Friday, July 31, 2015

Morning Raspberry and Almond Muffins


The muffins are in the oven, but I can tell you right now that there were problems. I don't know if they will be even half as pretty as friend Rosie's were yesterday, but they will probably taste divine.

Everybody knows that mornings are the right and proper time for muffins. And on any normal day, these muffins would have long ago been made. But here it is, 6:27 pm and they are only just now baking! But oh, dear Readers, they are smelling awfully nice, and I can hardly wait to make their acquaintance. Just a few minutes more, and I will.

In the meantime, I shall give you the recipe. It is in British, not American measurements so I will add those just in case. *It was here that I had the first of my afore-mentioned troubles. Because as I did not realize, there are tons of websites out there that will give you the conversions. But much to my dismay none of them matched each other - and Rosie, over the Pond in England, was already sleeping! I didn't want to take the time to figure out which conversion site was the best. 



First clue of good baking: Whatever you do, don't rush it.



In the end I came up with a batter that did seem the right consistency and tasted really great (I suppose with one cup of sugar it's bound to be smashing). Here is friend Rosie's recipe, with my conversions in bold:


Raspberry & Almond Muffins

Makes 12

325g(11oz) self -raising flour (2 2/3 cups)
225g(8oz)) caster sugar (1 cup)
1tsp baking powder
50g(2oz) blanched chopped almonds (1/2 cup)
2 eggs
100g(4oz) butter,melted + more for tin(optional) (7/8 cup)
284ml carton of buttermilk (1.2 cups)
½ tsp almond extract
150g(5oz) fresh raspberries +few extra (I love raspberries) (one heaping cup)
Method

Preheat oven to 200deg C/180 C fan/gas6 (370F). Butter or line a 12 hole deep muffin tin. (I use muffin cases)

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and two thirds of the chopped almonds in a bowl

In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, the 100g(4oz) of melted butter, buttermilk and almond extract and whisk until blended.

Pour liquid on to the flour mixture and mix until smooth (being careful not to overbeat)

Stir in the raspberries.

Spoon into the prepared muffin tin, sprinkle with remaining almonds and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 mins until risen and golden brown.

These can be made up to 3 days ahead and refreshed in moderate oven for 10mins to serve. They also freeze very well.




*My second trouble happened at the raspberries.


Do you love raspberries, too? So do I! But you wouldn't know it because I FORGOT TO ADD THEM TO THE BATTER. At the very last second, before placing them into the oven I saw the raspberries sitting there, innocently minding their business. What to do! I couldn't pour the batter back into the bowl without making an unbelievable mess. So I just picked the berries up one at a time, and poked them into the individual muffins by hand. Still messy, but OK. About 4 raspberries made it inside each muffin.


 And so now, TA-DA!! Here are the finished muffins:


Not quite the same as friend Rosie's. I ended up having quite a bit more batter, which probably means I guessed wrong on the conversions. Oh well! At least I was right about one thing, about which the SconeLady's husband agrees: 

They taste divine!


Friend Rosie's Morning Raspberry and Almond Muffins


I do hope you try them, my friends. If you find a good solid conversion chart and do that up right, you won't be sorry. Every recipe that comes from our SconeTherapy Norfolk kitchens will please your family every time.


See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Scones and Cathedrals


The emails between Norfolk and California have begun picking up, dear Readers, and I'll bet you have no difficulty at all in guessing why. Travel plans! The excitement builds as Fall of 2015 shapes itself into yet another search for scones - and Cathedrals - and friend Rosie.

It is really lovely to make distance plans with someone who is just as keenly interested. Who speaks British and understands American. Who gives more than she receives. And shall I say one thing more? Whose children are just as nice to me as their mother is. It is puzzling, but they do!

Just yesterday as I was plying friend Rosie with electronic details, questions, and exclamation points, she sent the photograph below with the caption: 


This is what I've been doing this morning xxx




What she had been doing this morning is going to be what I am doing tomorrow morning. Just look at those muffins! They are Raspberry and Almond, and were made for a charity event that friend Rosie fully supports. I found myself envying the lucky charitable giver who will be consuming these tasty treats at that event. I myself would have paid dearly for them.

