Thursday, July 31, 2014

..Before I Sleep..

The woods have always captivated my attention, and I have always wanted to live in them.

This dream did come true, and I am thankful. Lovely memories will follow as we make our way elsewhere; for our path winds a southerly route, now.

This Sweet Woodland Cabin..

The SconeLady walked many a mile here, and found the peace and calm she had hoped for. Where else would one find deer at frequent intervals, always gazing curiously out at the walking lady? Where else would there be piles of crisp white snow awaiting as she piles on the warmth of layers?

Whatever the weather, this sweet woodland town surrounded and comforted me for 20 months. More than that, the loved ones and friends of a lifetime offered an even better comfort, and I shall miss it all. This evening the cabin sits empty of its belongings; no one is there to rest companionably by the fire. The cozy chairs have gone, and that space awaits others who will, I am sure, love it well.

I think of a poem that perfectly describes this space I have grown to love. The words keep running through my thoughts as the sun goes down 90 miles distant:

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.
So this is a goodbye sadly spoken. But hello! has a nice sound, doesn't it? .. a sound I can almost hear now as I prepare to go, and keep some promises..

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fresh Air

There were young people (all guys) at the table, laughing and playing something called Battle Star Galactica. We found kids on couches, talking and sharing their time with older family members. Then there were kids helping Grandpa and talking with him interestedly, teasing easily. Someone was making his breakfast. These were enviable young people, and sweet (also, may I mention? - gorgeous). A breath of fresh air just when you didn't realize there was still so much of it left.

Their grandpa is my step father, and we missed him. He had come to live at this farm, with his daughter and her family - 6 children, the parents, and any number of friends to boot, depending upon the day. If he wasn't fully awake when he arrived, he sure has woken up since! So much interesting activity to gaze upon; so many kind and lively people surrounding him. It was a happy, happy place.

It is a farm of purpose, with ducks, sheep, a goat, flowers everywhere, and space. Space to plant (the carrots went immediately into the cool looking juicer - delicious!), space to walk around and admire, space to just ... be.

It was the right place. And the young people inside, family as well as friends, see a message there. As my sister pointed out, the question, for them, of 'what do we do with our older loved ones, when there is need?' is answered; at least, here it is answered. We love them. We keep them. We take care of them. And -- we learn from them.

It is a good answer. I didn't realize there was still so much of it left.

See you along they way!
the SconeLady


Dear Readers,

The SconeLady does not have access to her photos, and yesterday's post depends upon them. Yikes! But, they will come back and so will she. It could be within minutes!

All kinds of things fall apart when the SconeLady does not have her photos. But they do always finish 'cooking' (or whatever it is they are doing...merging?)..

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Monday, July 28, 2014

Being The Smallest

He might be the smallest, but he sure can hold his own. When he does this holding of his own, the other two stand in awe and respect. For a while, they find other pursuits. They'll try again later.

He loves the other two and gazes at them as if they are Rock Stars. They are so talented and funny that he laughs at all their jokes, even when he doesn't understand them. They love this. Every comedian appreciates a willing audience.

One day he was taken on a visit to Great-Grandma's farm. It was big, and seemed filled with farming implements that Grandpa and Daddy could take them for rides on. They ran and threw balls and hollered and went into a wheat field. But then suddenly he was yawning and found himself, rather swiftly, placed inside a warm bath. 

This was a signal that bedtime would be soon but he wanted Great Grandma first, all by himself. This didn't happen often, but he was released while the other two were being scrubbed mercilessly by their mother. He crept to the living room and climbed up onto Great Grandma's lap.

She chatted, and laughed, and they snuggled up together like old chums. Great Grandma was so good at snuggling and listening. She was never in a hurry, which is one of the real advantages of having a Grandmother.

He also knows how to listen. He listened and watched carefully as a visiting doe came one day outside this sweet woodland cabin. He was quiet, because he knew that speaking might scare the doe. He had learned that 'doe' means a lady deer, usually a mother. He was fond of mothers because his own was wonderful and lovely and hilarious. She knew just how to make him happy whenever happiness was needed.

