Tag Archives: Barbara

A Quick Visit to see Dad turns into “Bienvenido a Miami!”

20 Jul

Just a few days ago I was sitting in a window seat at a coffee shop in Miami watching the rain fall and wondering how I got there. Well, actually, I know how I got there… but as many times as I’ve been to Florida I’ve never ventured much beyond my Dad’s little town of Greenacres. Okay, that’s not entirely true because I’ve driven to Boynton Beach countless times but never quite this far.

WP in Miamiwall in miami

A sampling of the Wynwood Walls

The neighborhood I found myself in is called Wynwood……. and it’s an art community famous for the many murals that are painted on the sides of its buildings. There’s a youthful excitement there that I have not experienced in West Palm Beach… and I really enjoyed it. Alexandra was with me and while she was off working on a project for Warby Parker, I sat sipping a latte watching the people, and the storm clouds, go by.

alex and grandpa

Alexandra with Grandpa

Alexandra and I met in Florida to visit my Dad as his 80th birthday is this month.  I won’t be able to be there for his “actual” birthday but felt it important to spend time with him and see how he is doing.  It’s been more than two years since his stroke and while he is doing remarkably well (given the severity of the stroke) he is still upset that he cannot do what he used to do.  And I struggle (still!) because I can’t fix things for him.


One of my Dad’s neighbors.

So what can I do? Take him out to eat!  One day he wanted to get lunch and instead of the usual fast food burgers I suggested pizza… at a “real” restaurant.  Since I am somewhat unfamiliar with the area, I used my iphone and found a wonderful place (thank you Siri!) called Zuccarelli’s.  I ordered a Marguerite Pizza and it was sooooo darned good!  The aroma of the fresh basil was intoxicating and the crust was perfection. (Can you tell that I really liked that pizza?)

Pizza with Dad at Zuccarelli's

Dad at Zuccarelli’s

The next morning, I decided to make an asparagus and white cheddar quiche for one of Dad’s neighbors.  Barbara has been a tremendous help to me since Dad had his stroke and I wanted to do something to show her my appreciation. Without a rolling-pin, I had to improvise, but I think it came out rather nicely, even if I do say so myself.

quiche prep for barbaraasp quiche for barbara

Now I am back in Oregon, and I still wish that I could do more for my Dad.  It’s got to be really hard for him to deal with a changing mind and body.  If there was a switch I could flip that would make him better, I’d do it in a heartbeat.  Until then, I have to let him live out his days as best he can. And make sure that I fully enjoy every moment that I have…  to spend with my kids, my husband, my friends.  Even if that means posing for silly selfies now and then.

Alex and me

Sharing our funny faces at the pool.

When I hear somebody sigh, “Life is hard”, I am always tempted to ask, “Compared to what?”

Sydney J. Harris

Day 258: Barbara again!

20 Dec

How funny that I have made a pie for three Barbara’s in a row! Today’s Barbara was suggested to me by my friend Jack. He mentioned that he held this lady in high esteem because she did the right thing “just because” it was the right thing to do.

I think that when we see people doing the “right thing” we notice it… because really, nowadays, it’s not very common. Just a few days ago someone said to me, “whatever happened to people with a conscience?” A conscience… wow. Wasn’t that who Jiminy Cricket was for Pinocchio?

I remember when I was about 7 years old and I was sitting in the living room of my mother’s friend’s house. There on the coffee table was a silver dime… and I don’t know what made me do it, but I took it. And from the scolding I got you would have thought that I had stolen all the gold from Fort Knox! Did that teach me a lesson? You better believe it did!

Many years later, on a shopping excursion with my two small children, I was able to instill that lesson once again. As I was paying at the cashier I noticed that my daughter was acting a bit strangely but could not discern what was going on. That was until we stepped outside the store and I noticed that her pocket was “full”. I asked what she had in her pocket and she said, “nothing!”

Then I reached into her pocket and took out a small bag of candy. She seemed incredulous… as if it had appeared there by magic. I marched her right back into the store to the same register and waited for the cashier so that I could return the candy. When he finally did recognize me and heard my story, “I am so sorry… but my daughter took this candy “by accident”…” he said, “oh, it’s okay.” And it took a lot for me to say, “No. It is not okay. My daughter took this candy without paying and she is very sorry for doing that and (glaring at her) she will never do that again!”

I think that if there were more people out there who had Mama’s who held their feet to the fire, well maybe there would be more people feeling a little bit more accountable. Maybe there would be less crime… or maybe we would be more considerate of one another. It just makes sense that we all need to be held accountable for what we do; we all need to have a conscience. And it’s likely that ours won’t be as cute as Jiminy Cricket, but if it helps us to do the right thing, well, that’s more than good enough.

Day 256: Barbara

18 Dec

Sometimes a pie recipient comes to me by way of recommendation and, while that is true of today’s recipient, Barbara was on my list all along. Barbara is a member of my church, First Presbyterian of Ashland, and she is so involved that I needed to recognize her.

One of her many talents is creating flower arrangements. They are exquisitely crafted and to look at her you’d never know how much effort she puts into them for Barbara always looks cool, calm and collected. How she does it I don’t know. This past spring I attended a meeting where Barbara had designed the tabletop decorations. I was in awe of how she had taken a few sea shells and some other simple items and had made gorgeous centerpieces for each table. When I mentioned how lovely they were, Barbara was so humble. She was just sharing her gifts with us and that was that.

At one point I asked Barbara if she would consider giving a demonstration of her flower arranging skills – because I for one would love to be able to do what she does – and she shook her head as if to say , “It’s nothing really.” But I think that perhaps Barbara doesn’t know how amazingly talented she really is or how much we value the gifts that she brings to all the tasks that she takes on. I for one would be thrilled if she would share what she knows with the rest of the women in the church community.

Today I made an Apple Raisin Lattice Top pie for Barbara to thank her for all that she does so graciously for others without ever expecting anything in return. She is a wonderful role model and I hope that she knows how much we all appreciate her kind and giving spirit.