But since I am not there and she is not here, I shall have to make them for myself. And by tomorrow evening there will be a post all about it, with a photo. We shall compare how the British AGA cooker produces muffins, as compared with the Electro Lux oven in my American kitchen. I myself cooked with an AGA long years ago in Norfolk, and I know how superior it is. There should be an AGA in every kitchen! How delicious everything would be.

And in the meantime, Readers, thirsty California is once again getting rained upon. Right this very minute! Yay and Hooray! We sit here gazing out of the open door at it, in wonder. It may appear dull and gray, and may mean the lake overflows again. But to we thirsty Californians it is the most beautiful sight in this wide world right about now. 

The Governor's wife must be dancing a jig.





See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

There's Always A Dog


Reaching far back into the annals of family history, you will always find one: a cuddly, tail-wagging, happily licking Dog. I'd never actually had one of my very own, but the family did have its fair share. I loved them all, but (due to a bite, or two) was wary. 

And then with marriage came a whole selection of show trial dogs - trained and disciplined, intelligent, responsive. These were not really pets. They were serious workers who were loved by the family and knew their jobs. They are still remembered and spoken of with great fondness. It's almost as though they still exist, decades on.

Young Father-in-Law with never-to-be-forgotten 'Sparky'



With a new baby coming, we began thinking of getting our very own pup, probably a Golden Retriever. Golden Retrievers start out winning right away, don't you think? Who could go wrong with a breed-name like that? 


Our first Golden, 'Brandi-Wine', babysitting the lovely daughter

Before very long it was hard to remember what it had been like without a dog, so far into our hearts did she reach. But dear Readers, there was a bit of a problem with this pup in the beginning. She wouldn't obey! Her will was stronger, at first, than ours. So we set out to train her, with the help of my Father-in-Law (who could probably train a cobra, if pressed). And miraculously, once she learned the basics she would do just about anything we asked. 

Soon we branched into all sorts of interesting obedience training, all our own. We started small. But eventually we could place a large bite of raw steak onto the bridge of her nose, and she'd wait for our signal to eat it. When we snapped our fingers, Brandi gave the meat a quick flip, and it never hit the floor. Hahahaha! It was all such terrific fun. 

There is a picture of her somewhere, wearing an Air Force flyer's cap and regulation sunglasses (there might have been an unlit cigarette in her mouth - our friend's, mind you!). Brandi was exquisite.


Brandi-Wine, 1981

And so the tradition has sifted on down through the years. There have been other Goldens, and other funny things they've learned to do. But above everything else, what they did was love us. If you have a doggie of your own, you'll know of what I speak. The endless, loyal, and uninterrupted love of a dog is fairly unparalleled in this world. Sure, they can be a nuisance and get hair all over the house. They bark sometimes when you don't want them to. You have to arrange for their care, and they need a Vet to keep them healthy.

But wherever there is a faithful dog, something else always follows - smiles. Lots and lots of smiles. You can't get away from it. It is the sweetest thing.


The friends of a Golden, 1996 
















There's nothing like the love of a good dog

1996


Continuing the tradition - darling Athena, 2015


And sweet Bear! 


Tonight we drove over to see Athena, and to play in the back yard with her. She is growing so fast! Not only physically, but in the wisdom that comes of much training. The lovely daughter and her family of 'dog-whisperers' don't let Athena get away with much. She might try to, but it's no use. She's met her match-es.




See you along the way!
the SconeLady




Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Spectacle


I don't care if it does have a fancy name - I don't like it. Trachelas tranquillus by any other name is still a SPIDER.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/83553038@N00/1460118773

This one looks hideous enough, but isn't very interested in humans. I was happy to hear of this after I ran into one the other evening. The evening walk has been extremely pleasant this summer as the nailing heat of the day subsides. At that time, you can see people everywhere streaming out of their doorways with huge smiles plastered all over. This I did, on the evening in question. I was minding my very own business, thinking about fun travel ideas...when all of a sudden a spider with red legs let itself down from a tree right in front of my face. A split second later and it would have landed ON MY HEAD (I apologize to my sister for this visual picture).

It too had probably been minding its own business when along I came without warning. We both overreacted. It started wiggling around hideously not 2 inches from my nose, and I screamed, arms and legs flailing and jumping, and looking sadly ridiculous. It was at least 30 seconds before I could get it under control. Someone, somewhere, laughed.

