chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things


honeymoon 1946It wasn’t until sometime after my mom moved out of her house, when I began in earnest to sort through the remaining volume of cartons and files and scrapbooks, that I came to fully appreciate the celebratory trail that our small family had left. It stretched across the 50-plus years that my parents had been together and then beyond, into the six years my mom and I remained, without my dad. In all those years, perhaps not more than a dozen occasions were celebrated with store-bought cards, and while we scoffed at the “Hallmarketing” of the holidays, we nonetheless used those same events as excuses for own exchange.

The trail begins here, with my parents’ first Christmas card, December 1946, which also celebrates their marriage. The slightly caricatured features — my mom’s red hair, my dad’s bald pate and cleft chin — were already in evidence and would recur in Dorothy’s drawings and cards through the decades. Here she’s crowned with a bit of holly, while the ball and chain around his ankle is decorated for the season.

This practice, this habit, these illustrations of emotions too complex to say aloud were a legacy to me. They mark every page in the unwritten picture book of our family history; more than anything else, they are a testament to creativity.

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