He might not always know it, but it is very nice to be the smallest. You don't have to go anywhere to sit up straight and do your sums and turn in your homework. You don't have rules that make you be in a line, or not talk back, or correct your mistakes. You can still be home, with Mother. And Grandmother! Yes, it is nice to be the smallest.

Rules, and responsibilities, and homework can wait. In the meantime, there's always a Grandmother.

See you along the way,
The SconeLady

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Planes and Water Bombers

It was all they wanted to talk about. They could talk about Water Bombers all day, if someone would. Grandpa used to fly RF-4's and F-111's and knew all kinds of things about jets and planes. He could talk about them all day long, if someone would. Theirs was a very satisfying arrangement. Simbiotic, really. 

So one day, after a very gratifying session of youtube Water Bombers with Grandpa, Mommy and Daddy said we could all go to the opening night of Planes, the film. PLANES?! No pronouncement could have been met with more excitement. So many wonderful things had happened already on this trip north! - friends had reconnected, ponies were ridden, the river had been floated down.. could anything better be even possible? But it was.

There would be seven of us, and it was arranged that Grandma would go early to the theater to purchase tickets before the hordes. She would battle her way and be first in line. Grandma always liked to be first in line. But as she approached the theater no crowds materialized. She stood there alone, under her purple umbrella, and waited.

"Grandma, why do you always carry a purple umbrella?" the small girl had one day asked. Grandma said that lots of people had asked her that question. People seemed surprised by a purple umbrella meandering all over the place for miles each day. The people of this sweet woodland town were becoming accustomed to it, but they often wondered if Grandma was expecting rain, or something. "No," she would reply. "I'm expecting the SUN."

Now, she stood outside in the sun waiting for the crowds, which were strangely missing.

No one was there when the theater opened for business. No one was there when Grandma happily purchased seven tickets. No one was there when she walked in to 'grab up' her seats. She sat. She read. She could be patient.

Suddenly there were the sounds of six wonderful people (whom she loved) coming in. "Grandma! You got such good seats!" Haha! Yes, and there were a lot to choose from.

Soon the lights dimmed and popcorn was munched. Mommy and daddy were on one end of the row, Grandma and Grandpa on the other. The children sat in between. At one point, mommy glanced down the row and noticed that all three children were sitting on, and around, Grandpa...eyes on the screen, but crammed all around him. Grandma, too, but mostly? - their Water Bomber hero, Grandpa.

The four of them sat, entertained and fascinated by what had always fascinated them. It didn't matter that these were talking Planes, and therefore not 'real'. I know of one 7 year old who had stars in his eyes just thinking of piloting one of those beauties. Yep. He could do it. He could strap himself in, set the dials, and roar forth.

He was only in second grade. But he could be patient.

See you along they way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="">Rory Murdock</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Beauty. Beast. Who Wins?

It's tough to go to two movies in one day, and find yourself wondering which is worse (both) and which is better (neither). It was a conundrum. I literally went from one theater room to another, fleeing the wrath of both. It was harsh.

Ok, here's the story.

We were going to see the new movie Lucy. Have you seen it? Well, I was completely uneducated about it and knew only that it was 'SciFi'. Nothing more. After the inevitable trailers and ads we suddenly saw, on the screen above us, the gargantuan name of SCARLETT JOHANSON
I immediately knew why I, and a ton of other people, were crammed in there. And it had nothing to do with the movie.

Don't get me wrong; I like her just as much as the next person. She is interesting. Somebody told me that she might be the most sought after actress right now. At least by the men. I am really quite noncommittal about her, myself. Not at all jealous. And if anyone is waiting for her star to start fading, or her movies to stop selling, well don't hold your breath. It won't happen anytime soon.

So anyway, we were becoming entranced in the SciFi world of Lucy and right away I could tell it would be good. Good acting. Believable repartee.  She was arguing good-naturedly with a twit who then handcuffed her to a valise and made her go into a building. 

Are you worried about Spoiler Alerts? There's no need to worry, people. I have no idea what happens next. After they put some horrid thing inside her stomach (well, oops spoiler) I did not last past the next five minutes. Horrid and squidgey things started to happen, truly gruesome types of things, and I (as they say) couldn't take it.
Dashing out the door, I wondered what I would do until Lucy was over. The theater was a 4-plex so I decided to dip into the new Planet of the Apes. I suppose it, too, could be considered SciFi if you take into account the fact that apes have turned up smart and sassy. The only place that would ever happen is in SciFi, no matter what they say about our ancestors. I sat in the back, turned the brightness down on my iPhone and proceeded to text people.

