Monday, July 02, 2001

Brittany and Danielle are coming home today!!!!!!!! I am so excited I am jumping out of my skin! My aunts and uncle are still here and I must say I am enjoying their visit so much more than I imagined. I realize how much I have changed since the last time I saw them (7 years ago). Wow, I was uptight back then! lol I had so many bad memories about the drinking and partying but now that I have relaxed some I have realized how much fun they are to be around. My aunties all love to dance to Mexican music, having only one brother around leaves them dancing with each other. When I watched this 7 years ago it made me very uncomfortable but watching it now I am in awe of these beautiful strong women who have such affection for each other. The kissing and hugging is foreign to me because I am not very good at showing affection. With my kids yes and with Marshall yes but I rarely even hug my own mom. I like my distance and I don't like anyone intruding on the boundaries that I keep around me. Watching the affection between everyone makes me wonder what I have missed out on by keeping such a distance between me and others. I have never known my mom's family very well so it is a wonderful, new experience for me.

Yesterday they made tamales. Tamales are usually only made at Christmas time because there is so much work involved. My mom's oldest sister Rosalie wanted to make them for my mom because my mom doesn't know how to make them. My auntie Rosalie is a tiny little thing barely 5' tall and I'd guess she doesn't even weigh 100lbs. (Damn, why couldn't I have inherited those side of the genes? lol) but when she takes control of the kitchen you stand out of her way! The process of making tamales is a mystery to me. Making the meat to go inside took all morning and part of the afternoon. Then she made the masa. All three sisters bustled around the kitchen while my mom, my sister and I stood back in awe. Finally it was time for the hard part. Spreading the masa on the corn husks and rolling them up to be steamed. The masa wasn't cooperating and everyone was having a hard time getting it to stick to the corn husks. Finally with the help of Emma (my aunts wife) they got the masa just right and the rest of the day was spent putting the tamales together and then steaming them.

I think it was almost 9:00pm by the time the first batch was done. I am telling you, these are the best tamales I have ever had in my life! My aunt Rosalie sat back in silence drinking a beer with her face lighting up as everyone inhaled these things. Marshall has never had a tamale so everyone was waiting to see what he would think. I think he had ate four of them before he finally stopped eating long enough to tell her how incredibly good they were! By the time the night was over he had ate ten of them! My aunt Rosalie finally ate one and said that these tamales taste even better than the ones she makes at home. She explained that not only were these made with love for her sister and her family but because they were made "de mi corazón". Everything my aunts do is from their heart and I am so thankful for this time I have with them. I can't wait for my daughters to come home and share this part of their heritage with them. I am thankful and humbled to know the strong women that I am part of.

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