With all the gyrating about, I became tangled in its line. All it wanted was to get either back up into the tree, or down to the ground where it could escape this creepy human lump. It wriggled fast, dear Readers. I cannot overemphasize this point. I finally lowered its line onto the ground, where the spider - I kid you not - jumped! Its hideousness could go no further, and so I made a mad attempt to squish it - but missed. 

It scurried into the nearby grass, I scurrying in the opposite direction. There, I saw the person who had been laughing at this episode. It was actually two someones. They were several yards away, too far to see anything so small as that spider. Therefore, I realized that so far as they could tell, I had screamed and gyrated and flung my arms and legs in such a ridiculous manner - FOR NO REASON. They stared. "What was it?" said one.

"Yeah, what was it?" followed the other.

A pause. "Spider.." said I, with a shudder.

"Oh. Sorry for laughing," said the one.

"Oh yeah. Sorry for laughing," followed the other.

"Don't mention it."

I escaped, unsure of which was worse, the spider itself, or the spectacle I had made of myself. It was almost as bad as the day I was speaking to a couple of 8th graders just outside our classroom door. These 8th graders had been bad, and were being reprimanded. Just as I was at my most irate, a passing seagull dropped a large glob of white you-know-what onto my glasses. The two bad boys saw it and howled with hysterical laughter, falling all over themselves and gasping for breath. The entire episode was viewed by all 33 other 8th graders, through the window.

Just imagine trying to get that situation back under control. It doesn't bear thinking of. Maybe the spider wasn't all that bad.

But, sometimes life just is not very fair.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/77503750@N07/16218393453

See you along the way!
the SconeLady


photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/83553038@N00/1460118773">House Spider</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/77503750@N07/16218393453">Class in colors</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>

The Nanny State

Recent Instagram post:




Small boy: "I think I'll try climbing like my sister.."

Grandma: repeatedly bangs head against tree in despair #mightaswellcalltheparamedics

***

I could see it coming, but had hoped it wouldn't. It was the last morning of darling Cannon Beach, and breakfast was over. The children had all said their goodbyes and felt themselves at a loose end. And then, "Let's go for one last fling at the park, shall we?" said Grandpa. Grandpa was always happy at the park. 

Even Grandma was happy there, now. She had become less and less agitated in that setting. Fewer and fewer frightened comments made it past her lips. It was just a matter of adapting, she thought. So, over to it we went, one last time.

The small girl's best friend, another tree-climber, was there with her father. We had daily seen them there so by this time, all of us were friends. The men had taken to meeting at the base of the tree, I suppose ready to catch small children as they dropped.

But wait...there were more small people now clustered beneath that tree. In fact, the three year old and his friend stood clutching its lower branches. Grandma wondered. They had never yet showed an interest.

"Grandma?" he now said. "I like this tree."

"Oh, that's nice dear, let's move on over to the tire swing.." and Grandma started walking that direction.

He hesitated. "But, I don't want the tire swing," he sweetly called out in the direction of my back. "I want the TREE!"


And then I could hear Grandpa, cheering him on. "Hey, that's great! You can climb it, sure! Go right on ahead!"

I opened my mouth with a response, but something in the little fellow's delighted face stopped me. Like sister, like brother. They climbed in tandem, concentrating; doing their job.

Grandmas can sometimes be a one-woman Nanny State. It isn't very attractive to small children. Right then, this Nanny State closed up shop.

I moseyed over to the tire swing anyway. Nobody says Grandma has to watch.


See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Color and the Light


Perhaps it was only a matter of time.


The weather might be chilly there, and the winds may tend to blow. But just look at this and fall in love. I dare you not to.

The SconeLady's fingers are strangely quick on the keys once again, searching for the perfect spot to linger. It is a combination of the sea, and the color, and the light - and the people - that calls a person back there, over and over again. I have tried to figure it out but can come up with only a vague notion that, although it isn't exactly home, it runs a close 2nd. And besides, the only scones I have been able to taste over here since April have been the ones that I, or my sister, have made ourselves. Try as I might to find them, the call for scones - and afternoon tea in general - remains illusive.

