Sunday, March 23, 2008

Life

This weekend was full of life, what with the arrival of Spring and Easter at the same time.

Saturday night, we kicked off campfire season with a really nice cookout in the yard, just the four of us and Dad C. (who will henceforth be referred to as just "the five of us"). We cooked brats (rhymes with tots) over the flames and loaded them up with chili and mustard; a tasty treat that I will not grow tired of until sometime in May, if history follows the same pattern and we don't OD on them too soon. Oh, and we enjoyed some bottles of Blue Moon Belgian White Ale, a new favorite out of Toronto. Note: Their website is extremely cool; you might want to check it out.

We also had the tradtitional s'mores, but the big hit of the evening was the perfection of a tasty treat we started working on at the end of last campfire season. So far, we are calling them campfire pretzels. They are really quite simple; we buy a can of refrigerator bread sticks, the basic Pillsbury special, rub some cinammon sugar on a strip of dough, then twist it onto a two-pronged marshmallow stick, wrapping it in a pretzel-ish shape. Hold it well over the flames to let it rise a bit, then move it in closer to bake the bread. The cinammon sugar carmelizes nicely on the outside. When it looks done, pull it off the stick and, voilá, it is a simplified sweet pretzel-ish something or other, quite tasty and satisfying for a kid to make. We are still perfecting it into our own family creation; might have to sample and adapt and sample and adapt all season long.

In the fading light around the firepit, we pulled out the book we've been enjoying together, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, and read chapter after chapter, eventually having to turn the book toward the flickering glow of the campfire to illuminate the pages. It was really fun and difficult to drag ourselves away to head to bed.

This morning, the kids and I got up early for our traditional Easter morning run. The three of us ran down to the river and back--a little chillier experience with Easter so early this year. We were glad for the exertion with the temperature in the low twenties. While we were out, Andy made a wonderful breakfast--homemade waffles, sausage, eggs and a very pretty fruit medley--really nice.

Over breakfast, we reminisced on how much Grandma Judy loved Easter. It was easily her favorite holiday. Tears were shed as we remembered, necessary and worthwhile tears, and they did not diminish or distract from the significance and impact of the day. We sang some of her favorite hymns around the table and concluded that Grandma would have wanted to run down to the river with us, rather than be part of the breakfast crew. She would have trained all year to be in shape for that short run on Easter morning.

Church was really nice. A small choir was assembled just for the occasion and their intricate harmonies were so beautiful. A baby was dedicated, which is a very cool thing at our church. Not only do the parents state their vows to teach their child to learn to love Jesus and the Scriptures, but the entire congregation is asked to commit to supporting the family in very practical ways as they raise this child. It is a joyous and solemn occasion, so far beyond "Oh, look at the cute baby" and I manage to end up in tears every time. It was good to be with our church family this morning.

We came home, ate some quick sandwiches, and I got to work on the Easter dinner. It wasn't anything fancy--ham and scalloped potatoes with a few assorted sides--but it felt special, just for the occasion and the size of the meal. We stuffed ourselves.

We spent the remainder of the day doing Spring cleaning out in the yard, raking up pine needles and downed branches, picking up miscellaneous pieces of construction debris, and burning everything we could find in a big burn pile in a clearing. If our little street was any indicator, this is how much of the valley spent their afternoon today. I do love a crisp Spring day spent outdoors with the whole family together. It doesn't feel like work at all.

We capped off the weekend with another campfire tonight, inviting some friends from church to join us. It was really nice. I am quite smoky, though, and need to shower before I climb into bed.

Happy Easter, everyone. Christ the Lord is risen today.

2 comments:

alison said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful day. We will have to try those pretzels too. Our firepit is covered by a foot of snow, which pushes back our first fire of the season for a bit.

Good idea with the book. We will have to incorporate that as part of our fire ritual as well. Had you read Peter Pan to the kids, or did you start with the pre-quel?

When does church start for you?

Sherry C said...

A foot of snow, eh? We have only a few traces left.

Regarding the book, yes, I did read Peter Pan to the kids, but they were quite young. We are going to finish this unofficial prequel, then read J.M. Barry's classic that started it all, then re-watch the handful of movies based on the story that are out there, just to compare them. It should take us all year. The kids are very excited about the plan.

And church starts at 10:30 for us, fifteen minutes away, so we can have a fairly leisurely morning on Sundays. It lets out shortly after noon and we visit afterward, often not arriving home until nearly one o'clock.