Sunday, August 10, 2008

Random tidbits from CA

Home Alone
Well almost alone! If you don’t count the dog who wants to be #1 and the cat who is #1, then Larry is home alone but always in my heart, body and soul, forever and ever.

Mimi’s Café
Where to eat when we go out to dinner when visiting my mom? Mimi’s! Where else would I want to go?

Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it’s all good. The decor is all about Mardi Gras and New Orleans: Pictures, memorabilia, and art hung from every available wall space but not gaudy looking, just comfortable--“Big Easy” style. I haven’t eaten anything there that I don’t like and my mom’s favorite thing is the dark, rich, moist carrot raisin bread they serve while waiting for your meal to be prepared.

I want a Mimi’s Cafe in Whatcom County. I wrote them and told them I wanted a Mimi’s Cafe. My brother Jerry has one in Arkansas, so why can’t I have one in my backyard?!!

Sunday Supper
Sunday afternoon Mary and I went off to the store to buy the makings for dinner of soup and sandwiches before our canasta game. Mary later said we were just getting our daily dose of “C” when we wound up eating chips, cheese, and chocolate with a little sweet tea for Sunday supper. I wonder if Mary put that in the canasta journal.

Spoiled Rotten
My favorite summer salad of cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes would have been more than enough for dinner, but mom made one of her casseroles and we had a feast with watermelon to snack on and blackberry cobbler for dessert.

Pie dough cookies with sugar and cinnamon for an afternoon snack brought back fond memories of baking with my mom. Mom said she hadn’t made these cookies in…she couldn’t remember when.

Sitting around the dinner table sharing stories or telling stories about adventures in between visits is the glue that binds our lives together.

The Surprise
When I first moved to Washington ten years ago, I would write an email newsletter to my family each week to let them know how we were doing in our new home. I had never lived more than two and half hours away from my parents and family, and most of my life I lived only twenty minutes away from them. Now two states and about nine hundred miles, makes it seem like a million miles some days. My kids missed their weekly family dinners or just dropping in on a Saturday to say hi for a short visit.

How could I stay connected even though we weren’t physically close by? I began to write about living in our new home on the beach, the kids settling into school, looking for a our own home to buy and all the little things that happen during an average week.

My dad loved to read about our new adventures and mom said he would sometimes re-read the emails a number of times. Several computer hard drive crashes later and all the copies of my emails were lost, or so I thought. My mom surprised me with copies of all those early writings, thinking that some day my children would like to have them. This was an unexpected surprise, like finding the only photograph of a long lost relative and the sense of joy it brings.

Smarter and wiser, I now have a backup drive and we are about to have online storage so never again will photos, letters, documents, be left to chance stored on my computer.

Jelly Jars, Cookie and Pie Tins
Jim came down to have dinner with the family on Tuesday. He brought back all his empty jelly jars to my mom and when he went home that night she gave him a new supply of jelly along with a peach cobbler. I wonder if he will try to return the pie tin for refills like he does his jelly jars. Silly me, I left my cookie tin at home.

The Suitcase
One bag and fifty pounds, which is the airlines new limits when you travel. My bag only weighed thirty-seven pounds when I flew down and now it was fifty-two pounds. Fifty-two pounds and I don’t have everything packed. What to do? What don’t I need until November? One by one I pulled all the extra miscellaneous items I accumulated after I arrived, and now I had to make decisions. What goes home, what stays at mom’s? Art supplies can stay, the new blue pumps my sister gave me have to go home with me, the camera from the garage sale can wait and the scrapbook paper needs to go (it was just too good a deal to pass up). It’s not a matter of space, just weight. How much can I get into my carry-on bag and still have room for the naked lady flower bulbs? Priorities! I guess I will have to start bringing a small suitcase as my carry-on bag in the future.

I hate saying good-bye. It doesn’t matter if I am the one leaving or the one being left behind. My sister Suzie told me when I was about twelve that it is always harder being the one left behind. Missing someone you can not see whenever you want because you are parted by miles is not easy. When it is your mom it is even harder.

I treasure every moment we have together when I go for a visit. Gardening, cooking, playing cards, reading the newspaper over a cup of tea, it really is the simple things in life that mean the most.

I’m already looking forward to Thanksgiving when Larry will come home with me for a family celebration.

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