The Easter holiday has come and gone. But oh! what a great, busy and joyous time we had.
We arrived late on Thursday...Graydon, my grandson, was in bed and close to Dreamland. Brianna was celebrating an early Easter dinner with her father's family and came home shortly after our arrival. I never thought it possible that a girl could grow so much in only three months...but the young woman whom I cuddled close as a young child has surpassed me in height by many inches.
She bends down now to hug me. It's the oddest sensation...I have begun to feel as if I am a little, elder lady. It's different from when my daughters outgrew me...obviously I was much younger then, but still...at that point it was cause for celebration. This time around, it feels as if Time is moving much too fast.
Graydon...ahh, our Graydon. I have long felt since I live so far away that the closeness I enjoyed with Bree could not possibly be the same with my grandson. But I was wrong. When he saw me, early the next morning, his body shook with joy and his arms opened for a hug. I will remember his hug for as long as I live. He wrapped himself around me, kissing my cheek, my mouth...wiping my tears away with his soft, pudgy hands. He said...Why are you crying, Nammy?
I could not speak...I had not expected such joy at my appearance from him, but thankfulness flooded my heart and the tears continued for just a little while.
My daughter, a middle school teacher, loves to cook. Each meal was a delight. She manages to cook like a gourmet, all the while keeping her home in amazing order, even with a three year old and all his accoutrements...even with a fifteen year old and all her diverse interests...even with Graham and I and what seemed like half the town visiting her home.
Bree, when she was a toddler, received a ride-on vehicle. She enjoyed it so much, I knew I would have to find something similar for my grandson. Now, Graydon does not easily accept new things...he is wary and takes his time in becoming familiar with whatever the new thing might be. But the Mighty Wheels which sat on the living room floor became an instant hit.
He's not so great at remembering to steer...in fact, he's not so great at even keeping his hands on the steering wheel, preferring to let me keep the toy vehicle on track. But his cousins, who are seven and four years of age, certainly had the knowledge required. I have no doubt at all the next time I come, he will be able to drive it all on his own. Even at the highest speed, which is 5 km/hour.
That doesn't sound very fast, but when one is chasing it for an hour...that little vehicle seems really fast, indeed.
Bree was so happy with her little refurbished camera. I believe she is a little like me in that she becomes attached to her cameras. I have almost every camera I have ever owned, from the Model D Brownie to the Canon I now own.
The only problem was that I had forgotten to enclose the cable to download photos. Since I don't know what I've done with it, I ordered a new one upon my return home. A small glitch, which my granddaughter took very well. She's fifteen, after all, you know.
Bree worked on Saturday, the day of Graydon's birthday party. She works at Canadian Tire...when she arrived home, the battery on Mighty Wheels had run out, requiring a charge. She wanted to ride, her weight being well under the 135 lbs. limit. But again, she took it in stride, only grumbling a little under her breath. She makes me laugh...I was only too happy to see the child in her who still loves to play.
My daughter had planned a string of appetizers for the Birthday party. Among at least a dozen others, there were these little squares of puff pastry with cream cheese, cherry tomatoes, olives and other ingredients which went down so easily, along with curried cheese squares...and my son-in-law's smoked Salmon. I believe that smoked Salmon could win any cooking contest...I ate myself silly, knowing I would not have these tidbits again until my next visit.
By the time Easter Sunday rolled around, I was still full from the previous day. It was a day of lolling around, resting until the time came to make dinner, which consisted of the Easter Ham, three cheese scalloped Potatoes, creamed Succotash, Spring Asparagus in vinaigrette, and Garlic bread. I can't find the words for the taste sensations...my favourite was the Spring Asparagus, and I know I will be making this dish very soon.
During Graydon's nap, that Easter Sunday, my daughter, granddaughter and I watched the movie New Moon. Bree is a huge fan of the Twilight series; I've watched the first movie, read the first book and am on the second. I am enjoying the series...my granddaughter loves them. She knows each line the actors speak and has very strong opinions about the story. I made the huge mistake of disagreeing with her about the outcome of the movie. I was told I could not possibly make up my mind about New Moon until I'd read the whole set of books. A clash of strong minds and wills...but she and I never forgot the respect and love we have for one another.
Spring has arrived on the Island. I was able to wander outside to find Flowers to grace the house...a thing I have yet, this season, to be able to do in the Cariboo. I had a huge hankering to help myself to the neighbour's pink flowering Japanese Plum Tree...but I resisted that urge, to my family's relief.
I will remember the beauty of the green Grass, yellow Daffodils, many-coloured Tulips and the heartwarming shades of the pink-flowering Trees...until such time as the Cariboo bounces with its own Spring loveliness.
I know it will only be a month or so. Plants and Trees are beginning to show the luminescence that occurs just before full leaf growth. And some of the perennials in my garden have returned, making my anxiety over them and the cold Winter weather superfluous. And it will not be long before I have my own pink Crabapple blooming beautifully...
We had a long trip back. We left my daughter's home, amidst much hugging, kisses and promises of a return visit very soon, at nine AM. After visiting son Scott's new surfing store and a cup of Tea with Graham's mother, we caught the noon ferry to the mainland.
We arrived home at eight PM. There were a few times during the trip where I did not believe I would ever be able to walk again. Our small commuter car is not made for comfort during long trips, especially for one who has problems with chronic pain.
There were no piles or puddles from the Dogs...we arrived and they toddled sleepily towards us. Dogs grow old, as well as humans, and seemingly they did not feel the need for bathroom duties during their long incarceration in the house. I believe our dog sitter Faye keeps them busy while she's here, possibly busier than they are accustomed to, and sleep was very welcome for Lucky and Nate that last day...
Just as it was for me and Graham.
But today, after two days of rest and sleep, I am already planning for my family's visit in a few short months. I am looking forward to repaying all the visits to the Island, where we are treated like royalty.
Tiredness, pain and Summer heat notwithstanding, I know it will be a very extraordinary, loving time...and who could not look forward to that?
Besides, did I tell you my daughter loves to cook?
Recipe for Three Cheese Scalloped Potatoes
2 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 minced cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
3/4 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
3/4 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 F. For sauce, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Add milk all at once, stir and cook until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat.
Place half of the sliced potatoes in a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Top with half the sauce. Sprinkle with smoked Gouda and cheddar cheese. Add remaining sliced potatoes and remaining sauce.
Cover dish with foil. Bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or more until potatoes are tender and golden. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 5 minutes more or until cheese is golden. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Taken from Best Comfort Food~~Better Homes and Gardens