Mom's natural environment is the kitchen.
She's had quite a life that Mom of mine... She has done everything from pumping gas at the Conoco station she and my Dad ran when they were first married to butchering her own chickens and planting huge gardens to rocking babies to sleep in the hospital nursery where she was a night nurse. And somewhere in all that, raised five kids.
She makes THE best cinnamon rolls - omg - hot out of the oven with some butter - to die for. Her homemade noodles are thick and soft and delicious. I grew up in a Norwegian community (although I am 1/4 Dane and for some reason the Norwegians rank higher...). So I grew up with kumla (a sort of potato dumpling best when smothered in butter) and kringla (a kind of Norwegian shortbread - again best hot out of the oven smothered in butter). Gez, I never realized how much butter we used... explains why I'm allergic to dairy now.
She sews every day of her life - even now. She has an active social life with friends in her retirement complex and her church. I joke that I have a really nice relationship with her answering machine; she's never home!
She lost her husband of 62 years back in 2002 and I know she misses him to this day. But her response to what The Universe threw her back then was to stay busy. Just stay busy.
I think that is where I learned to block sad things from my mind. Its why I may sometimes appear stoic or reserved. It's just how I deal. Until the other day when I had an acupuncture treatment and for some inexplicable reason two minutes after the acupuncturist left the room - tears began to flow. I started thinking about Simba and more tears. I thought about some other things that have transpired in this sucky year of 2013 - it has been a year of much loss - and more tears flowed. Lying there with needles in my arms and hands I couldn't move. So the tears ran into my ears. (Sounds like a country song, doesn't it? The tears rolled into my ears, darlin'.) So at least then I could think about something else. Like how it was driving me crazy to have tears just pooling up there in my ears and I couldn't move to wipe them out.
Finally she re-enters the room and I ask, "Is this treatment supposed to make you cry?"
"Well, it did."
We talked for a bit and she said, "I don't know you that well, but it seems like maybe you hold your emotions captive. That's not good. You need to let things out or the stress and the sadness and the anger will literally affect your health." (Hmmm... high blood pressure.)
So rather than actually express my emotions I booked another treatment. Yup, that's me. I'd rather lie on a bed with needles in me than confront my emotions.