I texted people until I noticed an ape grabbing an AK-47 and mowing people down mercilessly. He must have been really mad because his crooked teeth opened in a gruesome howl that reminded me of the Orcs in Lord of the Rings. After that I couldn't really concentrate to text because it was getting so loud - screeches, and super human snarls, not to mention the guns and rockets and other weaponry at play. I overheard a man in the next row saying, "This is ridiculous. We've wasted our money. Where is Charlton Heston, anyway?"

The poor man was from another era, hoping (as we all do) for a sighting of Charlton himself, astride a horse and leading kinder, gentler apes to the Statue of Liberty. 

Now THAT would be a good movie. They just don't make movie stars like Charlton Heston anymore. Certainly the Apes don't look anywhere near so handsome.

Besides, if they are really all that smart, for heaven's sake why don't they get a dentist? (I ask you).

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

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Friday, July 25, 2014

When We Turn The Key One Last Time

Things are moving along here at a furious clip, for the SconeLady and her husband are moving. All of the activity has the affect of distracting my mind from sad woes. And why should I be sad? Or woeful? It is because I must leave my sweet woodland cabin, and that is a melancholy feeling. I will probably hang on to the bitter end, and then turn the key one last time.

This husband of the SconeLady is making it all unbelievably easy - for me. The most difficult parts of moving are all being handled before I even have a chance to think of them. Bliss.

While contemplating these things, I felt the sudden need for a fresh and creamy scone. Why else be a SconeLady if you are not going to bring another batch into this world? I asked my mother and sister to come, to share them, and to sit around the table once more, together. 

I decided upon the Cream Scone recipe from a previous blog. The principal ingredients are thick cream and white sugar. Need I say more? Oh - and, of course, butter. Lots of butter. Also interesting was my newly purchased antique (well, that's debatable - let's just call it 'old') pastry cutter, which made the process much easier. 

Boxes lay strewn about the place; newsprint stood ready to wrap up any number of dishes. But the four of us sat, together, talking. There were darling grandchildren to exult over and thoroughly brag about. There was the SconeLady's upcoming trip to England (oh yes, and she is bringing her husband this time!). We didn't want to think/talk/analyze the impending move very much; there will be plenty of time for that.

I fully understood last week when the 7 year old grandson, as he strapped himself into the car seat, said "This is my most horrible day. I can't bear the thought of leaving here..!" No one who leaves this sweet woodland town actually wants to. It gets into your heart, this spot of green and blue. It's a place where even the dogs are happy. I'm not even joking! They actually smile.

So, we ate our scones, and our tea sandwiches, and lovely watermelon. Even sweeter than the scones, though, were the people sitting around our table. That is what I will really miss, most of all. Those dear faces.

I can't say very much more, my dear Readers (is it possible for fingers to get choked up?). ..I'm sure you understand.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Thursday, July 24, 2014

"Yes, Headmistress" (part 10)

(Previous posts from this series):

Part 10

Every American school, wherever you are, indulges in what we call 'Back To School Night'. We usually enjoy this because student behavior hasn't yet had a chance to reach crisis mode. This is key. Have Back To School Night early on before all you-know-what breaks loose.

The Brits also have their version of this night, which in 1990 took place soon after we arrived. Miss Lunn gave a stirring opening address, and then released us to visit the classrooms and meet the teacher. I wish I could remember the name of the 1st grade teacher because she was hilarious. On the first day of school our son had come home and stated, "My teacher is 93 years old. THAT'S REALLY OLD isn't it?" I thought it was, actually, quite aged for a school teacher. But really - who was I to judge?

We walked in and browsed. I was excited to learn if perhaps some American brilliance had shown up to impress the teacher. I approached her with the respect due an elder person. She stood facing a wall of graphs attached to student names.

"So how is he doing?", I enquired, and she turned. She certainly did not look 93, and I thought about mentioning it to her - but didn't. 