Therefore, a rather dreamlike plan begins to form; hazy, imprecise, but hovering near the inevitable. As you know, at least half the fun of going is the planning! And this time, besides the endless pursuit of scones I really must begin my gradual tour of the Cathedrals of England. There are (as far as I can count) 44 Anglican Cathedrals in England alone. And I have been to only 11! Each of them was worth every effort it took to find them, and in fact - all were breathtaking.

Truro Cathedral, Cornwall


Nothing has really happened yet, for it is early days and there is time to think and plan. Just gazing seems to help. I can totally see why Rick Steves has become such an inveterate travel aficionado. It might be a virus, or something. Perhaps we have caught it, and do not wish to find the cure.


See you along the way!
the SconeLady





Saturday, July 25, 2015

Idol


The year was 1972 and we had all decided to communicate together by way of cassette. It was a far, far different world than the one we now find ourselves in. Do all of my readers know just what it is that I mean by the word 'cassette'? Well, here is a photo of a stack of them, just in case:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/28097840@N04/4571048321

Cassettes have mostly now disappeared from the stage of this world, but back then they held center stage. The SconeLady (who was not yet the SconeLady, truth be told) was in New Zealand, and the rest of the family were scattered about in the various states of the USA. Letters were slow, but admittedly useful. Phone calls? prohibitive. So - what else should we do?

Cassette tape was deemed unique and fun; plus, I was so lonely in my hideaway down under that the human voices coming to me from over-the-sea would be immensely reassuring.

Long after this had been decided, and just when I thought it never would, the cassette finally arrived. The mail arrival was during our morning session break, and soon my name was being called. And there the package sat peering enticingly at me from amongst a pile of letters for everyone else. I could not yet listen to it - oh woe was me! - but I placed it inside my desk in the lecture hall, reaching in to touch it from time to time as I listened. The wait felt like torture.

But at last the lecturer concluded his final point, and let us out for lunch. I dashed to the dining room and consumed tomato soup, pikelets (tiny pancakes often eaten at lunchtime), scones (!) and white bread (did I tell you I gained a *stone while in New Zealand? Just sayin)'.

Back in my shared room, I inserted the tape into the cassette recorder, and pushed 'play'. There, for my amazed enjoyment and satisfaction were the voices of my sweet family members from thousands of miles northeast of this small room. The immediate reaction was one of tears. 

"What is the matter?" said my concerned roommate.

I pulled out a tissue. "Oh - well, nothing is really the matter. It's just that my family sent me this tape and I am so completely happy to hear their voices.."




https://www.flickr.com/photos/61411590@N03/5979684808

She nodded, and tiptoed out the door, to let me listen - and cry - in peace.

After all these years I cannot remember all of what I heard on that blessed tape. But one segment became lodged in my memory, never to escape. Two small nieces shared their own sweet selves with us, telling all about their experiences. Of huge importance was the fact that God was giving them "the food we need, and the money we need," along with the details of how He was doing all of this. They were only 2 and 4 years old, yet they knew from whence their sustenance came. 

Then, they shared a song they had written after having heard the story of the Israelites worshipping idols they had no business worshipping. The girls were very impressed by this sad departure from God's clear instruction. Their voices sang their song for us in a minor key, which went like this:

Never worship an idol!
Never, never, never, no, no!
Never, never worship an idol!
Never, never, never, no, no!

They can't see and they can't hear
For they are dead and Satan likes them.
So never worship an idol!

(spoken): NEVER!!!!!!

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NO, NOOOOOOOO!!!!!


This song was going along just fine until the next to the last line was spoken: "NEVER!!!!!" That part did not go so well, for one little girl sang it very very loudly into the ear of the other little girl. The offended girl lifted up her head and cried, "She screamed in my ear! She SCREAMED IN MY EAR!" and could not, or would not be consoled. The song ended in much confusion while their parents forgot the tape and attempted to heal the wounds - at which I laughed loud and long.

My roommate had returned just as the screaming began. "What on earth was that all about?" she asked.

"Idol worship," I said. 

"Oh. What about it?" she asked.

"Never do it." 

I guess that about says it all. Around where I live you don't see people going about worshipping idols, per se'. We are all quite careful and private about it, right? Money, beauty, possessions and the like. So that song was actually pretty decent. But will it ever make the Top Ten list?

Never, never, never, no, no.


