Traverse City Record-Eagle

Edna Shaffer: Grandma's Kitchen

August 10, 2007

Of surprise birthdays and traveling grandsons

I'm having a terrible time staying on task; the beautiful outdoors keeps calling my name.

I was up this morning in time to wake the birds, anticipating my drive through the country roads to church. It was downright inspiring, beautiful violin music pouring from the car radio, a time-out to watch a mother turkey lead her lively half-grown children, single file, across the road.

The vibrant green trees seemed to be standing guard along the roads and framing the clear blue lakes. Everything was so peaceful and picture perfect I needed to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I hope I never get too busy or preoccupied to be moved by all of this, and to be thankful.

I mentioned last month that Molly and I were going downstate to celebrate Sarah's 40th birthday. She is the "baby" daughter of the family, loved and spoiled by all her older sisters as well as me. (She probably thought she had four mothers.)

What she didn't know about the celebration was that her sister, Vicki, was coming from Ohio and sister Cathy was coming from New York to surprise her! Well, you know the one about "the best laid plans." Sure enough, Cathy had an emergency in her family and had to stay home to help with her grandchildren. Her daughter's father-in-law passed away the morning she was to leave.

This was a huge disappointment. However, it was fun to watch Sarah when Vicki arrived. She happened to be standing by the kitchen window and looked out just as Vicki hopped out of the car with an armload of balloons and flowers. She let out a little squeal and the tears started to fall. Happy chaos for a minute, then we settled down and ate and talked non-stop for the next 42 hours.

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