See my family, my Peruvian half of my family I’ve never met, who send me pictures via my father of places that I want to be familiar with, people I want to know. I remember a picture from my childhood of my grandmother I’ve never seen, holding a doll she bought for me. My size, blue dress, brown hair, big eyes. It’s in her house still, waiting. I don’t know how much longer she will be there waiting with it. It’s not just about the beauty of this country, the food (delicious, delicious food!) and playing tourist for a week. This is about my family and me and discovering something that is a part of me I still do not know.
2. Go back to school — again.
4. Escape to a Writer’s retreat, alone.
This started out as my husband's dream, and has gradually become mine. I want him to be able to cook what he wants to cook, and I want to be there alongside him when he does it. Owning our own place is not easy, will never be easy, and never end up making us rich. But it would allow us to spend time together and grow other. I deal with the frustrations of kitchen life as a Chef Wife and a Restaurant Widow. I want to deal with them at my husband's side. And eat better food that we have where our home is, of course. Because my husband is just the best cook, ever.
8.Learn to Brew
Beer gave me my start in writing, believe it or not. And I respect the folks in the vibrant craft beer industry here in Michigan. I want to be well versed, more eloquent, and know my shit when I'm talking about beer with these wonderful guys and gals. I want to drink something I created, look at that bottle in my hand and know that if the zombie apocalypse comes, we'll still have good beer to drink.
My hope is to learn from school, from retreats, from my own sense of perseverance, how to get all my self down on paper and make it work. I want something concrete to hold in my hands. I want it to be something I am proud of. I want it to be honest and real. And I don't care if anyone reads it or not. But I hope someone does, someday.
My mother grew up a holler in southern Virgina, poor and uneducated. When I visited her ancestral home while young, I just noticed the poverty and heavy accents, ignored the beauty and dismissed the people. I want to remedy that. Maybe then I'll understand my mother better, and all those things I never got to say will be said, I will find solace in my acceptance of her past and how it shaped her life. And mine.