1969 – What I wouldn’t have given to go to Woodstock.  Joe Cocker.  Hendrix.  Joplin.  Richie Havens.  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.  All my favorites were playing.  But I was too young and it was too far away from where I lived.     

So, I, like a million other young adults watched the spectacle on TV.  Next time, I told myself – I’d go next time.   Well, the next Woodstock was in 1994 and by that time I was already well beyond going to a jam-packed concert.   

In fact, the closest I’ve ever come to attending an event with “stock” in its name involves one with chicken, vegetable or beef.  And takes place in my kitchen.  Now, I’m not a good cook and never pretended to be one, although I can throw together a pot of chicken soup.  All my creativity has gone into putting words together to form a story, not into mixing ingredients to make a meal.   

Read this next: Texting Trauma

But in recent years (now that I live with an excellent chef) I’ve come to understand and appreciate the creativity in cooking.  And I realize that that every meal tells a story.      

Back in those pre-Woodstock days the meals were mostly prepared by our moms, confirming the story that men brought in the bacon and the women cooked it.  Those home cooked family dinners (in which all five food groups were represented) told of an era where families could live on one income.  Where moms were home in the afternoon to help with homework and watch kids play out in the street until dusk.  Where fathers came home from work, put up their feet, read the paper and relaxed.  Where families talked to each other over lamb chops and green beans and afterwards watched TV. 

By Woodstock “…the times they were a-changin’…”. As more women went to work, the crock-pot became a kitchen fixture.  Meals told the story of the two income family, where mom now had less time to spend in the kitchen.  But still, families talked to each other over these one-pot meals and afterwards watched TV.       

To today’s kids that may seem old-fashioned and dull.  What?  No Internet. No Facebook. No cell phones. No texting. OMG!  Mom, how did you ever exist?  How did you know what everyone else was doing while you were at home just watching TV?     

Well, we did just fine.  I’ve made it past the half century mark and not only do I have most of my brain cells, I have most of my same friends.   

In fact, this afternoon as I chop carrots, parsnips and onions, I have my CD player on full blast.  Joe Cocker is singing live from Woodstock –“Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends….I get high with a little help from my friends…gonna try with a little help from my friends…” 

And this soup I’m preparing—it tells the story of a woman who is going to call up those friends and invite them over for dinner.  Be here by six. 


Janie Emaus believes that when the world is falling apart, we're just one laugh away from putting it together again.  She writes about how life is NOW compared to THEN, with her special blend of funny and sweet. She is the author of the time travel romance, Before the After, and the young adult novel, Mercury in Retro Love.  And she has an essay in the Best Selling humor anthology, You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth.  She is a staff writer at In The Powder Roomand blogs frequently for The Huffington Post. She is proud to be named a 2013 BlogHer Voice of the Year. To learn more about Janie visit her blog www.theboomerrants.com and her website www.JanieEmaus.com.