A Good Home, Canadian Families, Canadian Homes, Spring Bulbs, Spring garden

The Upside

Last night, we had supper at table for the first time in weeks.  First, we prayed for all who are at risk of the virus, then we gave thanks for our blessings.

The upside of being restricted at home with family is that someone always senses when we need an uplift. Out comes a sandwich, a bowl of guacamole, or a whole meal with vegetarian meatballs, which I know is an oxymoron, somewhat like chicken balls.

We all know chickens do not have balls.

Blog Photo - Bread homemade

This morning, we cut slices of warm bread — ingredients (flour, yeast, water and salt) mixed by daughter, left to rise overnight, then, this morning, separated into loaf pans and baked.

The yummiest thing: fresh warm bread.

My daughter held her baby and we sang along with “Lovin’ You” by Minnie Riperton.  Minnie and husband Richard Rudolph created the song  “as a distraction” for their baby daughter Maya. 

My granddaughter loves to dance. Yes, at 5 months old.  All you have to do is sing and move your body while holding her, and the arms and legs start to dance, while her face fills with joy and laughter.  

Daughter and I got a bit emotional as we sang along:

“Stay with me while we grow old
And we will live each day in springtime”

Blog Photo - Minnie Ripperton Album Cover Lovin' You

We knew that Minnie died at age 31 when Maya (actor Maya Rudolph of “Saturday Night Live”, “Bridesmaid”  and “The Good Place”) was not quite 7 years old.

Our singing faltered, but we kept going, uplifted by granddaughter’s smiles and dancing.

“Want to go for a walk, Mum?” Daughter asked.

So we did, and passed 3 men working in front-yards. 

“Gentlemen, I’ve found a dime!” one hollered.

“That’s my dime!” another yelled from across the street.

“I was counting on that dime for my retirement!” shouted the third.

We laughed with them and continued walking.

Blog Photo - Garden umbrella and chairs from other side of pool

Back home, granddaughter asleep, my husband put some cushions on the outdoor chairs. Daughter and I sat outside in “the South of France” – the name we’ve given our back garden since it’s unlikely we’ll visit the south of France any time soon.

Then, out of the blue, she asked: “Mum, how do you know what’s a flower and what’s a weed?” 

We toured the garden beds. I pointed at the mint-like leaves of red bee-balm

Blog Photo - Garden bee balm leaves in early spring

… describing the blooms to come

Blog Photo - Garden - Bee Balm Splendour

… the dark-green-brown cylindrical beginnings

Blog Photo - Garden Trillium early spring

of Ontario’s flower, the trillium

Blog Photo - Spring 2018 Solo trillium

… and my favourite early-spring bloomer, the blue scilla

Blog Photo - Garden Blue Scilla

… then the pesky dandelions, growing between brick pavers. 

“When I was younger, I thought you were weird,” daughter said later. “But it was cool! I learned a lot just now — what’s a bee balm, a tulip, a daffodil, a scilla and an alien.”

“An alien?” Her dad asked.

“An allium,” she corrected herself as we all roared.

Older daughter has a small garden and I love when she seeks my gardening advice. Then today, younger daughter, who, along with her husband, will likely buy their first house soon, took an interest in the garden.

Would it have happened if we weren’t under stay-at-home orders?  Maybe later, not now.

Special moments like these are the upside of a scary time. I need to mark them, and not forget them.








39 thoughts on “The Upside”

  1. This is a wonderful post Cynthia. I’m delighted that you’re having quality family time with dancing and gardening; two great joys. May we treasure the simple pleasures and connections with friends and family.

  2. It is so nice to be near your girls and still make memories during this strange time. We are doing Zoom chats to stay connected. I am giving long distance quilting lessons to my oldest daughter.

  3. There…you did it again. Special times…we need to mark them and not forget them. Right you are!


    Sent from my iPad


  4. It is good to hear you are all together and making good memories in the process. I found Minnie on YouTube. I remember the song. What a vocal range and beautiful voice! She left us all too soon.

  5. I always believe that good things come out of bad things. Your family’s story and all the memories you are creating during this time will be special to all of you. What a beautiful post!

  6. Thank you, Cynthia. We all need to take special note of our “upsides” because we all have them, and they are special to downright sparkly if we think about it. And thanks for the memory of Minnie Riperton – I was a fan once upon a time. 🙂

  7. Well, most Alliums are aliens, botanically speaking. Thank you for sharing your good times with family during these stressful days.

  8. A real ‘upside’ day! I have always loved Minnie Riperton’s songs and was so sad when I heard of her early death. Your ‘South of France’ looks lovely and it has the bonus of being just a few steps from your comfy home.

      1. The trees are looking good. We have two out of the three crab-apples in bloom, two wild cherries, a pear tree and two amelanchiers. The daffodils are beginning to fade now.

  9. Further proof that we don’t need exotic vacations and expensive nights out. The moments we most remember and cherish are the small ones. I’m so glad you’re enjoying yours! I am sitting with Bailey by my side as she sleeps contentedly, nose buried in pillows and her paws:). Happy moment.

  10. I’m just delighted that your daughter and granddaughter are with you… so lucky that you are able to enjoy their company rather than worry about them from afar.

    Glad you are doing alright,



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