See you along the Way!
the SconeLady



(*a New Zealand stone equals 14 American pounds)


photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/28097840@N04/4571048321">Tower of colours</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/61411590@N03/5979684808">pancakes</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Little Blue House

https://www.flickr.com/photos/60541684@N00/18201790449
Small and large, young and not-so, everyone gathered out of doors. It was a mildly warm SoCal evening punctuated by the laughter and chatter of many. They had begun by eating a delicious dinner to give them energy for the task, and now all were ready. 

Even the children held tools.

There was a huge and offending tree-bush to remove, and lots of friendly people to remove it. Word had spread of this need, and so they had piled into their cars and arrived at the Little Blue House. The whole thing reminded me a little of the groups of Amish who gather for a neighbor's barn-raising. Why pay a company to do something that can be done together?


The huge and offending tree-bush. Before.

Probably the most intriguing part of all this activity was the important presence of children in it. They were very much a part of the team, and knew it. The grownups knew it too, and accepted/honored/thanked them. Perhaps no heavy tree limbs were actually cut away by these small helpers, and perhaps no thick roots were felled by their strength alone. But they lifted branches, put them into wheelbarrows, helped wheel them to the pickup bed, and hacked away at any number of rogue branches. It was all very satisfying. And purposeful. They were a part of something important.




Because I am a Grandmother within this scenario, I was privy to a secret here: no one produced a video game or movie to keep the children 'occupied' and 'out of the way'. Not one. And I ask you this: which child is better off? -

a) a child who stays indoors for hours playing Grand Theft Auto and Minecraft, or 

b) the child who spent those hours in the back yard hacking away at tree branches surrounded by hard-working and funny adults? 

Workmen, workwomen, workchildren


Just asking.

I'm pretty certain that had any of us suggested a video game, the children would have turned it down flat. Who'd want to be cooped up like that, anyway?

The neat and tidy corner. After.


The SconeLady plays with two small workers while on their 'break'

At some point during the evening it became known that one of the helpers had a lot of pine needles building up in her own back yard. Someone said, Hey! we can come over and rake them with you! The lovely daughter and her 3 piled into their car this morning with their rakes, to do the job. The kids couldn't wait to get there. They know by now the meaning of the message, 'Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.' -Galatians 6:2.

Isn't that just grand? I can't think of very many more important things to teach children. And not just 'teach', as in 'tell' - but 'show' them; include them; incorporate them. You might be surprised at how happy they are to learn. 

Sounds a lot better than being isolated with Assassin's Creed, don't you think? (whatever that is).


See you along the Way!
the SconeLady


https://www.flickr.com/photos/8566600@N07/4202818176




photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/60541684@N00/18201790449">Amish Country</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8566600@N07/4202818176">DSC06595</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>


Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Grand Rescue




There must have been over a thousand still photos, and who knows how many video clips. The SconeLady was never without her iPhone, which was never idle so long as small children were about. Some of the adults took to asking, "Are you recording this?" when they saw me standing there in a certain posture. "Umm... yes... is that ok?" 

"Sure! - I just like to know in advance what I might be saying to the world." 

As we all trooped along the sand toward Haystack Rock, the children began noticing the small, flat, round jellyfish that are carried in with the tides there. One of the youngest began picking them up. "Oh, maybe we shouldn't touch those.." said Grandma SconeLady. But he was clearly holding one of these creepy things right there, with no noticeable negative reaction.

"It won't sting me Grandma!" he said in full trust. "My sister said so. Don't worry!"

If only it were that simple.

By this time, all 7 of the children were paying attention to the offending creatures. They were everywhere. The little blond was collecting them up, in a great 'rescue' attempt. "Oh, my darling girl let's not pick so many up!" I intoned. "They get sick if we take them out of the water."

This had a temporary effect, but soon she felt so sorry for them that the 'rescue' continued.






(Really, about all I can say is "eew.")


But they were having so much fun that we finally decided to just let it all go. Creepy though it may seem to us, the heartfelt sorrow they felt for the 'jellies' was admirable. 

And before I close this one off, I must point something out. Have you noticed anything funny about the above photo? About Haystack Rock itself, and what it might look like? The lovely daughter pointed it out last night: beginning from the left and working toward the right, you can see a strange looking man's head, nose, chin, belly, and toes - as if he has fallen asleep in the surf. The belly is Haystack Rock. Hahahaha! We all 'saw' it, and now we can see nothing else!

