Birthday in a bowl, birthday with a bowl, a birthday with berries. All those.
I think everyone should feel special on their birthday, that their little world and community is truly glad they are here. That's how I feel and it is so nice. Everyone needs birthdays, even though they are bittersweet. I'll never be thirty-two again. Willow gave me thirty-three kisses yesterday, just like the sweet verse
I say to the children. I will hold onto that as the years pass.
My dear friend Katherine gave me this Pyrex reproduction bowl at our Midsummer Revels last week. I love the stooked grain and the farmer and his wife. It is fun to have a special mixing bowl to use, since mixing bowls are such an important part of my days. Really. I had no idea what a big deal it would be to discover my favorite Pyrex was covered in lead paint. I'm happier to know, of course, after the mourning period. ;-)
We took a long drive to Burke's Garden yesterday, after lunch at a sub and pizza shop. The children burst out of the car when we got there. This little play structure (and the camels) are the highlight for them. Willow's memories of this place go back before Roan was born
. Every time we go, I worry a little that the play area will be too worn down or gone, but it's always been there by the old school.
Mike and I moved the picnic table into the shade, though it was hardly hot there. It was just over seventy degrees. Perfect! I think I may seek out the cool places for all my birthdays. Or maybe when I am over eighty, I will find a sunny spot to celebrate. Time will tell.
I love that the school-turned-community center had the June birthdays up. That is community and I will say that the isolated valley
was rather bustling with activity while we were there. We're making tentative plans to attend their Fall Festival in September.
Ahh, the cake. Any time I fussed around the table, the children came running, asking if it was time for cake. This is a vanilla sheet cake with lemon frosting
. It's a good recipe, though I used half the sugar in the frosting. It was so windy, of course, that the candles were very hard to light. We had to go on the school's service porch to get them lit and sing "Happy Birthday."
Laurel, obviously, really liked the cake and frosting and made this face when I told her she couldn't have more. I gave her more. She had been wanting cake since she watched me mix up the batter the day before. The moment I poured it in the pan, she wanted a slice.
Here was Willow's piece. We often joke that Roan has the best-looking food. Yesterday, Willow's took the cake. ;-)
Mike cleaned up while the I played the flute and the children danced on the little festival stage. Laurel really loves this lantern song, so I played it numerous times. I have spent hours singing it to her in her brief time on Earth. I sing it, "I go outside with my Laurel, my Laurel goes with me. . ." This book is Sing Through the Day
, my birthday gift to myself. It is a treasure!
Mike had to stop to take a picture of this iconic store. He took a photo of it several years ago and also turned it into a concert poster. It's too bad it's not open any more, but the general store seems to be shaping up nicely. There were sixteen loaves of homemade bread in various phases of production when we were there.
No need to worry about finding people's houses and farms. Every street has a sign like this at the end.
There is one paved road and one gravel road leading into the valley. We took the gravel one out. It takes quite a bit longer, but it was worth it. We saw a mother bear and two cubs in the woods. Roan and Willow were able to see them, too. I guess that counts as our Nature School for the week. Today, it's back to the regular routine. It's time to wash the sheets and mow the yard and eat leftover cake.
As we were leaving Burke's Garden yesterday, Mike teased about leaving me there. Yes, please! I got back in the car, reluctantly. Oh, well. I'll take the memories.