Mondays & Memories of My Mom – All the Little Steps

#TGIM! Once again, thank God, it’s Monday!  So, happy Monday to everybody!

I still want to create a small email newsletter, similar to what Mom had created 46 years ago (Jan. 1974) when she started her own newsletter, Gloria Pitzer’s Homemaker’s Newsletter©. However, my “paying” job has suddenly become so hectic that, for now, I don’t have time to follow through on my own projects – and while my husband is laid off for the winter, I need to take advantage of this short-term opportunity. If money was not an object by which we need to live, I would gladly give it all up to just do this.

I truly understand Mom’s feelings that writing made her living worthwhile. I just wish I could make a living with it, myself. I’m most happy and content when I’m writing and artistically creating like Mom. I can feel her angel hugs around me now, while I’m typing this, as she whispers in my ear, “be patient.” I’m disappointed by the delay but I know that this busy time in my “paying” job will subside in a month or so. I just need to be tolerant of it until I can get on with my preferred plans. In the meantime, I do what I have to do, as dreams and desires don’t pay the bills! I’m not giving up on my aspirations, just putting them on hold temporarily.

It takes a lot of little steps to get where you want to be – literally and figuratively. I see all of my little steps in this process coming from all the years of helping Mom and Dad with their “dining room table operation” to the last few years of Mom’s life, when I was helping her to re-write her favorite, self-published cookbook – Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Printing) – in order for it to be re-published for a whole new digital age of people. And, even now, in writing this blog series, Mondays & Memories of My Mom, I am taking more little steps in learning about social media and our digital means of how we do most things.

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

Excerpts by Gloria Pitzer, as seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over – And I Can’t Find My Mop, (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989)

ON PATIENCE…

Sometimes, we force ourselves into making hasty decisions; when, it turns out, this can be a misguided attempt to try to shape an event that just isn’t ready to be shaped yet! Encouragement to be patient and consider all of the options was always one of the supportive ways that my parents tried to see me through the rough times, when I was growing up.

No matter what the problem, the emphasis was always on being patient; on letting my listening thought be receptive to new ideas, right ideas. I was never disappointed when I waited. I might have been a little impatient, but the more experiences I had with waiting, the easier it [became]. (p. 20)

Cartoon written and illustrated by Gloria Pitzer

ON JOURNALISM…

Journalism is a peculiar profession to follow. I’ve been a serious journalist [since 1954]. I’ve worked among writers who wrote to live, while the rest of us lived to write. We had to communicate to reach out to someone with ideas, with thoughts, with reasonings and [remembrances].

Somehow, we had to make a difference, touching others with some good – like the single stone tossed into the still waters of a shimmering pond, the ripples begin, as they always do, where the stone touched the water’s surface and responded around and around, until the widest circle touched the grassy edge [of the shore], again and again.

While I live to write, I must consider that others do not. Writers never retire – not if they are truly writers. Editors retire. [Even] reporters retire from their work at some given point. But old writers never die, they just run out of words.

There is great joy in an exchange of ideas; specifically, when you have something of value to share. when that exchange of ideas flows from a mutual appreciation of the good in human life, there is no doubt that the abundance of good continues to unfold around us from only one Unlimited Source. We don’t think too much about that Source until we’re in real trouble. Then, we’re willing to reach out because, after all, what have we got to lose?

Too bad we don’t tap that Source when everything is going well and exercise our ability to think [and be grateful], which is something very few people take the time to do. One of my favorite writers, Norman Cousins – a contributing columnist in The Christian Science Monitor – talks about our ‘taking the time to think’ in many of his own writings. He talks about our leisure hours, now, exceeding our working hours and how foolishly we waste that time; because we’ve managed to persuade ourselves that we are too busy to think [and] too busy to read… He reminds us that [‘too busy’] is a national excuse! (p. 22)

Gloria Pitzer, 2013

[Unfortunately, Mom ran out of words on January 21, 2018.]

