Scenes from a Birthday
It was a beautiful April morning complete with songbirds, butterflies and hummingbirds zooming about. There was a bit of a cool front that could be felt in the breeze, making sitting under the sun even more enjoyable. I could have anything I wanted for breakfast so I picked macaroni and cheese, of course. It was the most satisfying bowl I have had in a very longtime.
After phone calls and cards, a short walk by my favorite house with all the roses. There was a quick turtle rescue, the lil guy was removed from the middle of the road. We released him in the lake where he very quickly and happily scampered into the water and swam off.
Later that evening I was lovingly gifted a most delicious dinner of crab cakes, stuffed portobello mushrooms, asparagus (I love asparagus) and grilled eggplant topped with pine nuts and balsamic vinegar. My mouth is still watering. This dish needs to become a tradition.
An evening can end quickly after a filling meal like that. I drifted off to dreamland soon after we watched a French horror film and I did some real nesting. Swept and mopped the whole house. There is a very important person coming at any moment.
The two before three.
My husband has great taste in music and it's always a treat to hear him pick out some records. He can arrange them to play in such a way that they create a moment or transport to another era, sometimes catapulting you to new and uncharted settings. He does it with such ease. What some people can do visually with collages, he does with our records.
The other night, on what we thought was surely the eve of our baby's birth, I made homemade corn tortillas and he whipped up some pico de gallo. Hungry, we seemed to take our time making the meal a bit special. The music played on in the background. Dinner did turn out delicious.
Later, we cleaned the house. What I will remember, decades from now, is preparing dinner side by side, taking breaks to time contractions, returning to the kitchen to cook, then sweeping, mopping and scrubbing to several different records: Blossom Dearie, Buddy Morrow, Ken Nordine, old mariachi music, just to name a few. It was a special evening for me. It did not end with a trip to the midwife but with us as a twosome. These evenings of just us are numbered and I have been savoring them rather than rushing past them in frenzied anticipation.
Tonight, once again I celebrated us by making more homemade corn tortillas and picadillo. We watched some beach movies and the baby move. I keep remembering what Roxy said...we met her at a restaurant in Baltimore when I was thirteen weeks along. Roxy said, "Change is coming, three chairs, three plates, three of everything come next year." It was so abstract just a few months ago.
Wild Blackberries: Part Two
I made a three layered meringue cake with berries and whipped cream. It was so yummy and quite the achievement since it was a damp day. I have always wanted to make one but never attempted it. It was easier than I thought it would be. It occurred to me that if I became really great at making these little desserts that maybe they could one day become a family tradition.
This was an early birthday cake I made for us, all three of us. Baby August and I may share a birthday. I usually go back to my hometown to visit my mom in April and to celebrate my birthday. I'll see her soon just not this month. Every year she tells me I was born at 10:10am and that she loves to hear the mourning doves coo on that day and throughout the month just as they did on those days leading up to and on the morning of my birth. I found myself missing my mom and all those special cakes and desserts she has made me over the years for my birthday.
I thought of my 19th birthday. It fell on Easter Sunday and she visited me when I was in college for the long weekend. On that Saturday, I took her to Terra Toys, my favorite toy store in Austin, TX to show her the Steiff stuffed animals and German dolls behind a glass case. I showed her the things I would have wanted had I been ten years younger and she wanted to get me a Steiff but at 19 I was feeling too adult for that sort of thing. Now I wish we had picked one out together. Instead, for some reason, I couldn't resist this African thumb piano and a hand carved Russian flute.
Then we went to the mall and stopped at a store window where we both admired a simple, off white, cotton dress. I went in to try it on and fell in love with it. My mother bought it for me and I still have it and wear it during the summer. That was the only year I remember my mom not making me a dessert or a cake because of the long drive to Austin and the lack of cooking/baking facilities at the hotel and dorm. Now I will be a mommy and I hope to make my daughter cakes and desserts every year on her day for as long as I can. These past nine months have made me love and treasure my mother and what she has done for me even more.
Today was another pretty day and so we decided to pick wild blackberries from a field down the way. Once in the field though, it did become rather hot and a bit itchy but we had a goal. I have never picked wild blackberries and didn't know there were so many thorns. We found nice, big ones hiding in the shade. Sometimes it seemed that they were all in the process of ripening right before our eyes.
We also found Mr Bunny, hiding in the grass. He didn't run far, he didn't want to abandon his blackberry buffet. He stood his ground and allowed me to take some photos. I really got the feeling that he figured as long as we were watching him and snapping pictures, we weren't eating his blackberries. As soon as we started to walk away he hopped right back to where he was.
I have yet to experience that burst of energy called nesting. At 39 weeks, it may not happen, but it is just as well. To savor the last few hours or days I have left of pregnancy is my goal now, not to flutter about like a hummingbird, sorting and cleaning running through lists. I've enjoyed the past nine months very much, it has been the most wonderful time of my life so far. This anti-nesting, this lack of energy, demands I take it all slow and easy. The days pass slow, some more languid than others. They have been very loving and unique, at times emotional. I am accompanied by my thoughts, as I attempt to work on things that don't usually take all day to accomplish and it has been rather blissful. Perhaps nesting of a different sort.
I was able to finish a cotton sweater for Anna Maria August and it came out just as I would have liked and that success has made me so happy. I also completed a swaddling blanket made of muslin with a scalloped, crocheted edge. On the both is a lil tag that says,"Made with Mom's Love". Sewing that lil tag on the sweater felt like it took hours as all my thoughts on becoming a mother paraded joyfully and tranquilly through my mind. After all I have been through these nine months, it was sewing this tag that brought it all together.
Our walk today was rather quiet because I can't chatter away and walk as easily as I use to. At a snail's pace, Jacob by my side and being patient on so many levels, we passed flowers blooming. The sights, scents and sounds were especially meaningful today. One of those walks I will long remember.
On the Road:The Coolest Film Never Made
Jack Kerouac had the best idea, I thought, to get Brando to play Dean Moriarty while he played Sal Paradise..."with the camera on the front seat of the car showing the road (day and night) unwinding into the windshield, as Sal and Dean yak." How cool and Beat would that have been? Instead, it is all hip movie stars in a period piece that Coppola produced.
Maybe I'll watch it, maybe I won't but the book thrills me to no end and I'll continue to seek and find whatever refuge, answers, inspirations and on and on from it's pages for as long as I live. However, I cant' stop thinking of how cool it would of been to have footage of Kerouac and Brando, back in 1959 with some Amram in the background.
On our walk today we came upon a yard filled with heirloom rose bushes. I can never resist sniffing a rose so we had to stop as I took in the scent of a pale pink, tea rose. It was divine. The large and sprawling bush was in full bloom so I plucked a rose as a souvenir. I could not put it down for a second as we continued the walk. A block or so away and the sweet smell of honeysuckle made me stop. I spotted the vine trailing up a tree and picked some honeysuckle to pair with the rose. The resulting fragrance was one I wish I could be bathed in, soft and sweet. Nothing man made can ever come close. I must have been a bee in a past life. They could be heard buzzing away in the flowering trees above us, in love with their flowers.
My Favorite Flower Scents:
What are yours?
My Favorite Flower Scents:
What are yours?