This weekend is B’s birthday. The actual day was Friday and we were all at school. Saturday was softball and football games and household chores. Sunday is church, normally, and homework and relaxing, when we can. So, we decided to celebrate the weekend, the entire weekend.
Last weekend, after dropping W off at football, I stopped by the French market and scored some beautiful roses for my wonderful wife. We’ve been buying flowers from the same vendor forever, I can remember making a flower run Mother’s day weekend and almost missing my graduation in ’99. I try to get flowers often throughout the year, even when the French market is closed and they are in a temporary location over the winter. They were beautiful flowers and they always are.
For some reason, the school year has thrown me for a loop, I always seem behind and never seem to be on top of all of the (many) things being thrown at me. I am fifteen days in, my kids – W and O, are on day seventeen and it feels we are deeper in than mid-September. Perhaps it is technology, my school district added several new software packages – grades, education focused, and communication this year and training was only offered in early August, just before school started and I had planned other activities. Don’t read it wrong, I am techno-savvy and was an early adopter a decade ago when the district added Blackboard. I invested quite a bit of time and over the years had built up my courses – geography and Language Arts. With the new software, Blackboard is being replaced and the work, lost. It is replaceable, but the time developing, creating, and organizing, is not. The grade book is very different, too. Perhaps with time, lots of it, I will be competent again, but I feel out of it and behind.
Or, maybe it is that summer came and never really ended. Summer began well, but ended in mid-July when grandpa got sick and we’ve worried prayed for him and grandma. I know B is still pre-occupied, worried and tense, the kids, too in their own way. It is a tough subject and it weighs on us. In the meantime, we carry on and try to remember what he taught us, what he shared, and continue to pray for he and grandma.
Maybe, it is that I have loaded myself up with too much to do and not enough time to do it. I don’t know what it is, but this weekend, I took a breather to celebrate, to regain control, or maybe influence. Nevertheless, I definitely slowed down this weekend. It has been too long since I have written – a blog post or even a letter to my mom, or step mom even though I have received several in the mailbox since just before school began. I was feeling guilty and still am.
Yesterday after the kid’s games – O won, W didn’t but played well, I started to make B’s birthday cake. What really happened was, I started looking for the recipe and we couldn’t find it, so I looked for it on the ‘net and we found it. It is a wonderful cake, an Italian Cream Cake and she makes it for all of our birthdays and for special occasions. It’s so good, it doesn’t matter that we all have the same special cake. She made it for my mom’s 70th birthday a few years ago and everyone loved it. We make it with gluten-free flour and you cannot tell it’s gluten-free. Actually, she made it with me while I watched.
Yesterday was a lazy afternoon, the cake cooled, O played with a friend, W went out wreath selling in the neighborhood, B took a much deserved knap, and I sat down outside on the deck to write a letter. Ivy moved between the yard and the deck sometimes whimpering with hopes to get me to play and other times simply lying down and taking in the warm late summer afternoon as sun beamed through the trees and warmed the deck. O joined me as I was finishing a letter to mom and wanted to join in the fun, letter writing I mean. I helped her get started and she wrote a note her grandmother in Texas. I wanted to write more, but I was out of time and the cake needed frosting. O was all over helping me with the frosting – sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar, yum. When it was done, we frosted it, I did most of the frosting but O helped and offered advice. I had never frosted a cake before and I wanted to make my first attempt to be as good as B’s; She’s a much better baker than I and I will leave it that, but the cake got frosted and it was delicious when we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ last night after dinner.
It is now almost noon and it has been a lazy morning. I thought it would be nice to grab the newspaper and enjoy the deck with doughnuts and coffee. It was a bad idea, the doughnut part that is. They were stale, bland, and disappointing. You’d think or expect that in a big city or large suburb you could find a good doughnut, but not here. Maybe, I was looking in the wrong place and I’ll have to wait for my next trip to the Brown’s Sweet Shop or Goodale’s for a good doughnut.
Regardless, it is time to get moving, or the day’ll pass me by. It’s gonna be a great day getting prepping for the week to come and putting the last one behind me with grading and reflecting. The kids have homework, at least W does, and it’s a beautiful day to celebrate. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one celebration at a time.
Do you have a special cake or birthday tradition for you or your family? Explain.