Ravioli Dreams of Nonna

My dreams of preparing ravioli from scratch are inspired by mother and brief memories–real and imagined–of my maternal grandmother. I grew up calling her grandma, but now I want to remember her as nonna.

Steph’s nonna

Nonna was born in America in 1913 of Italian heritage. Her mother from Abruzzo, her father from Calabria. She lived a life I know little about, yet her shy muted spirit lives in my heart.

My few memories of Nonna have the naive fuzzy edges of a six or seven year old. She had gray hair and carried the weight of her years in a barrel atop two short legs. She lived humbly, in a rundown home patched with corrugated metal and an outhouse, in a depressed community out in the middle of the desert.

Visits with Nonna were short and usually involved my parents bringing her practical items from our middle-class home. (If we got a new kitchen table, then we brought her our old one.) Our trips from the big city took most of the day, with our visit to be just long enough to unload the car and for my folks to address any familial matters. My limited time with Nonna was precious.

Mostly, I remember that Nonna couldn’t speak–Italian or English. Her vocal chords were irreversibly damaged as a young child. Yet the spoken word wasn’t necessary for her to be understood and endeared.

Her smiling eyes would light upon an item and her body would dance. My eyes would follow her movements and my mind would race. Her gestures and facial expressions could tell stories and demonstrate basic needs.

Nonna lifted an item, made some moves, and I understood. She showed me a bottle of milk and raised her hand to her lips. I smiled and nodded. She made me an egg (or was it bologna?) sandwich, and I watched her cook potatoes. Her kitchen was bare, but my belly and heart were full.

Rocco’s Homemade Cheese Ravioli

Unfortunately, I never learned much about her or even how to cook ravioli by watching her. But I liked to imagine the sound of her voice, the stories from her life, and the tastes from her table. Perhaps her voice and her ravioli were as endearing as those of the nonna from my dreams?


© Stephanie Abbott. Sunday, November 24, 2019. The photo of my nonna is from my family tree. The photo of Rocco’s ravioli was taken while I cooked dinner tonight. The memories I shared are inspired from my youth, the ricotta ravioli from Rocco’s NY Pizzeria (“Just like Grandma used to make!”), and the video, “Italian Grandma Makes Homemade Ravioli” published by Buon-A-Petitti at https://youtu.be/n68W0bVolmU.

Surviving Family

Family expands and contracts throughout our lives. Some members saunter in as if they returned from running errands; others choose to leave forever without the courtesy of an explanation. Each member infusing life for us to accept, appreciate, and love. To embrace each other regardless of our current circumstances provides a relative rhythm for surviving family.

Surviving-Family-by-Steph-Abbott

About this post: I created this sloppy sketch of family using my finger on the glass of my mobile device using ArtRage app while sipping coffee this morning. I am creating something everyday this month. I created “Surviving Family” from a prompt I provided to the NaBloPoMo Revival group for November 23: “Tell me what you want but only focus on what you need.”

#NaBloPoMo18 #Create30 #FamilyDay

————–©2018 Stephanie Abbott. All rights reserved.

Family is Flexible

Let’s face it, family is flexible.

————–©2018 Stephanie Abbott. All rights reserved.

About this post: I am participating in a challenge to create daily during the month of November. While I have missed a day or two, this is my post for November 18. I was inspired by the writing prompt: “How do you define the word family?” courtesy of Angela in the NaBloPoMo Revival group on Facebook.  Several years ago I traced this image from a family photo. Today, I fixed it. My energies have been drained today, so my creation is short and sweet tonight. #NaBloPoMo18 #Create30 #sisters

Wait, Before You Go, #WriteBravely

Cup-of-life-by-Steph-Abbott
Cup of Life by Steph Abbott

If we were having coffee, I might recite this haiku…

Wait, before you go
Savor friends and sip of stress
Become family

###

© 2017 Steph Abbott. All rights reserved.

I created the image shown above for a post a few years ago. SeeWait, Before You Go.”

Today, I am reblogging content I created years ago, because I am sick and tired. Seriously, I am not feeling well, and it is getting late. I have to get up early tomorrow for work. And, I doubt my readers will notice the redundancy. I appreciate your understanding.

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6. Day 7 of the Write Tribe Festival of Words #6 and today’s prompt is: Day 7 (11 Aug/Fri) – ‘If we were having coffee…….’

This is the last day of the festival and writing challenge. I may not post for a while, so in the meantime, heed my words…

Wait, before you go, write bravely.

#TGIF #writebravely #writetribe #festivalofwords

#WriteBravely in Pithy Love Letters to Family

Dear​ ​Mom​ ​and​ ​Dad,
I​ ​love​ ​you.​ ​You​ ​gave​ ​me​ ​everything.​ Every thing I should never ​take​ ​for​ ​granted.​ ​Granted,​ ​you​ ​were​ ​right often.

Dear​ ​Brother​ ​and​ ​Sister.
I​ ​love​ ​you.​ ​You​ ​drove​ ​me​ ​crazy.​ ​Crazy​ ​seems​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​matter​ ​of​ ​perspective.​ ​Perspective​ ​to appreciate you​ ​now.

Dear​ ​Husband,
I​ ​love​ ​you.​ ​You​ ​provide​ ​me​ ​with​ ​home​ ​and​ ​hearth.​ ​Hearth​ ​that​ ​we need to​ stoke ​from​ ​time​ ​to​ ​time.​ ​Time–let’s make​ ​some.

Dear​ ​Son​ ​1,
I​ ​love​ ​you.​ ​You​ ​inspire​ ​me​ ​to​ ​be​ ​patient​ ​with​ people.​ ​People who​ ​have​ ​free​ ​will​ ​to​ ​please.​ ​Please​ ​give​ ​us​ ​a chance.

Dear​ ​Son​ ​2,
I​ ​love​ ​you.​ ​You​ ​teach​ ​me​ ​how​ ​to​ ​cope​ ​with​ ​adversity​ ​by using humor.​ Humor will help you to cope with those who don’t.​ ​Don’t​ ​be​ ​a​ ​d*ck.

Sincerely,

-Steph

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6. #writebravely #writetribe #festivalofwords

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Appreciating My Treasure and #WritingBravely

Beheld by their splendor, I sat still, gazing at my treasure. Though not mine to truly possess, each provided me with an innate value and enduring promise. Their inner light danced in the summer sun just to catch my breath. My gale swelled with love for these smokey sapphire and golden-flecked gems. As their eyes met mine, my rich soul beamed back. Family is truly a treasure.

_________

This passage and image were inspired by the prompt, “write about a treasure you have.” I wrote this piece and created this image using my smartphone while riding with my family through the Mohave desert. Copyright 2017 Steph Abbott. All rights reserved. #writetribe #writingbravely #festivalofwords #ArtRage

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My Heart Carries Their Struggles

As a child, my imagination carried me though many a struggle. As a young adult, my battles carried many of my ideals. Now, as a mother, my heart carries their struggles.

August 7, 2011. While not a post of fiction, as is the theme for this month’s blogging (per NaBloPoMo), I felt compelled to share my hope for a peaceful future.