Was that the most fabulous weekend ever? Just about. I hope that you all enjoyed a lovely Mother’s Day. It was one of my favorite Mother’s Days since I’ve acquired the Mom title. First, everyone did a fabulous job of letting me sleep in. Everyone understands that I enjoy sleep, but in past years, it was just too difficult to contain the excitement. This year, everyone was mouse-quiet, and I slept until 8:30 am, which was plenty. Shortly after I woke up, I went into my lovely master bathroom and found that it looked even more like a spa than usual:
Little J had left a note “To: Mom . . . From: Who?” and it was such a good idea (my old robe was getting shabby and the soap coordinates perfectly with the room) that I ignored J’s note and assumed throughout the entire day that it was a family gift, spearheaded by Cute W. Until bedtime, when Cute W said, “Yeah, that was all J.”
It turns out that J got some help from our kind and generous next-door neighbor, who offered up items that she didn’t need to J, saying that it was payment for entertaining her dog. So J was thrilled to pass it along to me, and I was just as happy to have a lovely gift that made J so proud.
We took a family bike ride down to the Schenectady Greenmarket, which frankly seemed a little ambitious to me, because it’s a pretty big hill. But besides one steep block (and, okay, one near-collision that reminded me that we’re lucky that all four of us are alive and well), it went great! If you’re near Schenectady and have never gone to the greenmarket, it’s an excellent outing for a beautiful afternoon. Along with all the produce/flowers/plants/fancy-pants food and crafts to buy, you’ll always find lunch options and music. And biking there is not required.
After we got home, the festivities continued, and I gotta tell you, M knocked it out of the park this Mother’s Day. She’s not generally too demonstrative. At Valentine’s Day or Christmas, J will laboriously plot and plan and shop or craft, and M will just. . . not. Like, at all.
So it made the surprise even greater when I got this:
The first thing I thought when I saw it was, “Could she actually think of 52 reasons?” After all, usually I only get “I love you” when I fry meat. Come to think of it, she didn’t even include any of my meals or even desserts on a single card. Holy cow. Anyway, she’s a funny girl, and she included some that make me laugh (like “You will always keep our family hydrated”), others that are just sweet, and a few that generally reassure me that I’m doing a good job at being a mom. So it was awesome. Really one of my favorite gifts ever.
At the end of the day, a little bird-cage-style candle holder was waiting for me from J. Lately she’s very into candles, and since M has a pathological fear of any flame whatsoever, it’s become a mom-and-J thing. Apparently Cute W had a heck of a time finding the store where she’d first seen it.
And finally, amidst all the lovely celebration, we found out that our beloved neighbor Mary passed away on Saturday. I’d expected this news ever since my last visit with her, but that doesn’t make it easier. Mary was, hands down, the best neighbor ever. And believe me, the competition is stiff in our neighborhood (see spa collection above). She was strong and kind and wise, and I was lucky to know her. I used to visit with her weekly over the winter time, and on my last visit with her before her last illness, she summoned me upstairs to a room that overlooks her yard. She was offering up the back of her yard for a vegetable garden. She knew that our attempts to grow vegetables had failed due to lack of sun, and she told me that her husband, Gene, had grown tomatoes successfully out there for years. Now they weren’t up for maintaining a garden, but she liked the idea of some beans or peas climbing up the empty trellis. When she got so sick, I’d set the project aside, but then Cute W told me that Gene had asked when we were going to get to it.
So the four of us spent yesterday afternoon planting tomatoes, peas, broccoli, zucchini, and cucumber at the back of Mary’s yard. It felt like a good way to remember her together.