forward and back


This winter break, I dug up my Nana’s jewelry box. Not the box filled with fantastic (and fantastically hilarious) sixties costume jewelry, but the good one. The reeeally good one. Velvet lined and swimming with chain necklaces, it houses her beloved jewelry. As with every other time I’ve opened this box, I inevitably tried on all of the rings, and at least one of the necklaces. This time, something was different. All of her rings fit. Not just “oh hey! I can squeeze it on”, but a true fit.

Nana was a tall, eternally thin woman, and her hands were no exception. As the family legends go, she was 126 lbs her whole life (and 5’8”!), and she walked out of the hospital after giving birth in her pre-pregnancy jeans. She was delicate yet fierce. She was a woman that I would have loved to know as an adult. She passed away 7 years ago- just months shy of my celiac diagnosis. Why is that relevant? Well, it’s one of the handful of things (that we believe) I inherited from her. I have her height (and then some!), her blood (including the special anemia), and of course, her hands. Her engagement ring looks like it was made for me, sitting oh-so-naturally on my hand. All the wear from the 51 years it lived on her hand makes it not just broken in, but comfortable.

I keep looking at it. First, it was to try to clean it. More and more, it is to try to find a piece of her in it. What did she see when she looked at it? Did she use it to play with the light? How did it change over the decades of wear?

Writing in a form like this has always been a way for me to look within, and simultaneously craft who I become. It’s been a method of answering those streams of questions for my future self. Who was I in this moment? What was important to me at that age? What was hard? What was great? What did I feel needed to be shared? What were the little moments? What was I focussed on?

Blogging does more than that though. It pushes, driving exploration. At 15, I began writing a website entitled Celiac Teen. It was my online home for many years, where I both created and learned about myself. I fell more and more in love with food because of it, along with photography. It brewed passions and drove me into a community which fostered friendships. Nearly 7 years later, I’ve phased out of it. The name came with an expiration date: one that I accepted and welcomed as my life grew in other ways. As much as I adore what that site holds, from the recipes to the insights into my teenage psyche, I have grown out of it.

So, with that in mind, I want to welcome you here. Like a new home, it’s a little bit bare, waiting to be unboxed and filled with life. I want to fill this space with as many words as it will hold. I want to slowly grow it with stories, and build it with moments. I want it to be an online memory box. One with community and conversation, in that unique mix that only a blog can have. From that headspace, hello! Whether we’ve been friends since Grade 2, or have never met, I hope you’ll grab a cup of tea and stay awhile.


Top photo by my late grandfather.