July 2010

July 28, 2010 | 0 comments

Every year, toward the end of July, I become nostalgic and a little depressed.  In years past, I’d be gearing up for the scenic drive north to visit my parents in Brookings, Oregon – with my three children in tow and plans to arrive on Mom’s August 3 birthday.  Mom always had a jar full of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies and a big pot of stew waiting for us.

Dad’s health was always precarious, and he often stayed home to rest while Mom and I took the wild ones to the beaches to run off some steam.  While they explored tide pools at Lone Ranch, or collected rocks and drift wood at Whaleshead, Mom and I sat and talked and talked… and talked. 

There are still times when I reach for the phone and realize again – achingly – that she can’t pick up on the other end.  I’ll have to wait until I get to Heaven to see her and Dad again. 

I wonder if there will be beaches.

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July 14, 2010 | 0 comments

My brother and sister-in-law live on sixteen acres in gorgeous Northern California.  The closest town has a population of less than five thousand.  After once through town with its “hemp store”, I now take the scenic highway west -- two very narrow lanes of windy, hilly, tree-lined road.  As if ten miles weren’t far enough from civilization, my brother and SIL chose a place a mile off the road – across a narrow metal bridge with no side railing suspended over a twenty foot ravine with rocky creek bed below.  The bridge is just wide enough to accommodate a pick-up truck.  UPS drivers refuse to make deliveries and leave their parcels with neighbors.

We don’t get to visit often, but we email frequently.  I keep telling him he should write a column for one of the big city newspapers about the life of an urbanite transplanted in rural America.  He writes of “long-eared rats”(deer) invading his garden, shoot outs on main street between rival...

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July 10, 2010 | 0 comments

I just received an ARC (advanced readers’ copy) of the second half of Marta’s Legacy.   The cover is gorgeous!  This book continues Marta and Hildemara’s stories and brings in the next two generations -- Carolyn and May Flower Dawn, whose lives span the 50s to present day.  This half of Marta’s Legacy will reveal the rifts and chasms between these mothers and daughters and what it takes to build bridges to bring them together again.   Her Daughter’s Dream will be in stores mid-September. 

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July 4, 2010 | 0 comments

 

Certain foods bring back wonderful family memories of dinners.  Grandma Wulff always fixed “More” when I visited her at the farm.  The recipe calls for sautéed onions,  browned ground beef, cooked elbow pasta, corn, peas, chopped tomatoes and tomato sauce and spices all mixed together and then topped with cheese (or ketchup).  My brother and I called it “More” because we always wanted more.  Grandma also fixed “pull-apart” bread.  She made dough from scratch, let it rise, punch it down, let it rise again, took bits and roll them into balls, covered them with butter, cinnamon, chopped nuts and raisins and put them in a pan and let them rise again before baking.   We’d sit around the table talking as we pulled off hunks of gooey sweet bread.

My dad favored Grandma’s angel food cakes.  Mom loved her candied almonds. 

Whenever I packed our three children into the car and headed north to Oregon for a visit with...

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