Who doesn’t recall your grandmother’s pie baking in the oven? Or you mother’s cakes or pies baking? We associate our fond childhood memories with these wonderful smells coming from the kitchen or cooling on racks. Whenever my mother sent her famous chocolate chip cookies to school for our birthdays, they were carefully boxed. The teachers used to comment on the presentation as well as on the wonderful taste. My Irish grandmother and my Irish mother made the flakiest pie crusts. I could never seem to duplicate them. In season, we enjoyed fresh blueberry or apple pies. There never seemed to be leftovers either.
Today we celebrate our son’s birthday. He and his wife flew from Florida to Upstate New York. Our daughter and her fiancé were also here to view their upcoming wedding reception venue. When there are winter birthdays, we have weather to match. First we lunched at Ebeneezer’s Café nearby with wonderful soups, sandwiches and, of course, pies and cakes for dessert. The drive to the wedding venue would only take 15 minutes in summer weather, but yesterday the snow was heavy and falling fast. I drove through unplowed roads in whiteout conditions listening to the phone voices giving me directions. It was coming down that hill with a stop sign at the bottom and a truck going through when I discovered my trusty Jeep didn’t want to stop. From the back seat, my daughter navigator yelled to tap the breaks gently. Finally coming to a stop, my nerves were frazzled. Savoring my peace and quiet when I drive alone or work on my writing, I now asked for or rather demanded silence from the back seat and startled myself with the volume of my voice.
The final destination came several turns in the road later. My daughter urged me to just turn around and not drive down that last hill! No, we had come this far and the owner awaited us to show the renovated dairy barn into a shabby chic venue for wedding receptions. With high vaulted ceilings, lights and antiques, it was a perfect space for the reception. I must admit that I loved the location since we were able to turn into the property without going down that final hill. The snowplows had not touched the country roads yet. It was rustic and simply beautiful inside. No further decorations are really needed. It is not a cookie cutter hotel room for weddings. And the owner has vested interest: she was married in this space and runs that part of the business called Hayloft on the Arch.
Family celebrations are special times of sharing love and laughter. I smiled as I watched our grown son try to make a snow man. Why not 25 like my sisters and I made in Massachusetts one winter day? The child inside remembers and celebrates these special moments.