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  • Writer's pictureBeckie

Recipes - for Gumbo and for Life

As a two-year-old little one I gave the name “JonJon” to my Dad’s mom. She took on this

grandma name with a fervor and ultimately that was the only name she was known by- except for my cousins who refused to acquiesce from Grandma to JonJon. I loved being in her house. The hand-wringer washing machine was on her screened-in back porch. There were paper dolls made from the Sears-Robuck catalog, Barbie dresses from scraps of my dresses and lots of listening to me. I was the girl who got “Talks too Much” checked every six weeks on my report card but she never seemed to mind.

Best of all, though? Her kitchen! There was coffee percolating on the stove and Steen’s sorghum syrup on the table at all times. She made buttermilk pie and gumbo with the very crabs we had caught in the Gulf. I was a junior in high school when she died from cancer. I missed her – and I missed her warm kitchen. I had my own kitchen a few years later and wanted that gumbo! What?! There isn’t a recipe? What does that even mean?! My mom said, “Well, I watched her make it hundreds of times. Let’s try.” It was gumbo, all right – just not JonJon’s gumbo. It never would taste like hers. Now it tasted like mine... not so great - but no one else seemed to mind.

Recipes are important for those things that must be exact and taste the same every. single. time. Mentoring is not like that. That is why so many of us question our qualifications to be a mentor. I don’t even know what to do or say! Where is the recipe? The bullet list? My hope is that my mentor training workbook and the training that will go with it will empower you to take the ingredients from your own life and share the recipes that have worked – there have been failures in life just like failures in the kitchen. It takes some tweaking and sharing the lessons we learned. Begin your own “recipe book”, a collection of bits of wisdom that you are willing to share. You will have an opportunity to take that mentee by the hand and share the failures as well as the delicious successes.

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