Friday, July 31, 2009

Cotton Candy

We walked on the bridge over the Chicago River
for what turned out to be the last time,
and I ate cotton candy, that sugary air,
that sweet blue light spun out of nothingness.
It was just a moment really, nothing more,
but I remember marveling at the sturdy cables
of the bridge that held us up
and threading my fingers through the long
and slender fingers of my grandfather,
an old man from the Old World
who long ago disappeared into the nether regions.
And I remember that eight-year-old boy
who had tasted the sweetness of air,
which still clings to my mouth
and disappears when I breathe.
—Edward Hirsch

To sweet memories of our childhood! I have one of a street vendor, selling “Pan de Gloria” (Glory Bread), a soft, gooey, sweet bread, from his bicycle-cart, in the middle of a rainstorm, and of my grandmother buying two buns. Then the two of us ate our bread, watching from the porch, while the vendor disappeared behind the mist.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer Serenade

When the thunder stalks the sky,
When tickle-footed walks the fly,
When shirt is wet and throat is dry,
Look, my darling, that's July.

Though the grassy lawn be leather,
And prickly temper tug the tether,
Shall we postpone our love for weather?
If we must, let's melt together!
—Ogden Nash

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quest for the Perfect Peach Cobbler

Peaches have been wonderful this year in Illinois, sweet and plentiful, and I'm determined to finally learn how to make the perfect peach cobbler.

The one I made today was Paula Dean's recipe. It was easy to make and tasted terrific, but Lee would have liked a crumblier texture, more like a pie. Alas, we'll just have to suffer through this disappointment . . .

My husband hovered while I took photos of the finished product, and the moment I put down the camera, he absconded with the prop! The picture below is out of focus, but this thief couldn't wait to eat his prize.
The cobbler quest continues . . .

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Poem for the Changing Table

Mr. Chin,
And Mrs. Chin,
And all the little Chins that live within,
And the Cheeks that live next door,
And the Ears that live nearby,
And the Hands that love to wave in the air
And the Feet that want to fly!
—William Wadsworth

What a fun poem! What a fun memory!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Red, Red Rose

O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it ware ten thousand mile.
—Robert Burns

This poem, an old favorite, seemed particularly well suited to accompany the 25 beautiful red roses that my husband gave me for our 25th wedding anniversary.

“ . . . I will luve thee still, my dear, while the sands o' life shall run.”

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Married 25 Years

“Love is a choice you make from moment to moment.”
— Barbara De Angelis

Thank you, my darling, for 25 years of perfect moments.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Housewarming Basket

We put together this basket for my nephew Scotty and his wife, Jackie. These newlyweds just bought their first house and have wasted no time in turning it into a charming home.

The inspiration for the basket came from that old classic movie "It's a Wonderful Life." The basket consists of:
  • Bread (That this house may never know hunger)
  • Salt (That life may always have flavor)
  • Wine (That joy and prosperity reign forever)
  • A 60th Anniversary DVD of "It's a Wonderful Life"
  • A dish towel (just because)
  • A framed plaque displaying the blessing

And here I add my own prayer: May your home always be filled with love and laughter. God bless!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My brother Al and his family.

This is my brother Al's family: His wife of 24 years, Kathy, and his three sons, Scott, at whose wedding this picture was taken, Kevin (all the way to the right) and Colin (on the left).

Al and I have a complicated relationship that I would describe as a work in progress: We struggle frequently to find common ground: He's Pepsi, and I'm Coke. He's the White Sox, I'm the Cubs. He's a Republican, I'm a Democrat. These are just some of the ways in which we differ, and boy, it'd be nice to have some easy stuff on which to build, though I think that our upbringing and personalities have seen to it that our relationship would never be easy.

At the core, however, we love each other, and we both believe the effort we put forth in our relationship is very much worthwhile. And, although we don't often understand one another's point of view, we like each other. So there's our common ground: Love. We are just working on the details . . .

Al and Kathy have built a strong marriage, and have raised three beautiful, loving sons. These young men are fun to be around; I enjoy them so much. And they are so kind. Al and Kathy can feel justly proud that they are sending out into the world three genuinely nice human beings who will bring joy to others.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Wedding Poem

Bright faces surround the woman in white,
the man in black, the sweetness of their attention
to each other a shine rising toward the high ceiling.
The men watch the groom, and the women
the bride, as they speak their candle-lit vows,
as if there were something in it for us personally.

Worn by the distances we the already-married
have traveled down the road on which these two
are setting out, we leave the dust of the journey
outside the door of this house where tonight no word
is casual, no posture undignified, and each
becomes again handsome in them, beautiful in them.

—Thomas R. Smith

Here's wishing you all the happiness in the world, Scott and Jackie!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Chicago baseball

What is the world coming to? A Sox hat (even a partial hat) on the Picasso? Everybody knows the Picasso is a North sider, he'd never root for the Sox! But we all know that Mayor Daley is a big Sox fan, so that explains that.

We just heard on the news that the Ricketts family is finalizing the purchase of the Cubs franchise. Let's hope the new owners are interested in winning the World Series one of these days. It's just been too long without a win. Cubs fans need a break.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

By The Rude Bridge

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Early Rising

"God bless the man who first invented sleep!"
So Sancho Panza said, and so say I:
And bless him, also, that he didn't keep
His great discovery to himself; nor try
To make it—as the lucky fellow might—
A close monopoly by patent-right!

Yes, bless the man who first invented sleep
(I really can't avoid the iteration),
But blast the man, with curses loud and deep,
Whate'er the rascal's name, or age, or station,
Who first invented, and went round advising,
That artificial cut-off, Early Rising!

—John Godfrey Saxe