With both Motherâ€™s and Fatherâ€™s Days, plus all the weddings, graduations, and celebrations that touch so many of us throughout May and June, we are reminded of family at every turn. I came from â€˜clansâ€™ on both sides and always had relatives around me as I grew up in New England. I did not know that my environment was not the norm until I was in college.
Having grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins galore was something I took for granted. Now I realize what that loving childhood did for me. I never thought of myself as poor, although I was aware we were not rich.
Wrong! We were rich beyond belief in caring families, looking out for one another. We had Sunday dinners with my motherâ€™s clan, full of wit and laughter. Holidays with my fatherâ€™s clan centered around endless food and games of cards and croquet. Cousins were plentiful enough to have our own softball team.
My dad loved to cook and made Boston baked beans every Saturday night and delivered servings to family and friends. It was a Happy Days kind of world.
Keeping people in our lives was ingrained and I retained both high school and college friends, probably filling some of the empty places left when I moved to the south, leaving all those Yankee relatives I still love, but see now mostly at funerals. I still visit with old school friends, vacationing with some when traveling. Itâ€™s true that real relationships pick up as if together yesterday, no matter how long a separation.
Itâ€™s true that real relationships pick up
as if together yesterday,
no matter how long a separation.
One such relationship that I have treasured since freshman days at George Washington University is with one of my first roommates, Nathalie Dupree. I had never known anyone like her. She was as energetic, interesting, fun and kind a person as Iâ€™d ever known; still is. We have adventures we still remember and happy memories, such as her buying my kid sister rings for every finger. My daughterâ€™s name is Natalie, and Nathalie forgives me for leaving out the H.
Nathalie became a famous chef and is known now as the Grand Dame of Charleston! She has authored 13 cookbooks, which made her world famous and brought her accolades galore. And she is getting ready to release her newest book. Stay tuned!
Years ago, I read some of her columns. I was struck by how poignant they were, and she has given me permission to share this avocation of hers with our readers. A Matter of Taste is my favorite, and is included in the May issue.
If you are not familiar with Nathalie Dupree, Google her before you tell anyone. Youâ€™ll never again admit that you have not known her forever.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.