"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Has Sprung

Happy Easter and Blessed Spring.

    After much preEaster cleaning, planning, buying, cooking and traveling to and from the City, all my kids and theirs rolled into the driveway on Saturday last, ready to celebrate. The farm did not disappoint. We have had typically unpredictable weather of late but Saturday was a bluebird day, perfect for planting seeds and potatoes, flying kites, chasing each other around the gardens and swinging.  We welcomed cousin Allison and her 15 year old daughter, Anna, from St. Louis via Okeene. Sadly, Great Grandpa Dotter was not able to attend the festivities this time around but he heard all the stories and we sent samples of the fish-fry and chocolate cake home to him.
     I wish I had taken a picture of this particular cake for you. It is not the most stunningly beautiful cake ever but it is unique. I used these three shallow cake pans (yes, it is a triple decker) which Dad gave me a while back. The pans belonged to his grandma, Marybelle Bingham, who taught Dad how to cook, sew, can vegetables and much, much more during the summers he stayed at the farm with his grandparents when he was growing up in the thirties.
      The cake is chocolate without frosting, and in between the layers is a slathering of Oklahoma Sand Plum Jelly.  Everybody had a piece and swallowed the sweetness, dusted with legacy, slowly with a smile and a sigh. Sometimes the simplest things are the best. (And all the little ones sing, "Thank you Great Great Great Grandma Bingham".) People live forever in our stories and the memories we share. Thanks for sharing this one, Dad.
      Apparently there are few things more fun to kids than a pile of dirt. I have a goodly amount of fine, brown earth piled up in front of my house, waiting to be pushed up against my tall foundation and organized into flower beds.  There are several steps in the process and I am stalled at the second one: clean the wall and paint it with water shield. Soon…..I hope. Life happens and no one who knows me will be surprised to hear that I am slow to make decisions.  It will happen sometime but for now this pile of dirt is gangs of fun for all the grandkids so it stays. Thus far no toes have been chopped off by small hands wielding small shovels. I count it a minor miracle. Silly me, I made sure to wash the porch well before anyone arrived. Ha. Needless to say, the washing needs to happen again, now that they are gone.
        Here are the little dirt diggers all cleaned up and ready for Easter Vigil Mass. I laugh when I see this picture because less than an hour prior to this shot being taken they were all out making dirt angels on that pile of earth. What a fun bunch and a grand blessing to me. Yes, bow ties, side braids, lilacs and scallycaps are always cool in these parts.

     We had a fish fry on Saturday afternoon, courtesy of Able, Kari and Zach. Hot fish and hushpuppies, asparagus and broccoli slaw eaten off paper plates under the branches of the giant Elm tree.  Thanks for building that huge, sturdy picnic table, Danny. We are putting it to good use still. Good thing you made it 'hell for stout' or it would have fallen apart long ago.In the above shot I draw your attention to Miss Maggie Jewel who is providing dinner music on recorder for the rest of us. Yes!!
      Here are three of the kiddos with Anna, their newfound friend and first cousin once removed.

      Of course there was a a gigantic egg hunt and, following mandatory naps or reading time for everyone, a pirate treasure hunt with clues, gold doubloons and a prize at the end for all the players.
Books, of course. As the Covington Clipper would have read: A good time was had by all.

    Last, but not least, is a shot of my gorgeous Bleeding Heart plant which I planted the spring after my mother died.  It is thriving and graces my one shade garden every spring. Mom has to be helping with this one because I tried to grow Bleeding Hearts many times while she was alive but could never make it happen. Now they are no trouble at all. That's the green thumb she inherited from her mother, still working its magic. There are all kinds of inheritances, so say we all.

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