"Oh, he is very cooperative. Very nice." I waited for more. When nothing was forthcoming I ventured further.

"Oh. Well.. is he about where the other students are in terms of progress?" I squinted toward the graphs.

She apparently decided honesty was the best policy, and said in her jolly voice, "Oh, no, ma'am, he is right down there at the bottom!"

What -  OUR son? My eyes inched downward toward the lower graphs, searching for a name. She explained that the rest of the class had been in school for 2 years, and were advanced readers. Things 'might be different' in the American schools (this was a theme I was becoming familiar with).

Thank you for letting us know... What should we do?"

"Oh, not a thing, dear, not a thing. He has made the best choice we could possibly hope for. He has become chums with the smartest student in the class, Nicki, and is scratching and clawing to catch up. I have placed your son next to Nicki to help the process along a bit. No need to worry!"

Okay, so that was good. Right? In my relief, I decided to mention a point of curiosity - "You are much younger than I expected.."

She laughed, and said, "What? did you think I was 93 or something? (I always tell my classes that. And they always believe it!) Hahaha!"

We walked toward the car, not quite sure if we had just had good or bad news. Thinking of the Headmistress, I said, "I wonder if all you-know-what ever breaks out at that school."

My husband replied, "With Miss Lunn at the helm? Not a chance."

Oh, for a few more Miss Lunns on this side of the Pond. We wouldn't know what hit us.

Rule, Britannia!
the SconeLady

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Yes, Headmistress" (part 9)

(Previous posts from this series):

Part 9

We talked all the way home. Not everything that happened that day was bad, but neither was it all good. "Mom," they said. "It's all different here!" 

"Oh? tell me how different.." Apparently the use of language was one way it was different, for our small boy had said the word 'bloody' on the playground, and had been in trouble for it.

And what was the matter with saying it? Well, they didn't know it but children were not allowed to say that word, even if they didn't mean whatever it was meant to have meant. Or something. Here's what happened: while on the playground he shared that he had gotten a 'bloody nose' last year. I mean, doesn't everyone get a bloody nose at some point? I would have thought such a thing was relatively ordinary. But he quickly found out it was a BIG mistake to say it, for the response was swift.

A teacher learned about it and the child that uttered the abominable b-word had to stand against the wall for the duration and not talk. 

Suddenly I remembered. "Oh! I knew about that word but never thought to mention it. You'll probably have to call it a 'nosebleed' from now on.."

So that was the first event. 

The next bit, as you already know, was the way they ate the school dinner. Americans eat the American way, which is pretty different from the English. We cut our food with (of course) the knife in the right hand, and the fork in the left. Then - and I realize what a waste of time this all is - we switch hands and pick up the bite with the fork in our right hand. Unconscionable!

Miss Lunn expressed that this sort of eating simply

That was the second event.

But before they could tell me more, the topic suddenly changed direction. We were passing the chestnut trees, and those two lit up like light bulbs. "Mom! It's the CONKERS!!!"


"Conkers! They're all over the place - look!"

Sure enough, there were horse chestnuts scattered 'all over the place', ahead of us. The b-word, and dinner knives, and strange differences were forgotten. They explained to their mother all about 'conkers'.

"You see, mum, they drill a hole through...."


So I was 'mum', now? That actually had a nice ring to it. 

Rule Britannia!!

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Yes, Headmistress" (part 8)

(Previous posts from this series):

Part 8

These two sweet things were safe and sound, and in the capable hands of Miss Lunn. She said they were the first Americans at this primary school in ten years. So they would be unique; interesting; divergent. Right? I couldn't wait to find out!

First day of school

I walked home through the most enchanting fall morning. A delightful beginning! There would be time to unpack boxes and gather groceries and bake an apple pie. We would all celebrate our first day in grand style. 
   (The Darlings)

Instead of purchasing apples, I remembered the apple trees scattered among the gravestones just steps away, behind the ancient church. To get there I walked through our back yard, where rose bushes crowded along a long stone wall. This wall and these roses were the best spot in the garden. They would be magnificent in spring. How could I be so blessed?

