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A Little Background Info on Me

I loved my childhood. I was a fairly happy little girl. I grew up as a child of privilege.

For much of my adult life, I felt I should apologize for this as it pained me to see others less happy or not as advantaged as me. Now I realize I had no control over my parents' situation. What is most important is to be conscious and conscientious about what I do now and in the future.

Part of this privileged life included the wonderful women who worked in our home. They shaped me as much (or more, in some areas) as my family. They cared for me, cooked for us, and cleaned our home. It was the most intimate of relationships. For an adopted child you learn early on that family is not about blood. I hear their voices daily in my heart and soul.

It is from these women that I gained my love of food and cooking and learned about meeting people where they are instead of where you want them to be. I am forever grateful. They set such a high standard in everything they did, and my word, they made the most delicious food. I refer to them often, and surely will here. Their names were Rachel and Easter.

(Left) Rachel and Me before heading out to nursery school (~1968)

(Right) Easter and Me (Summer, 2022...she passed the following Christmas Day.)

After I left home and gained some perspective of my own, I realized that my perception of their lives must have been naive. I sought out their stories, to learn who they were when they were not with us. Rachel passed when I was in High School, so I arranged to meet with her granddaughter. Not long before Easter left this earth I made arrangements with her daughter for a visit. Both conversations were more than I dreamed.

I learned that Rachel was (not surprisingly) a leader in her church. She taught the young women in her church etiquette lessons. And, she was actively involved in the civil rights movement. Easter was also very involved in her church and ultimately went to work for Head Start, where she could make a bigger impact on her community. While I was with Easter I mustered the courage to ask if it was okay to work for my family (I regret I couldn't ask the same of Rachel.) Easter replied, "Betsy, you don't stay with a family for 40 years if there is a problem." I take solace in that and the love/respect I believe was always mutual.

After I sent her a photo of my first attempt at her cinnamon rolls she said, "Not bad." I considered that high praise indeed.

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