When I want to remember my mother I turn the oven to 425 degrees and roast onions.  The delicious, comforting smell that wafts through the kitchen tells me that I am doing something right.  My mother loved onions with a passion that caught my attention as a child. I can still hear the delightful crunch they made as she ate smiling while we watched, envious of her pleasure.  I remember the feeling of wanting to enjoy something, anything as much as she enjoyed onions.  

The holidays, when virtually everything I do I learned from my mother, are very complicated.  I am thankful for the many yuletide traditions that she taught me, but I also feel her absence acutely in carrying them out.  Merrymaking and festiveness, together with sorrow;  always and forever.  This Christmastide week has been quiet and therefore most welcome.  There is time to read, reflect, and roast onions and toss them with herbs and a vinaigrette.  And then to munch happily in the knowledge that I come very close to matching my mother's enjoyment level of onions and hopefully many other things. 

Here are the books that were given in our home this year:

PS. I read this today and was swept away.  Thanks be to Myles' literature teacher for I am now acquainted with Rosemary Sutcliff.

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