The wall was perhaps two feet high, so it was easy just to step over and find oneself in the churchyard. I was in no hurry now. A sweet silence beckoned me to mosey and to read the ancient gravestones surrounding me. The names were old and traditional - Jeremiah, Martha, Ruth, James - as were the dates, going back to the 1700's and earlier. I had never been in a graveyard this old. 

The apples I found were perfect for pie making, and I carried 5 of them back through the churchyard. There was a reason I was eager to bake in this new place of ours: it had an AGA cooker! I had never heard of an AGA cooker, but soon remembered the connection between the AGA and Rosamunde Pilcher books. The AGA figured very importantly in all of her novels, for many of her heroines did their cooking with one. How charming to be included! 

I walked back to the school, just in time to find out how my two had survived. A group of mothers and small children stood waiting, and I noticed the dark and lively mother of the adorable four. This lady was all smiles and laughter, and she greeted me right away. "I remember you from this morning! Are you the new Americans?"

I don't remember our exact conversation, but during it I was warmly welcomed and certainly accepted. In a few minutes the children began spilling out the entrance, and what did we see? One of her daughters was walking with my own. We both laughed. Could it be? Friends.

It was time to go, but before we parted I said, "...and what is your name?"

Her youngest was pulling her ahead, "Come on, mum!" but she turned, laughing and calling out, "Rosie!"

Rosie. It was perfect. There was something about that name that exactly fit.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Monday, July 21, 2014

"Yes, Headmistress" (part 7)

Downham Market

(Previous posts from this series):

Part 7

Punctuality was strictly adhered to at the primary school, and so there was some rushing as we prepared for the first day. The kindly husband (bless him for agreeing to the house!) had long since begun the 25 mile trek to the base. His F-111 fighter jet awaited, and he too must be punctual.

It was 7 tenths of a mile to the school, and we decided to walk - except in case of an emergency. Then we would take the car. Along the way we found ourselves fascinated by the sweetest and most ancient of houses at the top of the hill. Oh - and the white lace curtains were open! We knew better, but couldn't help ourselves and glanced inward. The room was a tiny but quaint looking kitchen with a very old stove of some kind. Next to the table sat a young and pretty mother feeding a small child in a high chair. Then, we were past and could see no more.

We really weren't trying to peek in! It's just that the window was right there at eye level, and when one glanced ever so briefly in, one saw that the kitchen was below the window. I mean, it was below street level and had the effect of looking almost into a basement. It was splendid. I longed to meet this pretty young mother and her baby. 

And now, we were closing in on the primary school. Gulp! The two, who had been chatting together and looking about with interest, suddenly fell silent. There it was, their new and daily home for the next two years. Oh dear. There was nothing for it now but to walk in.

But - oh. There was a group of mothers and children also nearing the entrance. In fact there were cars and vans approaching, doors opening, children spilling out. One van in particular caught my eye. Within it were four adorable children, rather bouncy children in fact. The side door opened and out popped three of them. The fourth tried to pop, but was swiftly prevented by his mother.

We entered, and found the Headmistress's office. Miss Lunn welcomed the two, and thanked me for bringing them. There was a small silence, and then I realized - it was time for me to leave. Miss Lunn would take it from here.

Miss Lunn

As I left, the van (with now only one bouncy child) was just pulling away. The mother, dark haired and lively, briefly turned her head in my direction. And then she was gone. The last thing I saw from the back seat was the dark and curly head of the fourth child, bouncing.

Something about this van and its people suggested that today was only the beginning of - something. I didn't know what. It was just a little bit lonely here, for this new American. I certainly had not met anyone yet. 

It was obviously high time I got started.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Yes, Headmistress" (part 6)

(Previous posts from this series):
Part 6

As we pulled in, the estate representative stood in the doorway of Number One, The Towers - watching, waiting. Smiling! We introduced ourselves, and he asked, "But where are the children? I understand you have two.."

"Oh, yes! They are in the American school at the base until we find a house, and then they will attend your local primary."

"Well, let's get started then, shall we?" He took us for a tour of the house, which I adored. Among my papers, there is a postcard describing the house to my mother:

"By Friday we had found our 'house of dreams', mother! A large 4 bedroom home in a quaint village with tons of charm. The house has a heated pool! And a little tea house near the pool to sip while watching kids. It has a charming music room, laundry room, 3 bath rooms and more. We're to be in on Friday next week. So when can you visit?! Oh, and there is an old English church outside our back fence and a 'churchyard'. That means graveyard over here. The house has a nice front and back yard, with roses! The children will be in the village school which is Church of England, and we are looking forward to that. Pray for an easy transition for them.."

