Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mom ~ In Loving Memory ~ October 31, 2006


A Mother's love is something that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining, it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendoured miracle we cannot understand
And another wondrous evidenceof God's tender guiding hand.

~Helen Steiner Rice~
Two years ago we said our "good-bye for now"s. Missing Mom today, as every day.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pink Tulips and Yellow Daffodils

This fall I am planting some pink tulip bulbs. Annette's favourite flower was the tulip. It became her favourite after Ryan was born (click here and scroll down for the reason why). It is such an appropriate flower. It comes back year after year. It pushes through the hard soil after a long, cold winter. It brings new life to the garden, year after year. It brings hope for nicer weather, beautiful gardens and good things to come. I can't wait to see them in my garden year after year.

I also bought some yellow daffodils in memory of Mom. Many years ago I bought Mom and Dad some yellow daffodil bulbs to mark their 35th anniversary. Year after year they bloomed in the front yard. When Dad moved, I really wanted to dig up those bulbs and take them with me. I resisted that temptation and left them there. I will probably continue to see them year after year as I walk by (don't forget, I moved into my old neighbourhood). The next best thing to taking them with me was to buy some new ones.
And the best thing was the name of the variety of daffodil: Dutch treat.

'Nuff said.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy Birthday,Tom!

Not only do we measure in applesauce, we measure in years, too. Tom's big day is today.

Happy birthday, Tom! We're so glad you're a part of our family. We're proud of all you've done for your family this year. We love you bunches!

Come on out and say happy birthday to Tom!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another Year of Applesauce.

People measure their years. Most measure from January 1 to December 31. As a teacher, I also measure my years from September to August. Or in seasons. Dance season. Soccer season. This weekend, I measure it in applesauce.

Every fall, we make homemade applesauce. Mom has done it for as long as I can remember. When Dad got home from work, he would jump in and help. Then, for a few years, while we were young adults, the applesauce stopped because it was't eaten all that often. But it began again once we were married. I started helping Mom and Dad on a Saturday so we coud do it together. Then the kids came around and all the grandchildren LOVED homemade applesauce. Wouldn't eat anything else. So it became a tradition that every fall, Dad would get the apples, Mom, Dad and I would make the applesauce and we would enjoy it all year. Several years ago, Annette came down to help too, and took several containers home each time she visited.

Yesterday was applesauce day once again. Dad got the apples and we made buckets full of sauce. It is a great tradition. We drink coffee and cook apples, get take-out lunch and grind apples. Add the sugar and cinnamon and taste-test it. Try to find all the matching lids for the multitude of weird shaped containers. It's a fun and productive day.

As I rinsed the containers, I thought of all the years of applesauce those containers have seen. Mom probably cooked a wonderful meal and opened some of those containers herself. Annette helped fill some of those containers in years gone by. Those containers saw many holidays and special occasions over the years. We've opened a container each and every week over the last two years when we shared a meal with Dad. Those meals have comforted us in our two years of grief.

We are now in a new chapter of applesauce making, new houses, new faces to enjoy it with us. We are missing a part of the tradition. I felt some sadness while rinsing those containers. Missing the times of years gone by. Missing the company of Annette and Mom. But, we have also added new parts to our tradition. Sara helped wash apples. Menny ran for sugar and helped clean up and did the dreaded job of washing the floor after (thanks, Menny!) That is the great thing about traditions. They can change and blend, but they are still traditions.

I know that we will be blessed this year by our hard work yesterday. I know we will enjoy our applesauce in the company of family. It is good.