Coco and Alex, meet their host sister Lucka
The last few weeks have been a bit of a blur and for good reason. First my daughter , Alexandra, decided to come home for a brief visit before she began her new job (with Warby Parker!) and then my son, Coco, surprised me one night with a knock at our front door (he and his Dad were in cahoots about this). So, for about a week I was back in Mom mode (my favorite place) and let a lot of other things go. Well, except for pies.
While she was home, Alexandra mentioned that she wanted to stop at her (and our) alma mater, Southern Oregon University, to visit with her adviser, Rene. A perfect occasion to bring along a pie! The ingredients – apples, butter, flour, and sugar – came together quickly and as it baked we got ourselves ready. Soon we were heading over to the university on a beautiful day.
We were thrilled to find Rene (and office manager, Kathy) available to visit for a few minutes and they seemed happy to see us as well (or was it the still warm pie?) Alexandra is one of Rene’s first legacy students. He was a professor to her parents (Emile and I) twenty plus years ago and then was her professor as well. He still recalls seeing us carry her to school in the baby backpack. Thanks for everything Rene!
One day during the week I noticed that my friend, Margie Cicerrella, was featured in the local paper. Margie is retiring after many years of working as a children’s librarian. Margie has been a driving force for literacy and among many other things spearheaded the “Welcome Baby Book Bags” program – a program designed to promote language development in infants by giving new parents a cloth bag filled with board books. For that alone, Margie deserves a million pies! But alas, all I could do was bring her this one – a sweet potato and pecan pie. Thank you Margie for all the wonderful work that you’ve done!
After a fun-filled week with Alexandra and Coco (cooking together, seeing plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and singing along to Coco’s guitar playing), sadly, they both had to return home. The first day after they left I must admit that I felt pretty blue. Fortunately, I had agreed to teach a friends’ troop of girl scouts how to bake a pie (and share my story of giving away pies) that very afternoon.
At first, I was a little nervous but the girls were simply delightful. They listened to my brief talk and then the kitchen was a flurry of flour, pie dough, and pumpkin pie filling! Lots of questions were hurled at me, but I managed to answer most of them, and at the end of the afternoon, the counter was filled with pies. There’s nothing like making pie – and helping kids learn to bake – to fix the blues!
The last pie I made this week was for the family of an old friend who succumbed to cancer a few days ago. My heart aches for her husband and children and bringing them dinner and a pie felt like a way to ease their pain… and I’m sure my friend would love knowing that her family was cared for in this way.
“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” —Alan D. Wolfelt