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.
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”
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.
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
… describing the blooms to come
… the dark-green-brown cylindrical beginnings
of Ontario’s flower, the trillium
… and my favourite early-spring bloomer, the 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”
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.
Oh, Brad. Thank you! And yes, things to be treasured!
Take care my friend.
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.
Brilliant! Glad you know how to use Zoom. I will learn!
I do not know…my kids do. They set up the blog for me too and thankfully remember my password to it.
There…you did it again. Special times…we need to mark them and not forget them. Right you are!
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Thank you, Sharon!
Yes, it’s good to be together at times like these. And I think this will change all of us in large and small ways.
Yes. I think you’re right. We certainly have lots of time for sober second and third and fourth thoughts.
I applaud your staying at home – good company, good view, and good food. It doesn’t get much better, well, it does for you because you also get to add a special granddaughter. 🙂
So true! Stay safe, Judy. I hope you’re able to find some enjoyment in this strange time.
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.
A remarkably beautiful voice. She was only 31.
Beautiful post. I am so envious of you, our London family had planned to join us, but lockdown came before we all felt sure we were not a danger to others.
I hear you. Our older daughter and son-in-law live abroad and we find ourselves calling them (or vice versa) almost every day.
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!
Such a splendid day. Maybe we’ll learn to live like this again.
Lovely, lovely, lovely! So enjoyed reading this post. And that bread!
Maybe we should look at this downtime as a time to relax, like a vacation. That’s what this post reminded me of; you were all on vacation and enjoying yourselves.
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. 🙂
Well, most Alliums are aliens, botanically speaking. Thank you for sharing your good times with family during these stressful days.
My daughter will thank you for that!
There’s still a lot to appreciate in these strange times!
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.
Thank you, Clare! What’s blooming in your garden?
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.
Glad the trees are doing well!
I’m a little behind on reading… Today Holy Saturday… Passover has a different tint to it this year. – Oscar
The whole thing feels so familiar yet so strange.
Thank you for this uplifting post. I enjoyed it.
I’m glad. Best wishes, Liz.
The same to you, Cynthia.
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.
Lovely, K. Great to hear from you and I wish you and the young gentlemen (can’t call them boys anymore) a happy Easter.
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,
Thanks, MT. Will check in with your blog to see what’s new but stay safe, all of you.
Will do. You too. 🙂
Love this post and the pictures. Family meal times are a saving grace at our home and offer a bit of light to our days.