Saturday, February 07, 2015


Thinking back, I guess I have to admit that I didn't always understand the American parental big picture as my girls were growing up. You'd think I would -- I've lived in this country for a long time, I haven't any language issues, I even went to most of grade school here. But when you yourself haven't lived the entirety of what I would call an American life, you sometimes do not realize the importance of some of the little things. As you're busy playing Polish folk songs during your Sunday cleaning, other moms may be doing something else -- for instance, just a random example -- putting together care packages for their kids at camp.

When my first girl went to camp, I was told that bunk-mates routinely get boxes of goodies to share from home. My reaction was -- well that's curious! first they send off their kids for months away from family, then they send packages of sweets to sweeten the separation!

When my second girl went to camp, I realized that I should have participated in this ritual. It's what you do: you put together a package of treat. But what do I put inside? It wasn't going to be Skittles and gummy bears. And so I baked my daughter's favorite cake and spent a fortune shipping it off to Michigan.

I think it arrived more or less intact.

I was reminded of this today because my littlest one and her husband are driving down today to visit with little Snowdrop and her family (which includes grandma!). Now is the time to bake for her one of her favorites -- Maida Heatter's black and white bundt cake (a defining feature is that it's more black than white), the same recipe that produced the cake that traveled to Michigan nearly 20 years ago.


It will be part of tomorrow's brunch.

Let me go back a bit. To the morning meal:


And to my visit with the cheepers. The temperatures are climbing today and they sense that upward direction because lo! They are on the move!


Well, at least my two bold ones -- Butter and Scotch. I feed them the rest of the corn bread and tell them not to get too heady about the weather. We are only at the beginning of February!

And then it's off to Snowdrop's place where we all unite, waking up the littlest one...


... so that she can visit with her aunt. Oh, you're here aunt! I'm so surprised and happy to see you! 


... you too, my Minnesota Uncle!


It's a long drive from up north. Little Snowdrop feels vicariously tired!


As it's a special occasion, we open a toy from little Snowdrop's Buffalo grandparents and we are all very impressed with the melodies the little babe can produce (with the help of very bouncy feet and batteries)!


We eat Chinese take out...


...and of course, there are plenty of arms to hold little Snowdrop. And little Snowdrop takes full advantage of that.


The love pours from all corners of the room ...and beyond.