Sunday, July 28, 2013

Golden Pie Weekend



The planets aligned this weekend.
Three crazy busy families were able to share probably the most beautiful weekend of the summer together.
At my house.
In my garden.
Into my life.
And I am refreshed and encouraged and grounded by two lovely young women; one I gave birth to, the other I 'adopted' into my heart.  Both of them came toting the younger of their children.  A special treat for all involved.  While the absence of the elder children was felt, it was also a good, good thing to get some one on one with the youngers.  It was also good to see how dependent the youngers are on their older sibs for modeling and companionship.  Did our hearts good to see them miss their brother and sister in their own ways.

If I had just one reason for learning to sew, it would have been to be able to meet my beloved Pretend Daughter, Kris.
Because of her keen styling sense, she approached my daughter in their Bradley Classes in regard to the bags that my daughter carried, made by my hand. The normally subdued, somewhat shy PDK, asked my daughter about the bags that she carried and thus began our adoption process.  PDK and I are kindred in many areas and 'get' each other.  PDK's mama left this earth far too soon and as my relationship with PDK develops, I find that her mama and I would probably had been very good friends.  It is with great pleasure that I care for this young woman in a minimal, long distance kinda way that I believe her own mama would have been pleased with.
I just love this child bearing, droll humoring, garden hugging, book reading, crafting, husband loving, organically influenced, gourmet chef, pie baking young friend of mine.



 Did I mention pie?
I have no skill for pie.
I am too scared to make it work.  I overwork and over heat to make it any good.
I have to make up new names for the mess that it ends up being just to justify the effort.
When I found out that PDK puts together a pie at the drop of a hat, I swooned.  I do so admire pie bakers.
I had her attend my first mama's collection retreat to instruct us other not so nimble bakers, all her skills.  I took notes and watched and then later experimented.  And it got more comfortable.  I could even say that perhaps I can now say, with the right recipe, courtesy of Cook's Illustrated and freezing cold vodka, I can now make an acceptable pie.

When PDK noted on Facebook that she had collected buckets of blueberries recently, my little taste buds suddenly wokied up with dreams of fresh, blueberry pie.
The confluence of events came together when a mid summer visit was planned with Eldest/Admin and PDK and the Two Youngers.
After a bit of suggesting and begging, I was assured that berries were coming my way.

 I did have to build up quite the gumption to bake a pie for my Pie Idol.  But because of her acceptance of me and all my flaws, I pursued on to Pie Nirvana.

While the two buddies visited under the janked up umbrella I fashioned to keep them sheltered from the rays, I quietly scampered into the kitchen to create what turned out to be the Pie Epic.
Yes. In my very kitchen.  And with the resounding approval of the one that I would like most to impress.

The ladies came into the kitchen as I was putting the Epic together and I listened to the story by PDK about the day that she picked the bountiful blueberries.  Her two children accompanied her to the berry ranch.  She told of their childlike stamina and of the fun that such a jaunt provides.  She told of the chance meeting of others in her family at the same blueberry ranch.  While she spoke, my mind started unfolding the passion and love that this humble pie was beginning to represent.

Here I was, on this most temperate day, listening to the young ladies resting in my vintage lawn chairs as their children slept and they kept watchful ears to the monitors turned to their precious babes.  I listened as they shared their lives and hopes and thoughts. I mixed and rolled and cooked, doing the very thing that I love most in the world - making my lovelies comfortable and comforted.

I thought about the love the berries represented.  How PDK gathered and  picked and carried three hours in ice to get to me fresh and bake worthy.  I thought of the love of my E/A and her willingness to share her mama with this wonderful friend.  I thought of the tutelage of many a pie from my ever watchful Hubby.  I thought of the loving, detailed God that I serve, allowing this kismetian weekend to occur, custom made for me.

We oohed and ahhed while the perfume of this masterpiece permeated the air.  We patiently waited for it to cool properly by walking the dogs and babies.  We tested and guessed and proclaimed it Ready.

Hubby had hustled off the store to get just the right vanilla ice cream to accompany this gastronomic event.

I cut into it.
It did not run.
It did not stick.
It was golden in just the right places.
The steam from it was just the right temperature.
The ice cream melted just the right amount.
And I presented PDK the first piece, the silence of reflection and our anticipation was palpable.

And then it happened.
It was pronounced the Best Pie Ever.

I'm sure it was because she was in my presence and I had just fed her the Ultimate Summer Supper that encouraged her enthusiastic statement, but it melted my heart as easily as the ice cream on that very warm pie.


Even her three year old son appreciated the yumminess of the event.  Leaving barely a morsel and essentially nothing on his face and clothes and looking for more on his mama's plate, made this eager to please Mimi, euphoric.


