The drive to Elizabeth City, on Friday was a pleasant one. The three rivers , I cross, were full of shining, peaceful waters and the sky above them was a friendly shade of blue. The sunlight fell gently casting faint shadows.
Lyla was napping when I arrived. I sat on the porch admiring the day. I watched the “laughing river” tumbling happily by. Moments later, Miss Claudia (Wills’ mom and my friend) came in. Will and Jenny were going out for dinner and so Lyla had both of her grandmothers at her “beck and call”. Things were going along nicely til Lylas’ program went off and the remote proved to be quite a challenge. Lyla did not take this well, which did not help at all. Somehow, we either bought or rented a movie-we are still not sure, which happened. It was a Christmas movie and Lyla quieted down-and so all was well, when Will and Jenny came home.
Saturday dawned and right off, I thought the sky looked suspicious. The air was damp,and cooler than the day before. It seemed quite fitting conditions for Saint Patricks’ Day. Jenny and I got started early, sorting through all of Lylas’ clothes. Warm weather clothing replaced bulky coats. Little cardigans with tulips and butterflies hung where the heavy coats used too. The pale pink “Easter dress” was hung last. Piles of clothes lined the walls . . .some to be returned to the friends that lent them, some to lend and some to be packed away. We couldn’t help but wonder aloud about the baby, Jenny will have in September.
Lyla and I spent a good deal of time in the kitchen, that afternoon. We made fifty cheese biscuits for the gathering, hosted by the “Donahues”. If you can imagine a toddler and a five pound bag of flour, in the same vicinity, you can also imagine what sort of things unfolded in the kitchen. The angelic sound of the “The Flower Duet”- and flour dust filled the air, creating a heavenly look . . and I laughed aloud. When the first batch was ready, I gave Lyla the smallest biscuit and she ate it standing in a small heap of flour, in her chair.
That night, a terrific storm descended on the “Riverside” village . There was thunder and lightening with heavy downpours and I was so grateful, that Will and Jenny were home “safe and sound”. Some things never change.
On Sunday, Lyla and I watched robins and redbirds prepare for their day. They were a busy lot for a long while. When they flew away, Lyla wished them well and waved good bye. . . then we went back to the kitchen. We were on another mission.
Miss Claudia had mentioned a coconut cake, on Friday night. The “Flour Girls Bakery” had posted a picture of an elaborate coconut cake. Miss Claudia seemed to take quite a fancy to that picture and so I devised a plan then and there to bake a coconut cake, before I left. In the meanwhile, Jenny decided she wanted a cheesecake. This kept Lyla and I busy for a while. As usual, Lyla did not like the mixing to end and complained when the batter was poured to bake. She took some comfort that we needed to make icing, next. When we made the cheesecake, Lyla could not understand why it looked like a pie.
I carried Miss Thelma a few biscuits and still warm coconut cake, an hour later. She was sitting in the sun, on her porch and so we visited there. Her silver locks became her, so did her smile. She ate a biscuit and told me she had a birthday recently and had turned ninety four. Miss Thelma, has a story, and I want to hear it.
Jenny was not feeling well when I returned. In that case, I decided to delay leaving. It was almost six o’clock, when I thought to ask the time. I was alarmed and worried about having to drive in the dark. I had everything loaded in the car, or else, I may would have spent the night. I needed to take Miss Claudia her cake and I needed gas, too. I left hurriedly and Miss Claudia met me at the door. (She knows I do not like to drive at night.) Without ceremony, I handed her the cake but Miss Claudia had something for me too. She had made a beautiful spring wreath and gave it to me. I was so touched, I wanted to cry. It was perfect for a “rabbit patch”-colorful and whimsical . . . What a cheerful wreath! Now, that was the “icing on my cake”.
As it turns out, I made it home by twilight. I called Jenny to let her know. She was eating cheesecake, but said Lyla would not try one bite. (Lyla loves cake?) Jenny asked her why and Lyla said . . . “I can’t eat pie-because Peters’ daddy was put in a pie, by Mrs. McGregor!”