Happy Birthday Jenny!

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On Friday, the wind changed and suddenly, the climate was remarkably warmer. Daddy had a doctors’ appointment.  Thankfully all went well with that , and  since it is a three day week end, I headed north . . .to Elizabeth City.  I had not seen the grandchildren, since Christmas night, and I think this may have been the longest stretch yet, since Lyla was born, to not have seen them.  On top of that,  Jenny has a birthday on Monday.   “Happy Birthday Jenny!”

The drive over the three bridges,  was lovely.  The sky was interesting enough to be a painting.  One day, I will paint, I thought.  Before, I joined the work force (or the rat race), I painted  and I have lofty notions of doing so again. Ironically, my first drawings were of rabbits!  

Lyla ran to me the minute I walked in the back door.  We hugged for a long while, for we had missed one another.   Brynn, now four months old, looked on with curiosity as  if she was trying to recall a familiar face.  Within a few  minutes, we were on the way to see Wills’ mom  and my friend, Miss Claudia.  We had a nice dinner and the visit was a nice conclusion to the day.

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Lyla woke up on Saturday morning, full of ideas about her moms’ birthday, which is on Sunday.  She talked about making a strawberry cake and taking Jenny to Disney World.  She was willing to give all of the money in her piggy bank to make sure that Jenny had a “fun and magical” birthday. We made a card, and Lyla dictated a long  and loving message that ended with how glad she was to have “a beautiful husband and a beautiful wife, for parents”.   . .I agree with all my heart. I could not have hoped for more, for my only grandchildren. “Happy Birthday, Jenny!”

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  Will and Jenny went out in the evening.  They met up with several couples that I have come to love, too.   They are  a close knit group and are so thoughtful of one another. Their children call me “Honeybee” . . .well,  they all call me “Honeybee”.  Brynn did a fair share of fussing, but when Jenny came in, both girls were sound asleep.

Now, Sunday morning came and with it rain.  Lyla got up extra early, for she was ready for our first celebration.  We had decided to fix “honey cakes” -fancy ones and topped with whipped cream.  We went about our work and soon the kitchen smelled wonderful with morning aromas .  The  smells of almond honey cakes and coffee  mingled   Lyla carried a bouquet of flowers to present  to her mom, when we were ready to serve.  Of course we had candles and sang the song.  Jenny made a big production about the affair, which delighted Lyla . . . and me too.

After breakfast, Lyla and  I went right back to the kitchen to make the strawberry cream cake.  We used two bowls for that and then a third one  for the icing.  While the cake cooled, we made a blueberry crumble for Miss Claudia.  We spent a good deal of the morning in the kitchen and neither of us were sorry for it. Of course, we listened to music.  Lyla says now, her favorite piece  is “The Swan”.

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In the afternoon, Will and Jenny worked on some household chores.  I told Lyla stories -stories about giants and fairies and magic shoes to fly with.  There were kittens and robins and peppermint flowers.  Lyla never turns down a chance to hear stores.  She cried when the talking kitten got lost and Lyla always wants a villain, usually a skeleton or a witch and she bravely speaks her truth, when they show up.  If they do not listen, she calls the police.

  I fixed Jennys’  supper , from her birthday menu, fried chicken, creamed potatoes and turnips and peas.  No one complained, but Will does not like peas.

 I saw the full moon with its’ titles and fanfare.   I only saw a tad of the eclipse though.  I had read enough to know that this was quite a historical event.  I pondered the science and considered the Divine order of such a wonder.  I have never had to perform but simple calculations, and do not pretend to comprehend the magnitude of things like “light years” and “black holes”-even gravity is a mystery to me.  I like every moon, even if it shows up without a fancy prelude.  No moon is ever ordinary to me.

Monday came and with it a chilling rain.  When the rain stopped, a cold wind blew, that seemed to bite!  The temperature plummeted to single digits.  Most southeners do not even have adequate coats  for such conditions and we must rummage for our gloves, for we have but a pair.  Snow and ice are so seldom here, but I always regret not having a warm coat and boots, when we do get it. The wind finally died down in the evening.  The sunset was stunning.  I love winter sunsets.  It is always a silent occasion and what beautiful hues cascade over the landscape.  A clear winter night is so very spectacular.

 After french toast for Jennys’ birthday farewell breakfast, Jenny and Will continued their mission to organise every closet.  Bags and boxes were sorted in stacks by the door for donations. At some point we would have to brave the cold and carry them out. Until then, we all worked and passed little Brynn  between us at frequent intervals.  Brynn is an especially beautiful baby-and I haven’t a bit of shame in saying so.

 Lyla and I made a big pot of soup and another pot of chicken and pastry.  I gave Lyla a piece of dough to work with.  She rolled it, patted it and kneaded more than any pastry dough deserved.  I made pimento cheese too, but Lyla wanted no part of that.  Wills’ dad was expected in the late afternoon, and so I felt the least I could do, was have Jennys’ kitchen stocked for her special guest.

Of course, parting is always such sorrow and there is nothing sweet about it.  Coming home to Christian, is my saving grace.  Cash, my boxer and Christopher Robin, my silver gray  cat  are also a “Godsend”.  I know I will fall back into my routine and tasks will present themselves til at last I know I will make it.  I have just never mastered the art of tending a mostly empty nest.  Now, the last post I made was a horrible mess.  Some contents were just missing altogether and the whole thing ended abruptly.  I was shocked when I saw it .  Attempts were made to fix it-and they every one failed.  I have mustered the courage to post this one with high hopes that it will at least make good sense.  Time will tell . . .  as it always does.

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11 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Jenny!

  1. I love this account of a loving family spending time together engaged in activities that will last a lifetime in minds and hearts. How wonderful for the children to be an integral part of the celebration. I want to wish you the very best life has to offer for today, tomorrow and all the days and years that follow always, Jennie. You are such an inspiration to all of us. Peace and blessings always, Anne

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  2. Happy late birthday to Jenny. I am reading that you were well taken care of by Honeybee and her graceous helper. Honey cakes for breakfast must be a treat for sure.
    More rain here. I’m sure the ground is rotten and several trees in the fields have fallen. To much of a good thing but not much we can do but listen to the tin roof music.
    Spring is wispering ….can you hear.

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  3. It all makes perfect sense and is perfectly lovely of you to share such sweet going’s on with us. I always feel so warm hearted and grateful that there are such close and loving families as yours in the world. What a hopeful thing. Love to you Michele.

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  4. What a lovely birthday weekend! That’s great that no moon is ever ordinary for you. I heartily agree. I think it’s marvelous that the moon changes so that you can almost see it happen, but we can’t even look directly at the sun.

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  5. A beautiful post that made complete sense. Happy birthday to Jenny! My daughter lives in North Carolina, and she reported on how cold it was. Just like Maine, we agreed, except we Mainers are very well prepared for the cold. Hope your cold weather has passed.

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  6. Makes sense to me :). I loved reading about your family time MIchele. I miss my grandchildren and wish they were not 4 hours aways. Four hours isn’t terrible but in winter it is too far to go at times.
    Wish your Jennie a happy birthday from me!

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