Family, Faith and Friends Friday

Talking With My Mom
Today I start a new Friday feature called Family, Faith and Friends. I will be sharing the stories and tales of others. I thought it was fitting to begin with my mother, afterall, without my mom I wouldn’t be here. So let’s get started.
Last year for Christmas I received one of my favorite gifts ever…a cookbook written by my mom. I started our chat (interview style) with questions about the book.
Why did you decide to write a cookbook?
 I felt like it was something the Lord told me to do. I don’t know why I came up with the idea to add recipes. The idea for the memories was because I thought about all the things our grandchildren didn’t know about your dad and I while growing up. What got me started along this line of thought was when we came back from Uncle Osborne’s graveside service. Terry Wayne (my brother) and I talked the whole night about our family and growing up. We grew up in two different families in a way. I was 12 ½ years old when he was born. He had no idea that Daddy sang. Or how we used to sit on the front porch and sing, Daddy, Mother and I. After I  got married and left home he had memories of his own, of Mother and Daddy, that I knew nothing about. So I just thought you kids didn’t know about our lives, and your kids didn’t know about our lives, and I wanted you all to know some of that. I don’t know why exactly I came up with the idea to include recipes. Oh wait, yes I do…I came up with the title first…figured I should add a few recipes (laughing).
Is there another book in the works?

I have one that I actually started writing years ago. It‘s fiction. There are a lot of things that were taken from my life when I was growing up.

So…no more family heritage kinds of books?

Not yet! I would have to really hear from the Lord on that one. (She laughed when she told me this). If the ideas come I can do it, but just to sit down and try to write it, I don’t have any idea. Cookin’ With the Cooks was easy to write because once the idea came that I should write it, it started flowing. The technical end wasn’t so easy. Putting it all into proper form and all…especially the recipes, but it was easy to know the recipes I wanted to put in. And I had all of the Cook kids and different ones to share recipes.

Did you always want to write a book? Did you always know you were going to write a book?

No, I wrote poems in school, and when we started singing gospel music I wrote songs. I’ve always loved to read. I guess the last few years I’ve thought about writing a book. I’ve got three or four beginnings of books or ideas for books, but I haven’t followed through on it yet. One of the books happens to be one Daryl wrote a few pages on when he was in college as an assignment. I’ve taken that and added a little more to it. I’ve got a few ideas on that. Mine is a little different from what he wrote.

Let’s not forget the rap song you wrote and performed at your church. Pretty impressive for a southern gospel kind of person. Click here to view
My mom the rapper…let me gather myself…Okay, I’m ready to continue.

Shifting gears a little, what do you consider your greatest accomplishment in life, besides having me, of course?

Oh my! Yes, having a family is one. All the singing we did, the different groups. I always wanted to be a wife and mother so that goal was accomplished.  I don’t know that I did all that great of a job….
I’m sure we all feel that way.
Let me recap your busy transition into adulthood. That in itself is quite a story:
At 16 you graduated high school (early).
At 17 you went away to college.

At 18 you got married.

At 19 you had  your first child.

At 20 you had me, a highlight, I know. Which I would like to thank you for, by the way, it’s helps me remember your age. You are 20 years older than me!
At 22 you had Stevie. And then you took a ten year break before, surprise! Daryl came along. It was a busy few years for you.

What is your biggest regret in life?

My biggest regret? Ummm. I don’t know. I’ll think about that.

How about your most important life lesson?

Being close to the ones around you and showing your love. That was one of the things Bobby Joe (my cousin) said the other day. We didn’t grow up in a time period where people showed their feelings and they didn’t talk about their emotions. He said he had just read some of his dad’s letters he had written to his mother while he was in the Army. I guess they must have expressed some of his emotions, but Bobby Joe had never heard those things spoken. So I guess that is what I would say, showing my love. That would be one of the regrets too. And it’s still hard for me to do, without crying like I’m getting ready to do now.  Not knowing as we were living it, as much as we know it now. I think that is a regret that everybody has. Hindsight is always 20/20. I don’t think I would change much of anything. When we were singing gospel music we thought our dream was to be professionals, but that didn’t work out. I don’t think it should have really. I’m pretty well satisfied with everything. I’m glad our family is close, and we were always close to our parents. I’m glad about that too.

How do you want people to remember you?

Oh my goodness, I thought this was going to be about my book!
Haha, okay, forget that one. Finish this sentence: Never give up because…

Nothing is impossible with God.

Besides writing, what other hobbies do you have? There’s music I know.

At one time, that was something I liked, still like it, although I don’t “do” music much anymore. Reading is probably the main thing. I enjoy seeing the grandkids involved in their sports, dancing, anything musical they do. I enjoy getting together with family. I used to like to garden but I don’t do that much anymore. I still like it, but it’s a lot of work.

Do you have a bucket list?

Yeah, I guess I do. I’ve never written it down but I have things I want to do.

Want to name 3 things?

The big one that looks impossible is go to Alaska, and the west coast. To see all the north western states. To stay active, and go see sights around here that I haven’t seen. I like to travel.

No sky diving or bungee jumping?

No, but maybe take one ride on an airplane.

How about a hot air balloon?

Yeah, that wouldn’t be bad either.

See Kathy, right?
Anything else you want to say about your book? Do you sell them?

I do, yes.

Can people still buy them? Do you have any left?

I have some left and can always get more. I don’t sell that many anymore.

How many have you sold?

About 55 in all. I mostly sold them to family members and people from church. Even people I didn’t know but were friends of people who had a book. I have this friend that I’ve known for a long time. She bought one and read it through, but gave it to her brother because he wants simple recipes that were from “back in the good old days”. She gave her copy to him. There was a man who bought one of my books because he had lost his wife, and he wanted something simple he could cook. Hopefully he was able to accomplish that with the recipes in the cookbook.
I think you should do another cookbook. I read mine twice, mostly because of the stories and pictures.  The recipes are good too. I’ve made several things from it. The three dishes I took to the Cook family reunion came from your cookbook. It seemed fitting.
Aunt Frances ( a retired English teacher) said I should write another book. I never did hear from her about the cookbook I gave her for Christmas, so I finally got up my nerve to ask her what she thought about it, if she thought I could write another book. She said I should write a family history book.

We were interrupted at this point by my dad wanting to fix us lunch. That seemed fitting as well. It’s what we do, they do, feed the ones we love.
Do you have any parting words of wisdom?
Follow your dreams. Don’t give up. Plenty of times I wanted to just give up during the process of writing the cookbook because of all the problems with the computer and technical stuff, but I kept pushing through.  I think everybody has the capability to do what’s in their hearts, if they depend on the Lord. That was the thing with me, I thought it was a call He put on my life. When I get those feeling they usually are from Him and I go with them and I know when it’s over I did what I was supposed to do.
And that’s all any of us can do. Thanks, Mom, for sharing you heart and your cookbook.

6 thoughts on “Family, Faith and Friends Friday”

  1. I felt like it was something the Lord told me to do.
    This is wonderful. I keep trying to tell people that are having trouble with things of any kind is; did you ask God what you are to do.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog… And remember to drink your water. wink, wink smile.

  2. Completely drawn to her faith in the Lord. I loved this post, and your mother sounds like a darling. It’s true though, our parents didn’t grow up in a time when emotions were spoken and demonstrated. Still I think we came out pretty fine! 🙂 Beautiful post.


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