Sunday, December 27, 2015

the end of a holiday weekend

I am up early. I'll get the cheepers, I mumble to Ed. I may as well do chicken duty. I want to put away dishes and tidy up a bit and more importantly, I want to roll out and bake one last thing: "apple puffies," we used to call them when I first started making them for my family decades ago. They became my younger girl's favorites and though her palate has meandered to bigger and better places, I think we all feel a sentimental attachment to these puff pastry treats.

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I give Ed a few of them for breakfast and I join him for a bowl of fruit...

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... but then I dash off to my daughter's for one last family gathering -- a brunch with those who have not yet left to return home. North, south -- there's lots of driving for them.

We eat our favorites quiches which my younger girl picks up from La Baguette...

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A few last photos for you. For me, really. And they're weighted heavily toward the northern couple, not only because Snowdrop feels so very happy in their embrace...

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(For the record, she cavorts with her grandpa too, and with her Chicago uncle...

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... and Chicago aunt...)

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But Snowdrop's wanderings and my gaze return again and again to my younger daughter and her husband because, well, I'm going to miss these guys. As will Snowdrop when she wakes up from her nap and finds the house without their sweet presence.

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As will my older girl. The closeness between these two sisters is as old as their age and as solid as bedrock granite.

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Still, we have to wrap it up.

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Oh how too familiar that feeling that comes after the final long hug, the wave! Way too familiar.

(She goes off to nap, the rest pack up and head out.)

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Back at the farmhouse, Ed proposes bowling. Definitely a good idea on a day when the house is far too empty and the next family gathering -- not until next year.


  1. How I used to hate endings like this. I always had the fear that what had passed might very well be better than anything that might come after. In some ways, it only really calmed down with marriage to K. Then when we had our first child, the fear that what passed might be better than the future disappeared altogether, and the worry that I'm simply not making the most of the present took hold. Yet the present is just a split second between the past and the future, isn't it? I suspect that sort of vertigo one feels about being trapped in the present that is always disappearing never quite disappears itself. Perhaps that's why people blog?

    1. Do you think that's why you blog? Because for me, I think that the blog came along when I suddenly had time to write (empty nest) and a new digital camera. And I have a lifelong love of both - writing and photography.

      I liked the idea of writing something honest, but with the deliberate purpose of shunning the negative, the critical. If I had a talent for being funny, I would have written a Sedaris type blog, but I don't think I'm strong enough in the humor department to do that. So I do this instead.

      Having reached the age of 62, I'm less anxious about what each day brings.

      But I do sometimes wonder why I have always, always loved travel so much. There's a source of anxiety: if I don't have a trip booked, I feel terribly uneasy.

      Still, I'm okay with not fully understanding why I blog and why I need to travel in the way I do. When people ask, these days I'm quite happy just to say I blog because I like writing (and photography) and I travel because I have always felt that at least one of my feet stayed behind on European soil.

    2. absolutely makes sense to me. and although I don't feel the same way about travel, for my own self, I am delighted to follow along with you. You are such an open-minded and "connectable" traveler. there, I coined a word, I think. but doesn't it sound just right?

    3. Many happy returns of the day(s) spent with your extended family. What a comfortable group! I like the way you cook together. My mother could never even stand anyone in the kitchen with her- she was all a-fluster. Our own kitchen has been renovated to be the gathering place. We too had wonderful, busy family days last week,and now they're behind us, but you be sure to just go over all of the precious moments in your mind. Those moments are never gone :)

    4. It's absolutely why I continue my blog. It's purely for chronicle aspect of it, sort of a baby-book that has grown into a nine-year-old/three-year-old book, a giant scrapbook for my family. At the bottom of the page is a little widget I installed that presents a list of items from that exact day throughout the past eleven years, and looking at that has become a small little highlight of my day. I don't often read what I wrote, but I look at the pictures, smile, and find myself shocked at how much time has passed since incident X. So I guess I'm still hanging on to the past in a sense with it. I suppose I'll always do that. I'm utterly obsessed with the idea of the passage of time.

    5. I see the difference here: age. When my kids were growing up, I kept meticulous photo albums -- on the average -- one thick one per year. More if we traveled. Those were our markers of time.
      But in general, since I am not religious, I have had to let go of concerns over the ticking of the clock because it can drive you nuts to consider your own life in that infinite vastness of space and time. Each day is a treasure. Important. Meaningful even if nothing grand happens. As many have noted, that has become the theme of Ocean.

  2. I hope you know how much I've enjoyed these pictures! So now on to year two!

  3. I'm just glad you blog for whatever reason. Thank you.


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