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.