“In a sea of emotionless texts and sterile emails, it’s easy to forget about the power of the pen.” – Sheila Lowe
When Mother’s right arm became so swollen due to lymphedema, her handwriting became severely impaired. Eventually she could write nothing. I remember having a complete break- down thinking about never seeing her handwriting again. I scoured her house looking for things with her handwriting on it. Shopping lists, phone messages, doctor appointment cards; I didn’t care what it was. I just needed to see it.
While searching for something else in her house this weekend, I came across one fantastic handwriting treasure. . . RECIPES. Memories from my Mother and my Grandmother flooded my mind. At first glance, I didn’t even read the recipe. I just stared at the handwriting.
Why in the world did I feel such an emotional attachment to my Mother’s handwriting? Realizing I truly needed to understand this, I did what everyone does when they need an answer to one of life’s major questions. I googled it. Upon my internet research, I found this quote.
“The fact is, your handwriting is not simply a collection of static marks on a sheet of paper. The flow of ink from your pen becomes a living part of you. Your essence is captured and distilled in the curves and lines you leave behind. The way you organize your life and time; how you feel about yourself; what drives you can all be found in your handwriting style.” – Sheila Lowe, forensic handwriting analyst
For me, seeing my Mother’s handwriting was the closest thing to hearing her speak that I could possibly have.
As for the recipes…
The recipes hold so many memories of their own. I read another article about handwritten recipe cards being “a casualty of the technology era”. I am so very guilty of this. I look up a recipe on the internet, print it, then maybe place it in the recipe box or maybe trash it. There is no emotional attachment to the card in my own kitchen. That changes today.
The food stains, notes to change ingredients next time, the line that says “from the kitchen of ____________” ; all of those things possess memories better than any home movie.
So, to address the theme of this blog, I am pretty sure my Mother would tell me. . .
- Write down the recipe on a recipe card
- Write down the name of the person who gave it to you
- Put a date on it
- Keep all cards stored together in a recipe box
- It is okay to write in your cookbooks too