So this picture above was taken in January 2009 about two weeks before my grandmother died. It is better than the one that was taken one minute before, but it is totally not in focus. The nurse was far from a good photographer. What a tragedy it is when photographs of moments in your life that will never be repeated are all blurry! We have a great one on our honeymoon that has this same problem. Very tragic. Anyways, so we visited her in Kalamazoo, MI at a nursing home. I was living in NYC working at the Morgan at the time. My grandmother was very concerned as to whether it was a paid job or just an unpaid internship. I was very concerned about getting her pecan pie recipe. She said "Everyone knows how to make that", and wouldn't give it to me but kept asking me how much I got paid. I never got the recipe, and then I married someone who is allergic to nuts. So no pecan pie for me.
But this morning I was buying an espresso at the coffee shop in town (because K cups suck), and I noticed they had pecan pie available for purchase by the slice. This seemed so exciting to me, that I actually did a double take. It reminded me of all the holiday dinners at my grandmother's house: the cheesy potatoes, the hyper-shiny glazed ham, the buttery rolls, the black olives and pickles on crystal dishes, the RC cola, the yule log with leaves made out of frosting, the mugs with pictures of the royals on them, and the fact that there was a different room to eat holiday meals in than all the other meals of the year (this is not the case at my house now). I was reminded of games of Jeopardy on the computer, thinking it was awesome that we could stay up as late as we wanted watching MTV (we didn't have cable at my parents' house), and AOL. It all seemed very exciting, and for a second I thought "I have to eat that!"
But here is the truth of it: isn't pecan pie pretty much the worse thing for you? It is butter topped by butter and sugar, topped by fatty nuts and more sugar? I'm sure it is way worse for you than apple pie or cookies. At least other pies probably have less fat in the fillings. With this, you might as well eat fudge like a candy bar (when I was a kid on the Mackinac Island ferry, we once actually did see a family doing this). You almost wonder if it only seemed exciting because I never eat it.
Maybe I'll go back to Tunnel City before the holidays and get a nice big steaming cup of black coffee (Grandma would have approved of that), and a good slice of pecan pie and have a toast to hard work, education, travel, RC cola, reading, cheesy potatoes, dancing, community involvement, and all the things my grandmother thought were important in the world.