What a whirlwind these last few weeks have been! Much of the focus was on our daughter, Alexandra, as she completed her studies and prepared to graduate from Southern Oregon University. There was a fair amount of stress to be sure, but everything worked out perfectly in the end. We were both so proud to see Alexandra walk across the same stage to receive her diploma that her Dad and I carried her across 22 years before. What a wonderful experience we have shared! A friend remarked about Alexandra this weekend, “She is such a person.” I would have to agree.
Another element of fun during this time period was the fact that my son, Coco, returned home for a visit to see his sister graduate. What that meant for our family is that we were all four at home and doing things together that have become a part of our family tradition. We cooked lots of wonderful food and hosted a graduation party so friends and family would have a chance to congratulate Alexandra. We told stories, shared jokes, and reveled in the fact that we were all together. And we listened to John Prine on vinyl and sang the words to songs that we have come to know by heart:
Blow up your TV, Throw away your paper,
Go to the country, Build you a home.
Plant a little garden, Eat a lot of peaches,
Try and find Jesus on your own
(from Spanish Pipedream)
And just to throw a little excitement into the mix, I received a phone call a few days before Alex’s graduation from a woman named Jinnee. Her wedding had been planned for the week after Alex’s graduation and her caterer had backed out at the last minute. She told me a friend had recommended that she call me and then she asked if I could I cater her wedding. Wow. I had to tell her, “Of course… but we can’t talk until next week because my daughter is graduating this Saturday.” And so Jinnee agreed to my catering her wedding without meeting me until 5 days before the actual event!
When Jinnee and I did meet, we agreed on a menu and a budget, and then called or emailed over the next few days with questions about all the many details that arose. Friday morning, I thought of all that she was going through and realized that she was having me prepare her wedding buffet and she had yet to taste anything that I had ever cooked. And so I decided to bake Jinnee and her fiance a Kick Ass Apple Pie. I thought she deserved one for all that she was going through… and it might give her some comfort once she had a bite.
That afternoon I called Jinnee to ask how things were going and if I might stop by for a minute. I could sense concern and I finally blurted out, “Jinnee, I made you a pie. Can I bring it by tonight?” Jinnee was thrilled… and I felt that I had offered her a moment to enjoy the wedding that she was planning.
The next afternoon, Jinnee and Peter were married… and as soon as they exchanged their vows, the heavens opened up and the rains came down. There was a mad scramble for cover… and the outdoor wedding that had been planned soon became a warm and cozy indoor gathering of dear friends and family. And I was blessed to be a part of it all.
Tonight I want to offer thanks for such a wonderfully busy time… and all the things that I hold dear: family, friends – old and new, and all of the little miracles that grace our lives.
“Three things are needed for a good life: good friends, good food, and good song.” Jason Zebehazy