HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 20TEENS
Winter is a time of retrospection. Not only have I been thinking about the highlights of 2019, I’ve been thinking about the entire decade. It has been quite a ride, this decade and all the ones that have come before, and to tell you about all of it, well I would be typing until the cows came home! Those who know me well, tell me I have enough fodder for a memoir and that I should write it. I shake my head, laugh, and tell them my life has had such crazy convoluted twists and turns that no soap opera would ever buy it as it would seem too unbelievable. But, sharing with you some of the highlights of the last decade…well, that is something I can do.
- 2010: After nearly loosing myself in a toxic and loveless marriage, in 2010 I took the steps for my own survival. I chose to care for myself rather than always caring for others, moved back home to Port Angeles (with a liberal amount of back and forth trips to Seattle and SeaTac for teaching), and got a divorce from wuzband #3.
- 2011: I led a 4-day pie and pastry making experience in France. The food was incredible, and the people so very kind. I slept under a 300 year old roof, got lost driving on rural roads, and then traveled to England and learned to make traditional hand raised pork pies.
- 2012: I created Pie Camp, the first multi-day event of it’s kind ever, which is now in its 8th year!
- 2013: Gretapie came into my life and is my constant and much beloved companion. (I seem to have much better luck with 4-legged friends, than with wuzbands.) I started knocking out walls in my house and adding windows to let the light in.
- 2014: Although I had been asked by publishing houses and agents since as far back as early 2009 to write a book, it wasn’t until 2014, when I was contacted by the folks at The Countryman Press, that I felt ready to think about seriously writing.
- 2015: I got a call from a producer at The Today Show asking if they might run an entire show from Pie Camp! Only one hitch–they wanted me to rent a big house in The Hamptons for an entire week that they would broadcast from!!! Well, it was very nice to be asked, but that was something I just couldn’t afford (still can’t). What I did do for a fraction of the cost, was to buy the burnt out shell of a house next door to me, tear it down, and create a new vegetable garden and orchard.
- 2016: In October, Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life was published, and received incredible reviews. A month later, my daughter passed away.
- 2017: The James Beard Awards are the Oscars in the food world, and when Art of the Pie became a James Beard Finalist, my son and I made a whirlwind trip to NYC for the award ceremony.
- 2018: Home Cooking with Kate McDermott is published and it too receives some absolutely stellar words from reviewers. The words at the end of this review, which I first read during a workshop break when I was teaching in Austin, still move me to tears.
- 2019: I bought the house on the other side of me, my son and his girlfriend renovated it, and they are now my neighbors! I traveled to Ireland for three weeks. I was keynote speaker for a fundraiser that brought in 475k for Hospice Austin. I wrote a third book that will be released in the Fall of 2020.
When I read this over, I can’t believe that all of this happened in just ten years, and all in my mid 50’s to mid-60’s. None of it was planned…nothing in my life has ever been planned. I don’t have any piece of paper saying that I am an expert at anything, although three divorce decrees may say something about me being an expert at failed marriages.
The most important thing I’ve learned is never to let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because you are too old, don’t have the experience, or are not smart enough. When we hear words like these, it may be that the one who is speaking them is telling on themselves.
So, here we are my friends. I invite you to think about the highlights of your 20Teens. Write them down and, whether they are big or small, give yourself an atta-girl, atta-boy, or atta-they for everything you’ve done. And if you would you like to share some of them in a comment, please please do. We’re all here to affirm and cheer you on.
Love from Pie Cottage,