My To Do list for 2010 has two clear objectives. They're urgent because I am in my 86th year and not sure how much time I'll have.
First, I'm planning to visit Thailand, where my oldest son lives, and to spend three months getting to know his extended family. One of them is my four-year-old great-granddaughter, named after me. She speaks no English yet, but we'll find a way to talk.
The second goal is to complete a family history. It won't be a straight narrative, but rather a collection of old photos, songs, recipes, letters and essays that will bring alive the experience of five generations of family that summered in the same house on Long Island. I feel a strong need to finish these things and to do them as well as I can.
Check back next year...
Elise Knapp is a retired English professor and mother of four, grandmother of 12, and great-grandmother of three. She got her PhD while raising four children and cooking a hot breakfast for her husband daily. She now lives in New Haven, where she takes full advantage of the art and culture that Yale University offers.