Monday, March 24, 2008

a whirlingbetty Easter

When I returned home late Saturday night, there was a message on my answering machine (yes, I still choose to use an old-fashioned answering machine) from a friend, J. She was inviting The Child and me to Easter dinner the next day. Short notice, eh? This is her front door.


This is a closeup of her Easter wreath. J is an older woman who plays many roles in my life, although I've known her less than a year. (I remember her roses being in bloom when I first walked up her garden path.) She performs the roles of mother, grandmother, sister, confidant, child (yes, she's entitled to her "needy" moments), rock (as in source of strength), and comforter. I did not expect her last-minute Easter invitation, but The Child and I had no plans, really- I was just going to take him to an indoor waterpark on the other side of town. I hadn't been sure what we'd do about Easter dinner, but The Child cares little of cuisine so I wasn't overly concerned.


This is the idyllic setting of J's house. It's in a wooded area across from a bird sanctuary. All of this is just a few blocks from our house- a big plus for the travel-resistant whirlingbetty.


These little gems were basking in the sunlight in J's front yard on Easter Day.


In the bird sanctuary, this populous patch of yellow wildflowers held court.


Here is The Child posing with J's bespectacled and finger-pointing nephew, S. S provided a striking contrast to The Child. S has a complicated list of issues going on- for me it's impossible to determine whether the boy is simply ill-mannered or whether his ADHD medication is rearing its ugly head. At any rate, he proved to be impossible for his attending adults to control. I left the dinner appreciating my comparatively angelic son.


This is J's Easter dinner table, set long before the guests arrived. Her house is loaded with character, inside and out. The first time I set foot in her house, I was taken aback by her many collections, of spoons, ceramics, flowers, photos, fine dishware, teacups. Now I consider the collections quaint and fascinating, now that I'm over the shock of it.


Here is one of J's place settings, complete with bunny napkin and party favor. The food was what one would expect an older person to prepare- ham with pineapple rings and cloves, buttered peas (cooked a long time), asparagus (obligatory, of course, and buttered and cooked a long time), mashed potatoes (you guessed it- buttered and cooked a long time, but at least they were homemade), rolls (you guessed it- white- The Child was thrilled by this rare treat), cranberry jelly and Sierra Mist on ice.



Here's the coup de grace: homemade chocolate cake decorated with peeps and malted milk balls, served with J's special jasmine tea which she bought in China. J is a retired schoolteacher, divorced, with a very worldly past. The more stories of her adventures I've heard, the more I appreciate connecting them to the mementos scattered about her home.
It was a whirlingbetty kind of Easter.

19 comments:

Daisy said...

Wow!!! I loved her Easter wreath on the front door and her beautifully set table!!! Glad she invited you and Man-Child.

Betty said...

Dear Daisy,

Yes- it's hard for me to fathom how much effort she puts into all of this. She's like Martha Stuart. We're lucky to know her.

Hugs,
Betty

Patti said...

Wow I am loving it! You are very lucky to have her in your life! I am going to tackle an easter egg wreath next year and to try making a big wreath for Christmas this year.

Your son is going to do something very special in this world. He has an "it" quality about him that I can see just from pictures. Very unique aura that boy has.

Betty said...

Dear Patti,

I have never made a wreath because I don't have a way to hang it on my door without defacing the door, but I just realized that I can hand it on the lamp post near the front door. So I think I'll join you in future wreath making.

It's remarkable that you picked up on my son's unique quality through the photos. But you're right. School is hard for him to tolerate, though, because he wants to do his own thing. He has spent his entire spring break just quietly making things by himself using Legos and household items.

Hugs,
Betty

simply me said...

That was just lovely. Your little boy is just so handsome. I had a pretty quiet Esster....spring cleaning the yard for debris from the giant willow.
Its been a while since I blogged...but I always love to come back and read. Be well and I'm sure I'll get around to writing soon.

Betty said...

Dear Simply Me,

It's great to see you again! I'll keep checking your blog to see when you start writing again.

Be well!

Hugs,
Betty

Bryan said...

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Sherry ~ Cherie ~ ms. herbes de provence said...

Hi...I've seen you at a few of my favourite haunts so thought I'd come by and say hello. Loved this post -- especially how "long" the food was cooked...too funny...too true!!!

I think it's lovely the way you described this woman and her role(s) in your life. We find our blessings often when we aren't even looking.

Betty said...

Dear Sherry,

Thanks for stopping by! You're so right about blessings cropping up when we aren't even looking for them. Blogging helps me to appreciate them.

Hugs,
Betty

Lynilu said...

It is great to have friends who fill in the gaps of our lives, especially when they allow us to fill some of their own. She really did a great deal to make a nice environment, didn't she? Very nice! And I"m glad she had white bread for the child!! LOL!!

Betty said...

Dear Lynilu,

I may have to edit this post- your comment reminded me that I intended to mention the history of J's house- it was her parents' home. They may have been its first owners.

And for The Child, the white bread was the coup de grace!

Hugs,
Betty

Kacey said...

We had a lovely Easter at our oldest daughter's home with all our kids and grandkids. Had to make a fast run home from Florida for a surgery on Monday. Things are not going my way --- but, Easter was lovely for me and for you. I loved the Peeps around the cake ----am tucking that idea away for another year. My oldest always had a thing for Peeps.

Betty said...

Dear Kacey,

I am so sorry to hear that things are not going your way. I hope to learn more about Monday's surgery.

I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs,
Betty

SweetAnnee said...

What a great friend..and looks like so much fun..The Child is a handsome man!!!

lol
Deena

SweetAnnee said...

What a great friend..and looks like so much fun..The Child is a handsome man!!!

lol
Deena

Betty said...

Dear Sweetannie,

Yes, she does know how to have fun! I've always enjoyed older people, probably because my grandmother brought so much joy into my life.

Hugs,
Betty

Mary Ann (Moanna) said...

Oh my, I loved all of this but especially the choc cake decorated with peeps. She sounds like a fun person. She reminds me of my mom who would get up early to put green beans on to cook...so they'd be done by dinner after dark. hehe

Betty said...

Dear Mary Ann,

Yeah, come to think of it, how many women in their 70's would place blue Peeps around a chocolate cake, or any other cake for that matter!? She's one of a kind!

Hugs,
Betty

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