Today for the first time, I am trying to add video clips here - there are two, and I don't yet know whether they will 'play' when you click on them. Try it! I will, once I 'publish' the thing. I hope they do work, for they convey just exactly the freedom we felt on that loveliest of days, running and laughing and rescuing, all down the great expanse of Cannon Beach, Oregon.

You really must go!


See you along the way!
the SconeLady


The SconeLady's sister, digging with the best of them



(IT WORKED!!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Rings


The SconeLady's left hand was awfully bare. At age 23, diamonds for me were still only dreams.

Today, that age seems almost girlish - a mere fledgling! But in the 1970s it was different. And so I gazed down at my bare left hand, and wondered.

It wasn't as though there had been no suitors. There had! But there are so many things to consider when you consider 60 or 70 years with a person. You must be poised and ready "to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part." It would be Holy Matrimony, the only kind I was interested in.

So. Vows. Who could I speak such vows to? Not: who is going to present me with a diamond?! Well, you can see how thoughtful such a decision would be. And so, one waits, and prays.

I can now look back to the great day that brought such a person into my life like a flash of bright color. The ring we chose was an outward symbol of this love, and I remember sitting in church just gazing in awe at it (in between gazing at him!). The big lights shone down and made it sparkle so much that I couldn't take my eyes off of it. It was the sweetest thing.

Today you can take a look at that ring, still shining on the hand that doesn't quite look the same as it might have then. But I don't mind. So many dishes have been washed over the years that something was bound to crack!

A few days ago I met three absolutely adorable new wives. They had been married for only a few short months. Their enthusiasm toward their husbands was so sweet that we all just had to laugh. It was lovely to bask in the newness of their journey with them. They let me take a photo of their new rings:



It felt nice to stand with such stunning new members of this long and cherished tradition, to congratulate and cheer them on. Such commitments make us all a little stronger.






So here's to all those of you out there who are laying your own plans; finding your own venue; planning your vows; getting good counsel; and making numerous calls to your mothers! God bless you. We pray for you along your new pathway and are ourselves honored through it.


See you along the Way!
the SconeLady

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Until Next Year


He was only little, and they were all big, sitting together over at that one table. He walked in and felt suddenly shy. But it was the last morning at Cannon Beach, and he did so wish to eat breakfast with them. And there was that one last empty chair. 

All at once they saw him and burst out into the most happy of welcomes. "Come on over!" they called out. "Sit with us!" Their hands and arms waved cheerily toward him until he finally grinned back and climbed on up. He was utterly content.

"Yay!" said one. "Hey how's it going?" called out another, and Grandma knew she could walk quietly away. She knew it was all going to be just fine, and for nearly an hour he didn't even notice she wasn't there. You see, at Cannon Beach there is a camaraderie unusually fine, a feeling that you belong and are recognized. This little fellow had felt it all during the week and now was his chance to feel it again this one last time - until next year. 



Grandma then wandered along to where the small girl had found her own teachers, and was chatting away nineteen to the dozen. "We are going to go get mommy and daddy and go camping in the Redwoods!" she enthused. "We get to stay in a TENT and EAT OUTSIDE."

Just the day before, she had heard that it was their last full day at this wonderful place. When this alarming concept had sunk in and she had known for sure that it would be ending, she lifted up her head and wept.

"But my FRIENDS! my TEACHERS! What will they DO? What will I DO? I - can't - go!" and she was quite unconsolable.

In time, she was comforted and held, coming to accept these hard truths of life. The very temporariness of it seemed to her patently unfair. But she is a smart little thing, and is learning that not everything in life is temporary. There is God. And that is what Cannon Beach is all about. 

Grandma then hovered for a bit near to where the elder brother sat with his cinnamon roll and his hot chocolate, saying his own goodbyes to those with whom he had spent so many hours. These were just exactly the right people for him. They understood him well and liked what they saw. A kid can always tell, and it changes them. Grandma had seen this change all during the week, and was happy.



