November 27, 2006

Haiku - Legacy


Towel on shoulder,
sink steam rising as you work:
third generation.

My favorite kinds of legacies are the ones you don't realize you're leaving. When my mom is working in the kitchen, she almost always has a dish towel hanging over her shoulder. To me, it signals readiness to create. At some point in my adult life, I realized that I, too, drape a towel over my shoulder while cooking. Whether I make use of it or not, I feel incomplete without it. This past week, in the run-up to Thanksgiving, D requested a towel for his shoulder as he stood on a chair by the sink helping with the dishes.

None of us planned this. It just happened. And we couldn't be happier.

(Thanks as always to the women of One Deep Breath
for their continuing inspiration.)

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ciao Shelley! You're the first Shelley (with the "ey"--yay!) that I have found blogging. I found you through the NaBlo etc. etc. list, I have been reading back through your posts and enjoying them. What a great tradition you've created with the Tgiving dinner. I know how much I miss it living here, and I am sure the students really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I understand the towel thing, I find myself doing things the way my mom did them.

Anonymous said...

Occasionally I find my sisters using our parent’s expressions, I imagine I do the same, another version of the ‘shoulder towel’.

Roswila said...

Nice 'ku! Isn't it delightful sometimes to see a legacy forming?

Crafty Green Poet said...

It is interesting to think about that kind of legacy, wonder what I've inherited from my parents in that way? That gives me something to think about on the train journey to visit them this weekend!

paris parfait said...

That's such a lovely tradition - lovely story and photo.

juliloquy said...

I wonder whether your grandmother and great-grandmother did this, too! (It is such a great idea that I think I will start.) One thing my mother does that I do: keep the wrapper from used butter sticks in the fridge, then pull one out to grease cookie sheets or muffin tins. Home economy at its finest.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it fun to see those little things show up in generation after generation? Loved this!

angie said...

Adorable photo. Writing about things like mannerisms or habits is so difficult -- well done!

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Yesterday when I was getting ready to cook dinner my 4 year old said "Aren't you going to put a towel on your shoulder now?" Ha! He knew the signal!

Catherine said...

What a delightful story!

Anonymous said...

Great photo, neat haiku, and wonderful story. I love it.

michelle said...

It's often the smallest details in life that make the most moving legacies. Wonderful haiku!

Makes me wonder what habits I'll be passing on.

Anonymous said...

Love the photo. Did he know it was taken? I wear a shoulder towel.

Shelley said...

Thank you all for your kind comments.

I am pleased and a little surprised to discover how many other people have been inducted into the TOSNIK (Towel Over Shoulder Necessary In Kitchen) Society. Too funny!

And YES, Mike McC, family expressions, a whole 'nother post someday, I'm sure.

Sadly, my grandmother passed away before I figured out this particular legacy, but I'll ask my mom in case she remembers.

And yes, Jone, he knew I was taking the picture, and I think he even knew why... he's great company and is always appreciative of a good "true life story" from our family history.

Anonymous said...

familial DNA... gotta love it when it manifests.