Life Seemed Almost Normal

On Saturday I made a coffee cake. An “honest to God” coffee cake that filled the house with the fragrance of cinnamon and sweet spices. But baking was just as tedious as I remembered. For me, it has always been a means to an end: you bake so you can eat whatever wonderfully fattening thing you have created. As I was covering the filling with the top half of the sticky batter, I remembered why I no longer do anything more complicated than a box cake. Still, the coffee cake looked pretty good when I slid it out of the oven, and I only burned one finger in the whole process.

What prompted this spurt of culinary domesticity? On Thursday we received our new bedroom furniture. We have been married forever, and we never had a new bedroom suite. It makes me giddy just writing this. However, we quickly realized that hardwood is very heavy, and we needed muscle to get the furniture from the garage to our bedroom. I made the coffee cake for the movers: my grandson Zeke and our son Chris. The furniture looks gorgeous, and when Chris told me he really liked my coffee cake, I was pleased. I did wonder when he asked me, “Exactly what is a coffee cake?” I’m certain my mother rolled her eyes as she presided over her celestial oven that turns out amazing pastries that have no calories …

Speaking of calories—I have a sure-fire way to lose weight: get two puppies. For the first two months after our newest family members arrived, our bottoms barely touched a chair, couch, or chaise lounge. Yes, the pups slept, but when they were sleeping, that was when you washed the dishes, brushed your teeth, and wrote the blog. Enough said on that. You knew I would work them into the blog, didn’t you? As I write this, Sadie and Teddy are sleeping in their fifth bed, looking like angels. The previous four beds were pierced by sharp puppy teeth and disemboweled. Their slumbering innocence reminds me of when Chris was little. So angelic when sleeping, but quite busy and challenging when his eyes were open.

Today my eyes were wide open as my ophthalmologist tried to put the plug in my left tear duct. I have dry eye, and the plugs keep the tears I do produce in my eyes. I understand it is a common condition in those who have earned the title “Old Fart.” In any case, when the doctor asked his assistant for a dilater, I was ready to leave the premises. The word dilation in a medical setting brought back unpleasant memories of childbirth. It didn’t help that John was sitting in the corner enjoying the show. But the dilator arrived, and “hooray,” I won’t have dry eyes for about four months.

One thing that makes dry eye worse is hot and dry weather, which we have been experiencing for much of October and September. The weather broke on Sunday, and we headed to the beach. But this was not our usual seaside outing. Our grandson Zeke was being baptized at Heavens Beach in Malibu, which seems appropriate. We arrived early, and I realized that it had been a long time since I had stepped foot in the frigid waters of the California coast. What a surprise! The water was almost warm.

Over the next half-hour, a lot of family and friends gathered for this event—socially distanced, of course. The air temperature was perfect. Under a thin crust, the sand was cool and moist, massaging our feet. The sun was shining benevolently, the sky was a clear blue streaked with misty clouds, and a lovely sea breeze was keeping us cool. Zeke was baptized in the turquoise waters of the Pacific—a symbol of new life. 

Zeke and his dad hugging while the socially distanced pastor looks on …

And I feel like I have a new life. The quilting and craft fair is over. I can sew for pleasure and pull out book three of the Marcy Mary series and hopefully finish it. The gym is open at 10% capacity with mandatory masks. Tomorrow I’m going out to lunch with friends for the first time since March, as COVID-19 infections have dropped in our county. A huge blessing at this time! And as an exclamation point on a future filled with promise, enough money was raised from the quilt and craft fair to buy 51 pediatric wheelchairs. And for that, I thank God and all his humans who made this possible.

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