Nevertheless, the words that Mom put in print will live on for generations to come. Thus, I’m here to carry her torch onward by re-telling her story and all the little steps she took in becoming the Secret Recipes DetectiveTM. For me, Mom is “that source” from which I derive my own inspiration, as well as gratitude for all that she’s given me, all that she’s taught me and all that she continues to teach me throughout her writings. Thus, in re-telling Mom’s story, I will draw from her own writing of how it all began for her…

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over – And I Can’t Find My Mop, (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 23)

IN THE BEGINNING

At the time the assignment was handed to me by the newspaper editor for whom I then worked; I knew more about cooking than anyone else on the staff. I was also the only ‘married lady’ on the staff, which in those days of homemaking, housewives and the Donna Reed show, automatically qualified me to handle the food page at the newspaper (when I had been a feature writer and columnist for a long time.)

I accepted the challenge wholeheartedly because I did want to write for the paper. If they had told me to do the obituaries, I would’ve given even that assignment my best effort. The food page was a challenge for me, in view of the fact that there was no test kitchen at the newspaper. I would be testing the recipes in my own kitchen at home. There was a small compensation in my paycheck at the end of the week for the groceries I used, but not enough to fully reimburse me. I accepted what they gave me gratefully, however…

Of course, I look back now in amazement at what I was able to do for a whole week with a 3-pound package of hamburger. How it began as spaghetti sauce, then sloppy Joe mixture and, with the addition of red kidney beans and some other seasonings, chili concurrently… It was fun, too, now that I recall those early days.

MAKING TIME FOR OPPORTUNITY

But some of the thoughts of which I wished to write were never properly developed on paper and published because there just wasn’t enough time. Later, when I could have made the time, there wasn’t a market for [it]; so, here I am, 17 years after the first recipe collection [Jan. 1973] was an outstanding success, still looking for the time and opportunity to write the book I have always wanted to write.

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

Every book and newsletter Mom ever penned was, in fact, those which she wanted to write; and, in doing so, enjoyed; as ambitions change and evolve with time and experiences. Mom believed that everything in our lives happens for a reason, as do I; so, when Life puts detours in my way, I just need to be patient, learn from those unexpected turns and, then, recalculate my course in order to get where I want to go (which seems to be easier to do, in my mid-50’s then it was 20-30 years ago.) It takes a lot of little steps, along with patience – but, it’s all about the journey, not the arrival! Like Mom, I would much rather have the joy than the job.

FINAL THOUGHTS FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over – And I Can’t Find My Mop, (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 8)

CHALLENGES & PATIENCE

Surely, after all of this is now presented to us in the form of treasured memories, I can see that life’s challenges teach us to be compassionate toward others [and] ourselves. Whenever we must sometimes face the harsh circumstances of human living, in which there [doesn’t] seem to be any clear-cut answers to even the smallest events, as well as the big [ones]; patience and great moral courage are needed in every case, in order to overcome defeats.

Certainly, the effort put into the service of every business, whether it is a flourishing corporation or – like ours – just a dining room table enterprise, is more important than how much money you’re going to make at what you do. When the money is more important, the journey becomes a job instead of a joy!

IN CLOSING…

This year in honor of #52Chances and #MemorableBeginnings, I want to offer you a recipe each week from Mom’s “Original 200” Secret RecipesTM collection – as these are the memorable beginnings of the Recipe DetectiveTM. The following recipe is Mom’s imitation of Sanders’ Fudge Cake & Buttercream Icing, also representing National Chocolate Cake Day, which is today… Happy #ChocolateCakeDay!

P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…

To read more of Mom’s “Food for Thought” editorials on how it all began, Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective is available for sale, at $20.99 each, through the publisher, Balboa Press, at https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062252; it’s also available in eBook form, for $3.99, at https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

#ThankGodItsMondayDay

NationalDayCalendar.com suggests that we… “Stop shaming Monday and look at what Monday has to offer… 52 CHANCES to see a beautiful sunrise… share your talents with the world… teach someone a new skill that will better their lives…” For me, it is 52 CHANCES to re-tell Mom’s story, again; and, hopefully, re-inspire love in the kitchen, in the home and family, throughout the neighborhood and around the world. Four down, 48 to go!

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