Jill and girls outside house in Santa Monica CA.

Jill and girls in front of new house in Santa Monica

Just before my marriage collapsed, my daughters, husband and I lived in an architecturally designed, custom-built home where there was always an abundance of food. Our large kitchen seamlessly attached to the great room, creating a genial family atmosphere. The sizable pantry with compartmentalized shelves housed child friendly foods, alongside more exotic adult choices.

All three girls eating in the living room of Venice house

Girls relaxing after school in living room of Venice house

My family’s larder looked like a well-appointed supermarket display. All the cans faced the same direction, and the cereal boxes were placed in descending order. We stopped just short of alphabetizing the spices and herbs.

After the marriage ended my children and I downsized. An ordinary cabinet became our pantry. The structure was completely unremarkable, but it was always full. Its contents easily satisfied the tastes of three young girls, and one post divorced overwhelmed mom.

My Mom in the kitchen with the dog

Mom in the kitchen alone with the dog

Growing up in Brooklyn I shared a three bedroom, one and a half bath small row house with my parents and three siblings. My younger sister and I shared a room. My older sister had a room of her own, and when my brother was born, she moved downstairs to the finished basement.

Mom and Billy carrying groceries into the house

Mom and Billy carrying groceries into the house

Regardless of how often my mom shopped for groceries there never seemed to be enough food. The insatiable appetites of four growing children made it impossible for her to keep up with our constant, and never-ending demands for more.

The small grocery store around the corner allowed us to get milk and bread without paying for it. My mom would pay that bill monthly I suppose, but my sisters and brother and I thought it was free. We went there often, almost daily. My mother didn’t drive when we were growing up, so she had to wait for my Dad to take her grocery shopping, either in the evening or on weekends.

Mom, Dad, my brother and me eating in the kitchen

Mom, Dad, Jay and Jill eating lunch in the kitchen

I remember thinking that I didn’t want it to be that way when I grew up. I wanted to never run out of things. It seemed luxurious to be able to retrieve a second jar of jam or box of crackers without having to go to the store. I aspired to living in a house with a pantry with multiple items of the same thing. There were pantries on television, and families said the word pantry on television. I wanted my childhood home to have a pantry, and I wanted to be able to say that word. Most of all I wanted a mother that would say that word.

And This Is What I Know:

Downsizing after divorce





In the interest of being totally candid, and raw, (for anyone that read the post last night) I posted Just Like On TV very late last night. Thank goodness for a friend with an editors eye. This morning he pointed out that he was sure I didn’t mean to write “sizable panty”, rather, sizable pantry…oh well.