A Gracious Plenty
As much as I may bemoan the overwhelming advance of technology and the internet (and cell phones and digital everything, blah blah blah) over our once-simple lives of cassette tapes and rolls of film, I have to give the world of blogging some props. It has introduced me and brought me close to a very solid group of girlfriends whom I adore with all my heart. It seems that sometimes one is lucky enough to make connections that are as real as they feel. And although we don't get the chance nearly often enough, sometimes some of us actually get to see each other in person. It never fails to be amazing.
Lucky me! Mary, Fern and Missa came to spend a weekend with me here in Placerville. Bringing with them stories, wisdom, knowledge, and the makings for an amazing peach cobbler.
Lucy loved loved loved having them here. She still giggles remembering some little thing Fern did and goes "Perny!"
Settling in on Friday eve. There was a lot of coloring and a lot of reading going on pretty much the whole time. Yeah, we've got our priorities straight. In fact, Missa created a Lion King masterpiece.
I had hopes of showing the ladies a good time, mixing in some social time with some quiet togetherness, and I'm glad to report that it pretty much turned out like I envisioned. The social times were reallllly social though. I am so grateful my two self-proclaimed introvert friends were so chill with my noisy, chaotic life!
A little bbq the first night with friends: Jorden and Becky, Zack and Rebecca, Kristen and her daughters. Although I love to have everyone around I really am so bad at organizing this kind of thing, making sure there's enough food, drinks, getting forks and plates out, etc. Luckily my team of friends helped make this happen like they always do: got the barbecue up and running, brought out condiments, provided platters of the richest lemon bars.
Fern on a brief break from pool action.
I love to see Fern's picture up in the midst of my other kid friends, just one of the gang.
Next day we had plans to go peach picking and then the river and Marcos for my classic summer day.
These two pretty mama mermaids inadvertently matched!
I forgot my camera for the rest of the day, (to my utter dismay) but borrowed Pops' iphone for my picture taking compulsion. Pops had come along as a baby-carrier and entertainer because if I don't have one, I don't get to swim. It's that simple.
We stopped by my artist friend Brian Hayes' country peach orchard for some picking. His wife Sarah makes gorgeous wood-fired clay buttons and tends to many farm related projects. They are a really cool couple and we had fun chatting with them a little bit before heading out to taste the wares. They encouraged us to eat as many as we could stuff in while we wandered.
They just finished making this cute little mobile henhouse.
We saw the kiln and checked out their studio on our way out. They work on many projects together as a couple, and right now they were in the middle of creating several hundred rustic mugs hand stamped with initials for an upcoming wedding. Such a unique and beautiful party favor!
It was about 100 degrees the whole time these ladies were here. By the time we left the dusty farm, we were so very ready to get to the river. We met up with my sister-in-law Amy and the kids in the parking area, ate some peaches, packed up and finally made it down to that water. Almost too refreshing if you know what I mean - - deep gasp as you go in, take your time and let your body adjust, or make the plunge all at once; that water is COLD!
So many girls I love in these photos. It melts my heart.
Pops and Lucy took a fall on the way down. It was pretty heart-wrenching. He felt really bad but it was my fault for having him wear her in the Ergo, which he is not used to, and she is so big now, he couldn't see where he was going on the trail. She cried hard, but everything was just fine. And he was so helpful to me entertaining Polly for quite some time on the shore so that I could enjoy the water and being around my girlfriends. He is such a good dad. He likes to learn too; he really loved hearing Mary and Missa talk a little about some of the surrounding plantlife.
And then Dolly showed up! Another plant lover extraordinaire, Amy's sister, who knows Mary too. It's a small world. So much to talk about together, once we get started, we could go all night, sing it to the moon, and then find some herbs to eat with breakfast ;)
These ladies introduced me to some real beauties along the trail and along the water's edge. I already wish I wrote everything down, because I'm afraid I've lost some of the names. (my memory has gone to shit since having babies.) I know we saw St. John's Wort, Queen Anne's Lace, blue Vervain, California Wild Rose, mugwort, some kind of mint...coyote mint? So many others...and I ate a manzanita berry that dissolved chalky sweet in my mouth. I tucked a bloom behind my ear and felt like a witchy woman.
Onward to Marcos for a rowdy dinner; my sister Addie came too with her little family, other friends showed up, the kids ran wild and we met a nice little family who gave us their big table and brought out dum-dums for the kids; there was live music and we had a little beer and pizza and Laila's homemade curry and talked, talked, talked some more. Yelled across the table is probably more like it.
Sunday was a quieter day. (phew!) Mary made her scrumptious peach cobbler for breakfast before I even got up. A lot of coffee drinking, and even more swimming happened, backyard lounging, and of course talking. In the afternoon I took the babies for a much-needed naptime while Mary and Missa and Fern went thrifting and walked Main Street.
Later we got ready to make dinner together and the girls had more reading time. These two certainly share a deep love of books.
Mary working in my pathetic excuse for a kitchen. Wherein she proceeded to make miracles happen, whipping up a lovely seitan pasta dish with all kinds of yummy veggies and sheep cheese. Tootie ate two bowls full.
Lucy took to both these mamas immediately, snuggling right onto their laps for stories and just goofing around with them, clambering on their poor legs for rides. She knows kindred spirits when she meets them.
Last stop before they left town Monday was the big thrift store right off the freeway. I don't think anyone found anything spectacular, but it was a fitting place to say good-bye.
Looking back on this visit I am flooded with warmth. (Literal and figurative, haha) As soon as they left I missed the realness I'd felt of their wise, quiet, flowing, warm presence in my life. So now I hope for many more slumber parties over the years; I hope our daughters know each other more and more, jumping in feet first to play together, and that we occasionally but consistently bake goodies together and have coffee and swim in water and tell secrets and expound upon our feelings on big and little matters of life until the day we die.
And for that kind of growing connection, well internets, thank you.