Monday, April 5, 2010

a new chapter

for the past 12 months, matt, m and i have had the best next door neighbor.
my mom.
here are our two doors-
hers on the left, ours on the right.
last week, my mom moved to her new place (which is still very close to us
but nothing like right next door.)

i'm so sad she is no longer next door to us
(and probably even more sad is little m, who loves knocking on "ma's" door to visit.)

it begins a new, healing chapter for my mom as she makes her new house into a refuge, a place of peace, a landing spot for her grandchildren, a home.

yesterday we celebrated easter as a family by having a picnic on her dining room floor.
in so many ways i feel like it launched a new era in our family.

in the old days,
when my mom and dad were married & it was pre-family-upheaval,
we had a list of family traditions on easter.
the morning began by
waking up to easter baskets from the "easter daddy" (in lieu of the easter bunny), complete with flour "bunny" footprints leading to each basket.
we had a big easter dinner after the morning church service.
all the kids showed up, and usually anyone who didn't have a family easter meal to go to came along to our house, so the table was packed with people, chairs and food: ham, mashed potatoes, my mom's rolls, pies for dessert.
after lunch we would have an easter candy hunt in the house, and my mom and dad would hide candy all over the downstairs in nooks and crannies: inside drawers, tucked into plants, snuggled atop picture frames, nestled in couch cushions.
we would get to race to gather candy,
youngest to oldest,
and my brother jonathan and matt would always win,
their plastic grocery bags heaviest and fullest.
(they both totally cheat)

yesterday was a little different.
my mom doesn't have a fridge yet,
or a working oven,
or a dining room table set up,
or the heat turned on,
we had an easter potluck picnic!

my brother aaron is on a trip to costa rica this month, so he was gone, but matt, m, my sister rebecca, her husband mark & their cutie pie sadie, and my brother jonathan joined my mom for our easter feast.
we gathered on a quilt on her dining room floor to eat,
reheating our potluck food in the toaster oven, the microwave and in a crock pot.
we strayed from our "traditional" ruff family easter meal, but mmm....
it was yummy:
spring vegetable soup,
my mom's delicious rolls (one holdover from old school easter),
braised asparagus & shiitake mushrooms,
potatoes au gratin,
roasted pork loin....

and then,
for dessert,
my sister and mom made
homemade peanut butter chocolate eggs & coconut chocolate eggs.

and it was a different kind of day-
a little impromptu,
space heaters set up to keep us warm,
paper towels for napkins,
plates and silverware brought from my sister's house,
no crowded table full of people,
no easter candy hunts,

just our little family
starting a new chapter
sharing food on the floor of my mom's new home
the promise of many meals, grandkid sleepovers, conversations, and celebrations
in the years to come

and so somehow,
in its imperfection
it was absolutely perfect.


  1. No pictures of all this?

  2. i KNOW! i didn't have my camera, but rebecca did so she is emailing me some pictures later, so hopefully i'll post some...

  3. Love this. LOVE YOU. Love Christ in you, the hope of glory.

  4. I love this. Please send me your mom's new address. I'd love to send her a house-warming gift. Any suggestions?

  5. what school does your daughter go to?

  6. melinda, she goes to jean weingarten peninsula oral school for the deaf...we love it. love. love. love.

  7. can you email me at ?
    I have some questions that I want to be off the blog. :)

  8. that sounds so amazing! glad you guys were together and able to spend a precious day with precious people :) xo


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