We sat for awhile extolling the virtues of pie.  I pronounced it an act of love.  I pronounced pie making a gift, beyond just a dessert.  I pronounced it a wonderful way to end an amazing day. 





 (Did I mention that PDK is also a certified massage therapist?  Did I mention that she carried her portable, heated massage table 3.5 hours to allow me to enjoy the fruits of her wonderful training and enjoy the Best Massage I Ever Had Right in My Own Front Room.  I could cry.  I did.)

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of friends who arrive bearing more gifts than they are even aware of.....)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Wonderfulness

Let me get this straight.  I am not a crier.  Ask my family.  Ask my friends. Hubby is the designated crier in our family.  Commercials, movies, news reports, sermons, the sight of his grandchildren, a low balance on our Discover card, you name it - he cries.
Not me.
Nope, hard hearted Hannah this girl.  Years of callous built up on this heart and I can stare down a bully at 2 feet and win.
However.
Lately, I have found a bit of Crying Karma visiting my squishy heart these days.
Lately, I have been known to excuse myself rather than be caught up in the throes of a heavy duty cry.
Why is this?
Hormonal imbalance?  Overdose of real life? 
Who knows.  But I do know that it has knocked me on my keister.  Having no governor on my previous reigned in emotions has made me vulnerable to all sorts of breakdowns of late.


 Hear me clear: I am not sad.  I am not overwhelmed in a negative way necessarily but I am moved to a point lately that I cannot contain all the emotions welling up within me even with my iron will constitution still firmly in place.
 I blame it on grandchildren.
Yep.  That is the start of it and I'm pretty sure the undoing of this previously very controlled lady.


 And it's not just the grandchildren that is the root of all this emotion.  It's their blamed parents.
It is the progeny, the fruit of my loins that has me all in a dither.
It is the realization that these people, that formerly lived in my home 24/7, not to mention my womb for nine months, that has me over the top.


 You pray, you hope, you research, you read, you cajole, you threaten, you yell, you cry (well, some do), you cross your metaphorically speaking fingers and hope to the Dear Lord that  you did something right.

And then, and then, they have children.  They become these people that you love to visit.  These people that make you laugh, make you proud, make you glad that you gave birth to them.  These people are highly functioning, amazingly friendly, witty beyond belief, servants of God.  And it truly has nothing to do with me.


Your children have children.  You visit when it is acceptable for it is not about you.  Never has been.  You watch their family dynamic.  You quietly work around, tiptoeing, not really wanting to disturb the magic that you are observing.  You want to be a fly on the wall but in a helpful way.  You wish that your lackluster memory could contain all the images that you are soaking in:  Daddy comes home from work.  You know that he has worked long and hard and has to be bushed after not getting much sleep because of a newborns sleep habits.  You see his tired face come into the door and in the background you hear this high pitched little voice run toward her daddy enthusiastically,  'Daddy's home! Daddy's home!, arms reaching up. The previously weary employee magically alters into the super hero his little daughter thinks he is. He brightens, and when asked, 'Daddy, you play with me?' agrees to joining her little gathering of stuffed animals and proceeds to voice each little fuzzy buddy with a hilarity that makes me laugh out loud.  Magical stuff.  And this has been  repeated in each of the babymoons that I have participated in with my three producing (so far) children.

Hence the tears.

I am a peripheral observer in these homes.  Sure, I have a place in their hearts.  Sure, I have served my time as their priority, as it should be. My time with them as influence and advisor is over. And they are doing  quite well without my daily input, thank you very much. They have lives and circles of friends and futures in continuing generations.  When Maddox, the little angel I just spent time with, is a mere 20 years old, I shall, Lord Willing, be 80 years old.  Reality Check.  I am quite alright with the fact that I am mortal.  I am quite alright with the idea that my prime has passed and that I shall be peripheral in most things from henceforth.
But the overwhelming emotion I feel when I see, I feel, the amazing joy, in the result of the hopefulness many years ago, well, it gushes out into submissive sobbing at the goodness of our God and how He works.  He took a crazily dysfunctional girl, placed her in the life of just the right boy and what comes forth, can only be credited to our Lord.

I weep for the joy, I weep for the heartache that young people face while raising families, I weep for the pain of challenging situations that only make you stronger but painful to watch.  I weep for all the joys ahead of them; some of them with me in the picture, some of them not.  I weep for their futures, for the depth of the love that they will experience as they add years to their marriages and as they watch their own children please them in the way that they have over the top pleased me.

I weep in my humanity and in God's goodness...

To God be the Glory and He will dry my abundant tears in due time...

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