Saturday, August 04, 2012

shower time

She stayed up late wrapping little packages of Australian chocolate candy.

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I stayed up late baking meringues, but she stayed up later. My little girl is very exact in the ways she approaches her responsibilities. Ed retreats to the sheepshed. Too much wedding stuff... he mumbles.

But, in the middle of the night, he is back, asking before the sun breaks the horizon – what do you need me to do today?
Pick up extra chairs from Paul’s. Move the dead branches. Harvest the tomatoes... Thank you.
We sleep a few minutes more, but by 6 I’m up, still baking meringues.

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What’s with the meringues, anyway? The short of it: ‘pavlovas’ (meringue with cream and macerated fruits) are the national dessert of Australia.  We’re picking up the theme of Australia for my older girl’s wedding shower because (eventually, after the fall semester) she and her (gulp) husband (that felt strange to say... but good, too... very good) will be taking a honeymoon break there.

Before things move quickly forward, I take a pause with my guys on the porch: Ed, Isis and I, eat breakfast as we always do: slowly, deliberately.

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My little girl and I pick up sandwiches at a bakery downtown. That’s the easy break: I’ll make dessert, I’ll create a salad, I’ll chop fruits into a white sangria, but we’ll let someone else put in a creative touch into sandwiches.

And because it’s a bakery, we may as well pick up some back-up cookies. You can’t go wrong with extra cookies.

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At home, things are at stages of near readiness. Flowers. Everywhere you look, you'll see flowers. Large and small bunches of them.

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The fruits are cut, the white sangria is steeping...

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I'd painted a sign. I put it out on the dirt driveway.

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Okay. After weeks of tweeking and watering, the plants by the entrance path look good. Green. Welcoming, I think.

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The first car load arrives, the fiancée leaves....

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My girls exchange a big hug...

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Ed brings over the sandwiches from the sheep shed fridge. Here's an idea: put them out in the crates we lugged back from the Languedoc. Okay!

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The sangria is poured...

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...and lightened by a small amount of soda water...

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Guests arrive, settle in...

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The fun begins. My little girl has planned well. There are quizzes, treats, and of course, wonderful gifts to open...

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Thunder rumbles loudly outside. (They say it's the shout of a departing heatwave.) For a short while, it rains steadily, creating an excuse to linger... to enjoy a few minutes more, to eat the apricot-raspberry almond Pavlovas...

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Evening comes. Shower’s done – both inside and out. 

 Big sister tackles her little sister in a grateful hug.

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Me, I tackle the house: it needs to be brought back to its more quiet state. My little girl helps and then gets ready to join a dozen or so of their friends for an evening out...

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Boundless energy. Theirs, wonderfully theirs. But it rubs off. I get to share in it, every now and then. 

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They tell me that there is a custom of using shower ribbons to fashion a bouquet for the wedding rehearsal. My little girl has quickly created one today. It's ready for the late September ceremonies.

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