It was this 'transition' that seemed vague and in the murky realms of the Unknown. As we moved in, the children pondered their new future. Would they like their teachers? Would the other students like them? And what about Miss Lunn? They had never had anything like a Headmistress before. Heavens. Whatever next?

A giant question mark hung over them like in a comic strip. I could easily see it on their faces as they stood in their new school uniforms. They were so sweet. 1st and 4th graders, with all of the hopes and fears we ourselves had at that age.

"Pray for an easy transition for them..."


For the first time, I was hit with some doubt. It was one thing for us to transition into a culture we were familiar with and ecstatic about; another thing altogether for them to fold into a system so different from the more 'feel good' type back home. 

I prayed. I thought of goodness and mercy following us up the unfamiliar hill to the school, in through the front door, on to their classrooms. I knew the promise well, and counted on it. 

I would always count on it.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life..."
23rd Psalm

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

"Yes, Headmistress" (part 5)

(Previous posts from this series):

Part 5

We introduced them to the British lifestyle with high excitement. It was wonderful being back after a 4 year absence! Riding north toward the base revealed all of the beauty I had missed in that span of time, and it all seemed romantic to me. The husband whose Air Force career enabled all of this romance was just as happy with it. What makes the wife happy makes everybody happy. Right? And so he was content.

But we needed a house. It couldn't be just any old house, but must have ample space for two children and a recording studio. I spent an inordinate amount of time gently pestering the housing office lady, enquiring as to homes that might be of interest.

"Do you have any thatched cottages available?" was my very first question.

"Ah, well no, we don't seem to have any of those in your - ah, rental price range, ma'am. Could I perhaps interest you in a semidetached bungalow?"

But - no. A semidetached bungalow did not seem quite to strike the tone I was looking for. One of the upper officer's wives had mentioned her lovely house in a thatchy-homey kind of area. Thetford. "Our daughter, Meagan, has a 'wing' all her own. It's true, there is a bedroom with an en suite bathroom all her own, plus the nanny's room next to it and a kitchen they use."

Sample of a thatched cottage

I was shocked. Meagan's WING? Good grief. This became a running joke among the newer officer's wives. We all bugged our husbands to get us a house with a 'WING' for our children and their 'nanny'. We could hardly wait to find ourselves able to have a wing like Meagan's.

Then one day at the housing office we overheard someone discussing a house that caught our attention. Someone mentioned - could it be? - a swimming pool! And now this interested person was saying he might go for a look. We both stood silently and moved out of the door, and in lock step went to the car. Maybe we could get there first!

On the way my husband tentatively said, "Well, it is a ways to this house from the base.."

Oh dear - he was right. It was 25 miles after all. And I didn't want it to be too much of a drive. "Ok, let's time ourselves today and see. Maybe you will find it isn't so bad," I ventured.

As we approached this house, all thoughts of drives and 'WINGS' and studios flew from my mind. THIS was the house. This was IT! It was so cute, for us. Not huge but big enough. A little room just the size for a studio. Pretty roses everywhere. Orchards of apple trees out back...

I whispered, "Oh please....please let this be The House!"

We walked up to the door, and saw a white haired and cultured looking man standing, smiling towards us..

See you along the way!
the Scone Lady

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Friday, July 18, 2014

This Happy Distraction

I was going to write about Paula Deen's cinnamon rolls, but it turns out I didn't want to write about them. They are nice and rather comforting, those rolls; but something infinitely nicer and more comforting prompts my pen this night. There are three of them downstairs, being placed into their beds. I do not mean to say that they all stay in their beds. But they are placed there, nonetheless.

It has been a long and busy and even productive day, this last day of the visiting vacation. It began with the fantastically fun digging in the rocks and dirt of the enormous driveway. There can never be too many rocks.

