

I remember sliding down the hall in my slipper socks feet one day.

My grandmother crocheted slipper socks for us every year. In the spring she would come visit she us, she lived in Texas and we live Washington, so we didn’t see her as often as we would have liked. Anyway, while she was visiting, we would walk do to the local Five & Dime and she would allow us to each pick out our favorite color of yarn. She would take it home and in a few months my siblings and I would receive a package with our finished slippers. For the next year we would slide down the wooden hallway until we wore them out.

And I came to an abrupt stop. The abrupt stop was because of the amazing smell coming from the kitchen. My mom was making cookies: Warm, chocolatey, chocolate chip cookies. They were going to be our snack after our nap. I knew my brother and sisters were going to be as pleased. However, what made me happy was that my mom wasn’t finished making them yet!

I started to drag a chair up to the counter, and my mom grabbed the chair so I wouldn’t wake up the nappers. She wrapped one of those 1950’s style aprons around my waist. I jumped up on the chair with great excitement, and grabbed the spoon, ready to make some cookies. This was the first time my mom, a rightie, got to teach me, a lefty, to work in the kitchen; it has always been interesting to see the way things work out in my momma’s kitchen. There was a lot of patience expressed that day!

One of the challenges in my family was I was the only lefty in a house full of right-handed people

This memory is so strong that to this day it lives in my heart and in my head. Many of my best memories have creating food as a part of them. I am blessed that both of my parents are still with me, and food is a big part of my visits with them. Like many people, my father has been having the same cake for his birthday for as long as I can remember. I am pretty sure my grandmother gave the recipe to my mom, because it is an old-fashioned cake. It is a Mayonnaise Cake made with real mayonnaise, which provides the oil for the cake. I realize that some folks might be making a ‘yucky’ sound at the thought of this cake, but after you make it and try it, you may change your mind!

The only thing that ever changes is the topping. Sometimes we use Jell-O vanilla pudding, the kind that you make with milk and a powdery mix from a box. Other times we make fresh homemade whipped cream. However, lately we been mixing the two together. Yum Yum!

About the author

Rebecca Thorsen