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Cherish the Darkening Days

The darkening days draw us in. Into groups around fires with food and laughter,

we are reminded on one holiday and then another throughout the Winter that we have meaning.

Fiona and Joyce on shalavee.com

We are loved as human beings and sisters and daughters and Mothers.

Eamion and Fiona at Grammy's on Shalavee.com

As we gather with our families and our friends and we count with them the purposes and connections we have in our lives, we are inwardly focused on our basic needs. Mary Beth and Robert for dinner on shalavee.com

Those of community and hope and love.

Eamon and Caitlin on shalavee.com

And when you add pie and gravy to all of this, it is as close as one can get to heaven without buying a ticket.

Remember those you have lost and cherish the ones remaining even harder.

Happy Thanksgiving Lovely People!!!

Family Feasts and Football

We had occasion to go to my Mother-in-Law’s for dinner on a recent Sunday. The air outside has begun to get nippier. And we hustled onto the enclosed porch catching sight of Grammy at the sink in her Orioles t-shirt.

As she opened the kitchen door, she greeted the littlest one first as we all moved into the kitchen. The smell of her cooking hit me. A familiar mix of older people’s house and the simmering dinner. But then my brain pushed this aside for the sound of the whistles on the TV. Football season. And I anticipated the sad and glad memories of this family and families everywhere gathering for their upcoming Thanksgiving feasts and holiday celebrations. Everyone looking forward to the possibility of being together. That isn’t a given anymore. The sentimentality of holidays and the upset that arises around unresolved differences, is still a testament to the bonds of family. And the tenuousness of their time together.

Football Sundays spent with in-laws. Supper interrupting. A special desert and the celebration of someone’s birthday. Watching children get to know their aunts and uncles. And imagining the future when my children will come home from their lives abroad in the world. Me cooking feast food in the kitchen. And perhaps I’ll make sure the football game is on and the whistles are blowing just for the background music. To feel complete.

 

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And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Our Day At the Alpaca Farm

Last weekend, we took the opportunity to leave the house with the children (if we have to) and went to an event at the Outstanding Dreams Alpaca farm here in Caroline county. I’ve taken Eamon there before and he really enjoyed these odd and peaceful creatures. This time, we had Fiona with us, lover of all animals. She giggles at squirrels and fearlessly approaches horses and sticks her fingers up their noses.

Fiona spotted the alpaca at the Outstanding Dreams Farm on Shalavee.com

Fiona's smile at the Outstanding Dreams Farm on Shalavee.com

outstanding dreams farm on Shalavee.com

Fiona at the Outstanding Dreams Farm on Shalavee.com

Cornbox play at the Outstanding Dreams Farm on Shalavee.com

Cornbox play at the Outstanding Dreams Farm on Shalavee.com

The event happens every year and featured antique cars, a bouncy ride, pony rides (Eamon’s nervous he’ll fall off), a cornbox, and vendors selling their wares. Highland Creamery from Oxford had a Scottsman scooping ice cream. So it was a quick and happy visit to hang out on a farm with fellow humans and a bunch of soft furry alpacas.Eamon on a pony ride at the Outstanding Dreams Farm on Shalavee.com

The Outstanding Dreams Farm on Shalavee.com

Alpaca wool was being spun into yarn and dyed right there on the path in and out. So soft and warm and so not itchy. And animals are dear and only have one row of teeth so there’s no biting to fear. The owners are the sweetest nicest kindest people. We’ll venture out at least this time next year when their event happens again.

Goodbye Pop Pop

With a heavy sad heart, I convey the news that last night, Mark’s Dad passed away while in hospice care. He was released from his tired body and has moved on to his soul’s next purpose. His passing was at the end of a gradual decline as we watched congestive heart failure take him day by day. To know that he is no longer suffering is an immense relief to his loved ones although it’s hard to explain to a 9 year-old what that means. Wanting someone to die to have them no longer be in pain.

Pop Pop and Fiona

Pop Pop was dear, funny, and generous with his love and care. Two miracle granddaughters were born last year and I never saw him happier than when he was gitchy-gooing a grandbaby.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

My son was asked to do a project in school on a family member who had served in the military. Pop Pop served on a destroyer for four years during the Korean War, starting at age 17. So this is the paper quilt that Eamon made to commemorate him.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

The pieces are different scenes from the story of Pop Pop’s ship and how he was feeling about serving his country. I retrieved the art piece today from Eamon’s school so that we can put it on display at the funeral parlor.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

Pop Pop’s and Eamon’s birthdays were so close together in April that we often had joint parties for them.  This photo below was just 5 years ago. It was and wasn’t so long ago, you know?

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These will be the memories I will hold of him. Him loving on Eamon and Fiona. His cheering Eamon on at soccer and baseball games. And that incident where Eamon threw up on himself at the McDonald’s inside the Wal-mart in Easton, Maryland, and Pop Pop stripped him down on the tailgate of the SUV in January to put him in clean clothing. He was a take care of it kind of guy and I am immensely grateful that my husband is much of the man I love because of him. We will miss you Terry. Say hi to Uncle Dick for us.

Easter Birthday Earth Day Holiday Weekend

This past weekend was the Spring Break, Easter, Eamon’s Birthday, and Earth Day weekend. It was a 4 ½ day extravaganza of playing, egg hunting, and family visiting. I had done all of my house cleaning and blog prepping and I actually was able to enjoy myself for a couple of days. We ate and laughed and opened presents and ate some more. Monday I posted and pondered what visiting with family and sharing our children means. Here’s the pictorial proof of our doings for the Holiday Weekend.

Eamon and Matthew

Cousin Matthew and Eamon

Sue and Fiona

Sue aka the Easter chicken with Fiona

Fiona's special egg hunt.

Fiona’s special egg hunt.

She had streamers for her hunt.

She had streamers for her hunt.

Sparkly Easter eggs at the end of the streamers.

Sparkly Easter eggs at the end of the streamers.

 

 

the Easter chicken

The official Easter chicken trophy

 

dying Easter eggs on Shalaveee.com

Dying Easter eggs with Aunt Michelle

Dyed Easter eggs on Shalavee.com

A gator puppet from Florida

A gator puppet from Florida

Easter baskets yay!

Easter baskets yay!

Shalagh and Michelle

Me and my sister Michelle at Out of the Fire restaurant in Easton, MD

Wendy, Dad, and Fiona

Wendy, Fiona, and Dad at breakfast at the Tidewater Inn in Easton, MD

Easter baskets for the guests on Shalavee.com

Easter baskets for the big visitors

Piazza in Easton, Maryland on Shalavee.com

Prosciutto from Piazza for the adult Easter baskets

Bagguettes at the Easton Farmer's market on Shalavee.com

Baguettes form the Easton, MD Farmer’s Market

Pussy willows at the Easton Farmer's market on Shalavee.com

Pussy willows from Seaberry Farm at the Easton, MD farmer’s market

Stock, willow, and cherry blossom branches from Seaberry Farm on Shalavee.com

Stock, willow, and cherry blossom branches

The fried ice cream for his birthday dinner at Cafe Sado

The fried ice cream for his birthday dinner at Cafe Sado

Playing with the chain dividers at Cafe Sado

Playing with the chain dividers at Cafe Sado

Eamon's Birthday present on Shalavee.com

Eamon’s Birthday present!

Truly what any holidays should be about : family, food, wine, and fun. Almost makes up for the stinky Spring weather.

Have a happy joy-filled weekend.

 

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