Then there was the 'visit' by our friendly doe, which was very entertaining - and somewhat awe-inspiring it must be said.
                             A deer becomes friendly 
Also there was running chase through the grasses of the hugely spacious lawn. This lawn was planted, fertilized, and tended by a kindly grandfather who knew the three were coming. He refurbished it months ago in preparation, so it is fine to see them running chase through it. 

Best of all these things was the trip, floating, down the Deschutes River. Each had a life preserver, as did grandma. Grandma also held her purple umbrella, which numerous people commented on as if they had never seen a lady with a purple umbrella in a tube while floating down the Deschutes. You really would think they thought this hilariously funny. It was very comforting to hear them say they wish they had thought of it themselves.

The tubes were great fun, and for most of the trip all 6 of us were held together by hanging onto the side handles. Occasionally, though, a rogue tube would separate (as you see below), and then a grownup - usually daddy - had to retrieve the rogue. No harm was done. Just a lot of good natured shouting and laughter. This kind of thing went on among all the floaters. Only positive language, and happiness. Comaraderie.

It was all great fun and had we taken a vote, today would be a pinnacle, with perhaps horse riding right up there as a tie. Or perhaps - playing with cousins all afternoon at Black Butte; or even, riding a four wheeler and a combine on a farm in Lebanon. Well, there are just too many terrific things to consider for votes. It was all equally marvelous. 

The SconeLady travels down the river with her purple umbrella

It is time now for sleep. I hope, dear Readers, that you are enjoying your summer; that you might have small ones somewhere in the vicinity of your ankles or knees, asking and wanting and laughing up at you.

I wish everyone had a joy like that one. Perhaps then they would be distracted and wouldn't need to fear, or blame, or have international incidents that end lives and muddy the waters of accord. I wish.

Let's think about it. Maybe we feel we cannot do very much to create this happy distraction. But I really do think we can.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Thursday, July 17, 2014

And Dreams Are Horses

They had their very own horse for half an hour, today, and they couldn't have been any happier. You should have seen those faces - Hahaha! The three had found something they all loved, all at the same time.

The SconeLady had always wanted her own horse, and often dreamed of how fun it would be to see the world from that immense height. Never mind that one must also know how to take care of the horse and its gear. I thought all of it was oh-so romantic, and wanted these three to feel the same. I was almost positive they would.

The smallest was only 2, and there was some slight doubt as to whether he would make it onto the back of a horse. It could have gone either way, truth be told. All week he would be playing happily, then stop suddenly and say, "I NOT going horse ride!" The rest of us would smile and act like it was no big deal. Right up until the moment, we just weren't sure.

But when it came time, each of them climbed up with amazing skill. The 7 year old was an instant natural, as if he had been on a horse all his life. As his mother later said, he  seated his horse well. His sister and brother followed his calm lead, and listened carefully to all the things the horse lady told them. She told them how to make their horse go (squeeze and kick their sides, make a kissing sound, and shake the reigns slightly), stop (pull gently back on the reigns, saying "Whoa!"), and how to pat it to make it know you are nice.

They learned how to go up a hill and down again (lean forward when going up, lean backward with down), and how to 'jump' your horse ... well, there was a log for their horse to step over. But it was a beginning!

The place was simply crawling with horses - 30 of them in all shapes and forms. There were some mules, too. Or perhaps they were donkeys? I wasn't quite sure. They sounded dreadfully mulish, come to think of it. And then there was the obligatory Alpacas, seen everywhere in this central land of pastures and paddocks and pines. 

The grownups had as much fun, just watching. Mommy and Daddy helped to spot the two smaller ones, just in case. And Grandma followed along with her ever-ready camera while Grandpa walked behind, smiling and laughing as all loving grandpas do. It was all so terribly satisfying.

There is something pretty grand about being away from the asphalts of California, finding space, and lush greens, and huge blue skies. Makes you want to take a real deep breath and hold on to the moment, while you have it. 

Three small and drowsy heads will sleep comfortably, tonight. The stars in their eyes match those hovering above this sweet woodland cabin. There is one last day of the visit now left, a day in which to find adventures, and frogs, and to dream of horses and paddocks. I know of one lady sitting up tonight who wishes for more days like these, and who will be sorry to see them end.

The quintessential SconeLady. The one with the camera. 


See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Many thanks to Diane's Riding Place!