Gratitude

Magical 33

Sorry… no photo this year… I keep losing my entire post when I try to add it! I am so bad at this tech stuff!

It has been four years since our sweet Ruby left us. Yet I feel her presence every day. She was so full of life and love, joy and compassion… and despair. I treasure the memory of her brilliant smile and the way her face would literally light up… a real spark from inside that would shine out! She was truly made of star stuff! Pure joy!

Today my Munchkin would have been thirtythree, a magical number, double threes. How i would love to be spending this day with her! We would start the day with Eggs Benedict, an incredibly rich feast she researched and cooked for Mother’s Day one year… fantastic! We would sit back and enjoy our coffee and and conversation… all morning. The afternoon would be spent shopping, including looking at jewelry, textbooks, and kitchen gadgets. Next, a nice dinner in a Thai restaurant. Then home for the part of the day we’ve been waiting for.

The best part of the day… the Fire. Ruby was raised in a house with a fire pit in the back yard. Fires have been a big part of all our celebrations and we have spent many enjoyable hours with family and friends sharing so much of our hopes and dreams round the Fire. I know that one of her favorite smells was that of the pit smoke on her clothes! No doubt, that smell triggered many memories of hanging around the fire… And so, we would end today with a birthday cake with 33 candles, small flames in her honor, and a glorious fire in the pit! We would get lost in the flames… and then the coals and embers… we would talk and laugh the night away… Wishing you a most wonderful birthday!

Oh, Munchkin, I love you so much and miss you always!

Gratitude

Birthday Time

Ruby's B-Day Picture-smaller

Happy Birthday, sweet Ruby! You would have turned 32 today… The family is getting together tonight for food and a fire. You surely did love to sit by the fire! Nothing fancy – hot dogs, deviled eggs, potato salad, and of course, Smores. Like many families, our celebrations center around food.

This photo of Ruby is from one of my own birthdays. I had requested rice krispie treats instead of cake. And, WOW! Such a spectacular presentation! And they were quite a yummy treat! Thank you, my sweet Munchkin!

Every time I am using my big old mixer, I see my little four year old daughter… She is standing close beside me with fear on her face… as I put my spatula into my whirling batter. “Mom! You could get caught in there!” I never did it again…. but I surely caught a precious memory of her caring and love for me. Sweet Munchkin! Dearest Ruby!

As I look through my recipe box, I am constantly running across recipes from family and friends. A good reconnection for me. Of course there are many in my Treasure Box that my Munchkin shared! A few from her youth, but mostly ones she created herself when she went out on her own. She had an amazing palette, a great curiosity, and a talent for putting it all together!

In high school she had many vegan friends. A step beyond our own vegetarianism. She found this wonderful recipe for chocolate chip cookies… She probably baked them a hundred times! You may have been the lucky recipient of one of her gifts! Once she persuaded me to take her to Vancouver, BC. Her favorite band, The Phenomenauts, was playing a show and she wanted to take them some of her cookies. So she baked them up and off we went. They were delighted!

After Ruby moved to Portland to go to college, she really got serious about cooking for herself. And fell in love with homemade tortillas! You know, you can put anything on them! Thanks to U-tube, she figured out those little tasties!

After Ruby married Mason she was even more inspired! Having someone to share the simple rituals of a good meal is a wonderfully, wonder filled, motivation! She became quite adept. This is when she created the meatloaf and yummy grub sauce. Yummy!

Ruby love, love, loved to eat with her hands! She told me she should learn how to cook Ethiopian food. The wonderful bread and dipping sauces enticed her!

I can see her enjoying a good meal, grinning from ear to ear. We all loved her beautiful smile! She always brushed her teeth after she ate. Having braces for many years when she was young gave her a real appreciation for good oral hygiene. Once she bonded with a new friend over a discussion of the best dental floss. Oh, Ruby!

Like all of you, I think about her every day. I had a dream recently where she and I were getting dressed for a celebration. She was wearing sparkly purple and laughing and carrying on so! I treasure the sound of her laughter! My sweet Ruby, wherever you are, I am holding you close in my heart and sending love, love, love! Peace and joy!

Gratitude

Thirtyone…

Happy birthday, dearest Ruby! Thirtyone…. a prime number…!

My sweet Munchkin always had such a natural way with words. There was something about her brain that absolutely adored and absorbed them. Once she heard a song, she had the words, every verse. Every word. She could memorize every part in a play and say it back with understanding and conviction. She was amazing!

The first time she spent her own money, she bought a beautiful boxed set of miniature Beatrice Potter books. She loved Roald Dahl stories, especially “The BFG” and “Danny, the Champion of the World”. But her all-time favorite was “The Minpins”. When she was 8, she memorized “A Fairy Went A-Marketing”, by Rose Fyleman. When I close my eyes I can see her standing there in her sweet innocence with her pure little voice becoming one with the poem. In third grade, her teacher gave her a hat and a pipe… she rocked it as Sherlock… became the character. Amazing! In fourth grade she became Mark Twain. She always gave it her all! By fourth grade her teachers were quick to point out that she was reading at a twelfth grade level. In ninth grade they created a special award for her at the awards assembly: “Most Grammatically Correct”. Mama was always so very proud!

When she tried out for a play in high school the kids raved, told her she was amazing, and should be able to choose her part! But… the teacher advisor for the plays was also the therapist who had seen her in the emergency room when she cut her wrists and the police found her sitting in her car at the side of the road writing in her journal. Now that was bad luck!

Ruby worked so hard to live her life! She was a vibrant young woman full of passion and love! She helped so many of us to see how much more there is to see! I miss her so much every day! Ruby was full of love and compassion for everyone she knew… please look up that little fairy poem (or better yet, the wonderful children’s book illustrated by Jamichael Henterly… still in print), close your eyes, and imagine Munchkin reciting it to you. You will know that she took those words to heart all her life… and that she had to slip away, too!

These birthday pictures:  one of Ruby’s favorite teachers in high school took the balloon liberation photo… one of her own personal faves! This was in the middle of her homemade T-shirt phase. After classes were out, she took her friends into the parking lot with her bouquet of birthday balloons… and liberated them! A tradition was born. The handpainting is self explanatory… going all in every time! And the rice crispie treats? Best road food ever! She made this batch for my birthday and used her artistic touch, freeing them from the pan and making them so special!

We (her family) are going to honor her this evening with a barbeque followed by rice crispie treats! Sending her bunches and bunches of love! Please light a candle for my dear Munchkin and send her much love, too!