Old Photos and Worn Cookbooks – Mother’s Day Contest Entry

Grandma Helen

Grandma Helen

Old Photos and Worn Cookbooks

By Helen Novielli

I’ve been working on a project about my grandmother. So far, I’ve amassed a great deal of stories and pictures. It’s been hard to get started on the actual writing and compiling because reading and re-reading is so much fun.

I grew up next door to my Grandma Helen. I was named after her. When I went away to college, she sent me notes and her family-famous Valentine cookies. Every return home saw me running across the driveway to see her before I’d even think of unpacking the car.

Grand Helen died at the end of my senior year of college. She didn’t see me graduate from college. She met my husband, but didn’t see our wedding. She never met Phee or shared stories of her six pregnancies.

I learned a lot and shared so many experiences growing up next to Grandma. I was the only kid I knew with family next door. Even then, I knew how special that was and how lucky I was. There’s so much more I wish I’d been able to find out, though. As I grew up, got married, got pregnant, I know she would have had so many more stories of her younger years to share. With all I did have, it’s hard to say that I missed out. But I did. And I do every day.

She is on my mind so often. When I’m in the kitchen especially. The kitchen is the center of so many homes, and none more so than Grandma Helen’s. When you walked into her house, you walked right in to the heart of her home and our family. The side door led into the long kitchen, scene of weekly family dinners, all-day baking marathons, and too many childhoods to count.

Phee isn’t growing up in that kitchen. She hears stories, but even then, I can only remember so much at one time. Some things are just better for having been experienced. And so I’m working on this project. It’s a considerable undertaking, compiling memories and stories from relatives. Already I have learned so much, seen many old photos for the first time, and cried over Grandma’s handwriting in well-worn cookbooks.

A grand project full of so many facets of Grandmother and her life. A trip down memory lane; memories old and new. More than anything, this labor of love is a way to find my place in a family full of strong women, led for so long by our beloved Grandma Helen.
About Helen Novielli: I’m a full time working mom who freelances on the side. In our spare time, my daughter and I like to do crafts, read, cook, and DIY projects around the house. Sometimes they work. And sometimes I remember to take pictures and share them.

[Like this story on our Facebook page to help the author win Positive Parenting’s Mother’s Day Writing Contest! (You’re welcome to “like” it here too! :)]


About Bonita Jewel

Bonita Jewel is an author and blogger who writes on a variety of themes, including: Literature & poetry https://danielandbonita.wordpress.com Writing https://awordfitlywritten.wordpress.com Parenting https://positiveparentingblog.wordpress.com Purpose https://apurposedlife.wordpress.com After living in India from the age of 16 to 28, she returned to California with her husband and three children. She is pursuing a Degree at Fresno State University. Bonita teaches community education at Clovis Adult. Her courses include Blogging Basics, Power Editing, Creative Writing, and Working from Home. She also freelances as an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach. Her greatest passions are her family, her faith, writing, and reading. Bonita Jewel has been reading since she was 2 ½. Thirty years later, she still loves the magic and mystery of the written word. She is slowly breathing life into roughly 50 novels and nearly as many nonfiction works, depending on which plot or character seizes her interest at any given time. Please connect with Bonita at: https://www.facebook.com/BonitaJewelAuthor

Posted on May 2, 2014, in Grandparents, Mother's Day, Writing Contest and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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