an intermission

I’ve been trying to write a blog post for the past couple of weeks. Maybe longer, even.

Take this post, for example. I was planning to share a recipe with you – a recipe for peach cobbler bars, one that I know you’ll love – along with a story about summer, or maybe about peaches, or possibly about time spent with friends and family. Instead, I’ve written ten different first paragraphs, and I’ve stopped just long enough after each one to realize that the paragraph is crap.  And then, I’ve tapped the backspace key rapidly until each offending word is gone.


The last month has been tough. We buried my father-in-law two Thursdays ago. The service was beautiful, a loving tribute to the wonderful father of my husband. My children were so well behaved that I’m certain people assumed we drugged them. (We didn’t.)

The visitation was the night before the funeral, and it was an open casket viewing at the funeral home. People whose lives were touched by my father-in-law — and there were so very many — stood in line for over an hour to give their condolences to our family, to hold our hands and to give embraces.  My father-in-law and my dad have overlapping circles of friends, and so many of these people who came through the line asked about my father. That was hard. So much harder than I expected it to be. I didn’t have a good answer. “He’s okay,” I’d say. “He has good weeks and he has bad weeks.”

I cried a lot. The visitation felt like a practice run for my own father’s funeral.

Not surprisingly, I’m still coming to grips with some of the emotions I felt that night.

And all of this is to say that I’m not ready to simply share a recipe post with you. A recipe seems meaningless right now.  And any words that I might have to say about that recipe? They just seem trivial.

But the making of the recipe? The hands on time in the kitchen? Prepping green beans with my kids, roasting a chicken, churning ice cream? I’m finally doing this again, after feeling out of practice. It’s wonderful.

sous chefs

Please know that I am fine. My children are fine — great, actually. My husband is okay, and he seems to be doing better each day.

We’re taking a much-needed beach vacation in less than a week, and I fully intend to have an amazing time on that trip. I’m going to read a lot of books. I plan to let the sun warm my pale skin while the turquoise water of the Gulf of Mexico cools my red-painted toes. I’m going to drink wine with friends, and I’ll probably eat too many fried foods. We’re going to laugh and play in the water and ride bicycles and stay up too late. I’m going to do my best to beat Sam and the kids in Monopoly, and I’m going to try even harder to not answer work emails immediately.

But I’m not going to share any recipe posts for a little while. Maybe a week. Or perhaps two. I’m not quite sure yet. When I’m ready, when I’m not feeling so much pressure to write, then I’ll be back here.

And, as always, thanks for waiting.

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18 Responses to “an intermission”

  1. 1
    SMITH BITES — August 6, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

    take as long as you need to, we’ll still be here; grief has it’s own timelines, it’s own ebb and flow and as you know, everyone grieves differently – the important thing is that you go thru it – not around, under, over, left or right, but thru whatever you need to swim thru to get to the other side. and we’ll still be here. cheering you on, supporting you however you need to be supported, we’ll still be here. oh – and i’d totally make you a chocolate cake w/chocolate buttercream frosting if we were neighbors (((hugs)))

  2. 2
    Macaroni Mama — August 6, 2013 @ 7:15 pm

    Merry Jennifer, what a beautiful post. I forget that we are all sharing the same feelings and emotions. Tell Sam I have a Gator license plate for him. Love you, girly. I miss you so much.

  3. 3
    Kristen — August 6, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

    Take your time… take your time. We’ll all be here with open arms ready when you are ready to share.
    I remember a time when sharing recipes seemed so meaningless in my life… with the loss I was dealing with, I felt like sharing a recipe, or styling the “perfect” photo, or even reading food blogs was just so insignificant. I have moved passed that, however it still creeps up every now and then. But, I love that I have a space to share both those recipes and my thoughts and to get the support and encouragement that will get me through to the next hump.
    I hope you feel that too!

  4. 4
    Aimee — August 6, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

    Sending so much love. Take as much time as you need. Of course we’ll understand. xox

  5. 5

    Take your time. We’ll be here waiting when you are ready. In the meantime, sending ginormous hugs to you all XO

  6. 6

    Have a fabulous vacation!

  7. 7
    Di — August 7, 2013 @ 9:16 am

    It seems you have the heart of a foodie, Merry Jennifer, but for me your draw is not the food or your pictures (though I enjoy your sharing both); the draw is the way you bundle and unbundle the black and white spaces we call words. They roll off the page and touch the soul in ways that make me feel better for having been there to catch thcm. They insprie, engage, pull towards an honest expression of what it’s like to be a part of humanity in all its raw, beautiful, form. It’s a gift that’s enviable. Enjoy your beach vacation. I am sorry for your family’s loss and hope being by the sea brings the healing you all need and deserve. I hope you are not holding your breath so much anymore and enjoy exhaling for a while.

  8. 8
    Carol Sacks — August 7, 2013 @ 10:23 am

    May your time away with your family be restorative and healing.

  9. 9
    Jeannine — August 7, 2013 @ 12:13 pm

    May you all have health and joy in full measure. Enjoy yourselves, and I’ll still be reading when you’re ready to post again.

  10. 10
    Eileen — August 7, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

    Kick back and eat those fried foods, drink that wine, laugh hard, and relax!

  11. 11
    Lynda - TasteFood — August 7, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

    Take your time to restore yourself and connect with your family – it’s so worth it. You’ll be back when you are ready!

  12. 12
    Chris — August 7, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

    Hang in there, take your time, and heal. I am still getting over the murder of my sister’s husband last September. It gets better. Almost every day there is a reminder but it gets easier. Just love your family.

  13. 13
    cherie — August 7, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

    Oh my, it must have been doubly hard! I’m glad you’re paying attention to yourself for now and what you need – enjoy your vacation as best you can – indulge in all the small moments and pleasures – they soothe the soul.
    Prayers for you all

  14. 14
    Paula — August 7, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

    It was good to read that your family is managing their way through this very difficult time as well as can be expected. I can imagine how much you are all looking forward to your beach vacation and I hope that you and your husband find the rest and relaxation that you need.
    Feeling pressure to write strips the enjoyment out of blogging and in time you will log into your site and the words will flow with ease. Be patient with yourself and know that those that love and respect you and this site will be patient as well. Take good care of you.

  15. 15
    Jennifer Hess — August 7, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

    Take the time you need, MJ. Hug your family. Cook with them and for them. We’ll be here whenever you’re ready. xxoo

  16. 16
    Frances — August 9, 2013 @ 5:27 pm

    Would love to be able to do something helpful. I’m reassured to know you are taking care of your family and yourself. As others have said, I, too, am sending prayers and thoughts for you all.

  17. 17
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — August 14, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

    Just wanted to stop by and say hi… And let you know that I’m thinking about you! I missed seeing you at BSP this summer. I totally understand the need to just step back and take a break… Sometimes I think that it’s the best thing. Of course, we will all still be here when you return.

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