Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother's Day

At some point in life, everyone has a mother. And a grandmother. Dads, grandfathers too, of course and oftentimes those dads and grandfathers or aunts or total strangers can have a profound influence on the life of the child, over and beyond what a mother might bring to the table. But even if you don't know or don't remember your mom, surely at some point you've wondered -- what was she like, this mother of mine?

You may not be at all like your mother, but I'm going to guess you have at least something of her. We all do. At least some of this (perhaps a wee bit, but maybe a lot) should make you proud.

I drive with Ed to the Flower Factory to buy a replacement plant (but really just to go there and be among flowers -- rare is the Mother's Day when I am not in a place of flowers) and en route we listen to an interview with a Turkish woman who had just written a cookbook. She'd been greatly influenced by her grandmother's cooking and as she describes the way her grandmother formed relationships with people through the food she cooked for them, I'm thinking -- what a beautiful memory she left behind.

It's a cool but dry Sunday, Mother's Day in this country.

It is for me a contemplative and beautiful day -- from beginning to end.

It actually begins for me with a climb up on the roof. I'll go far to snip branches of lilac for a Mother's Day table. Our white lilacs that hug a corner of the farmhouse are rather tall and all the blooms are, of course, toward the top. You can only get to them from the roof.

There! Fragrant and wonderful for breakfast.

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Outside, the crab apples are coming into the peak of beauty. You just can't get enough of their loveliness.

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At the Flower Factory, we admire a bit of landscaping: a constructed stream and pond.

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It's especially interesting to us, because we think that they're building a retaining pond right next to the farmette in the new development. (There's a mighty big hole that's going in to the east of us.) We're wondering whether they'll go to the trouble of landscaping it prettily, or whether they'll ignore the aesthetics of it all. We can only wait, watch and hope.

Back at the farmette, I plant some 15 lilium bulbs and I put in decorative climbing peas. I retreat then inside, to cook dinner. And this is when I see them: four enormous hawks, perched on the barn roof, facing our chickens. The little girls take note and rush toward the shelter of trees, but of course, the hawks can easily give chase. I'm outside instantly, with a broom, waving it madly and making loud noises. I've heard that the presence of humans unnerves hawks and they prefer not to mess with their pray then.

The birds retreat into a row of trees at the edge of the property. I don't let them be. I chase with the broom, screeching all the way. They take flight, but only so far. They dive toward me again and again, as if at war. I persist.

Eventually, I win. They go away. I am so relieved!

Dinner is a table-ful of childhood favorites -- my girls' favorites. We've always started with predinner "small plates" and I continue this habit. Snowdrop is a great fan of roasted beets, olives, pepper strips and of course, a cracker with a sliver of cheese.  Tonight I add a bottle of wine (for those of us who can drink it) gifted by my younger daughter. It makes me feel she's here, too, in some small fashion!

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Oh, here comes the young family, straight from soccer! I point out the young chicks -- they're examining my new plants on the picnic table!

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(Snowdrop is the only soccer player I know who takes a big pink bow to the field with her.)

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At the farmhouse now, opening Mother's Day presents!

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(Snowdrop had already celebrated her own mom's special day. But hugs and snuggles are always in order.)

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And just a few books. Daughter, granddaughter, mother, grandmother.

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So much sweet sentimentality comes rushing forward on this day of mothers! I hope you had a wonderful day of recollections, memories and perhaps a few new joyful moments. Happy Mother's Day indeed!