You see, at the end of every week the youth leaders make themselves available in the dining hall, dressed in red and having breakfast with their young charges. You should just hear them cheerfully reaching out as the children walk in. Little ones all search wistfully for their very own and when they find them, their eyes light up as if they were seeing the cast of Frozen or something. It made me think of Heaven and the great grand welcome we will receive as we arrive. There will have been nothing like it. But in the meantime, while we are still here there are these sweet moments that make us think longingly of it. 

When the breakfast was finally finished and it was time to go, you could hear people calling out everywhere, "Goodbye! Goodbye! See you next year! We will watch for you! Take care!" 

It was hard to leave. But there was a mommy and a daddy waiting; a kind golden doggie yearning; and lots and lots of stories to tell them all.

"Let's go get mom and dad, shall we?" said Grandpa, as he picked up the smallest. The little boy's head rested on Grandpa's strong shoulder, and we all trooped out to the car.


See you along the Way!
the SconeLady


Monday, July 20, 2015

In A Dry And Thirsty Land


We awoke to dead tree branches, mud everywhere, and an overflowing lake. Yay and Hooray!

The morning walk was fascinating in that one's feet had to be very careful when treading on such gooey mud. The SconeLady was attentive to this, and quite circumspect in her steps. A road was closed. Workmen (I saw no ladies) were out in their droves, hacking away at all the detritus of the Storm. 

And everyone was smiling. "Good morning, good morning! Lots of rain, eh? A good day's work!"

But - what's this? A man at the lake was standing there by the pumps, LETTING THE WATER OUT! Just willy-nilly draining off the excess - as if there was more where that came from. It struck us as mildly absurd, does it you? At least they could have kept it to crow over for a day or two, and taken some time to decide.

But be that as it may, we are still basking in the memory of rain splattering on parched lawns. As we drifted off to sleep we could hear it, pounding away just outside our open bedroom window. It was dreamy. Those of you who hail from climates where rain is abundant and therefore annoying, might smile at our quirky response to this phenomenon. But we - we relish it as thoroughly as we can, while it lasts. Almost as we would a Golden Egg that might not lay again.

We think of and believe the words, "Oh God, You are my God, I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water." (Psalm 63:1). A living picture of the truth that we live every day. Best to soak it up, live on it, store it away so that you can have it ready when that dry dust drifts by you once again. Because it will, once again. So don't let your Lake run low. Drink up and bask in the abundance which, as we know, never runs dry.




See you along the Way!
the SconeLady







Sunday, July 19, 2015

Travel Day 11 (Together Again)


One last long drive - down and away from Cannon Beach, onto boring old Interstate 5, steadily drawing ever nearer to Mother and Dad. Burger King and McDonald's fed us well, one last hotel made us welcome, and then:


Back in the arms. 

We almost couldn't believe it when we saw their mother running outside to meet the van! There was shouting and whoo-hooing to beat the band. There was clapping. Smiling. And then all that endless hugging. Our Great Experiment had worked, praise the Lord!






After the reunion settled down a bit, we switched vehicles and kiddies. Our Volvo was repackaged with our things and their van with theirs. Precious cargo of three darlings were all loaded up, and we went our separate ways. 

"Will you sleep for a week?!" teased the lovely daughter.

"Yes! But there will be withdrawal symptoms.." It had to be admitted, we had enjoyed thoroughly our week and a half of being 'Parents' once more. Then again, the sleeping for a week sounded rather nice..

So we were driving quietly south when we began getting strange flash flood warnings from our cell phones. A hideous squealing noise accompanied by the message that the area we were driving in (the Grapevine) was having flooding. Did this mean ---- could this mean --- RAIN????? Could it be possible? Was thirsty California getting the much needed precipitation it had been lacking? And (perhaps) might the Governor be able to resume showering again? (dared we all hope?)

Yes, yes, and - yes! It WAS rain, and we drove straight through it - rather scarily, but with great fits of excitement as we sloshed along. Traffic jams? Who cared! Scary winds and storms? Who could be afraid? We had rain, and that was what counted.

So we have returned, and I think my sleep-for-a-week is probably just about to start. Any minute now.. and with great thankfulness for all the fun, all the safety, all the tucking-in 
to sweet beds, all the potty stops (!), all the 'I love you!'s, and all the jolly laughter. But..

It's going to be awfully quiet around here.


See you along the Way!
the SconeLady