Archive for June 2013

Zach’s Graduation   1 comment

June 15th, 2013.

You don’t know how these big days are going to go for sure, until they go.  I’m happy to say that all the pieces of the plan came together yesterday and God provided a time to celebrate Zach that was fun and meaningful for Greg and me, for Zach, and it appears for our friends who attended.

You know how some days become associated with songs in your mind.  I had several today that were playing in my mind and on the radio on the trip in to the grocery store….”You are I am” by Mercy Me and the new one by Sidewalk Prophets called “Help Me Find It.”  Maybe because they are related to the journey forward into whatever is next.

The morning for me was a grocery trip with a full cart and pushing the cart (one of two that went out) back in to get the full size sheet cake for Zach.  I’ve never bought a store-bought sheet cake before (with maybe one exception) but this seemed like a logical occasion to do so.  I told the friends I saw and everyone to whom I could mention it, that my son was graduating today.

Greg’s brother Glenn and his wife Linda and her sister Sheryl came over early to help us set up.  This was very helpful with food, cutting up cheese and preparing pineapple, and the guys set up camp chairs outside and some tables we had borrowed.

We had a table on the front porch that I covered with a bug themed sheet Zach used on his bed as a small boy, and that was where we put the tray for his gifts, his senior picture, a picture of him as a 2 year old, and a large signable mat we used as his guest book.

I kept rechecking my list as the day went along to be sure I didn’t miss something important like getting the punch blocks out of the freezer in time to thaw properly when the 7-Up was added!

I am so grateful for the friends who took on various jobs to help me, Tim for filming the graduation ceremony, Margie for taking photographs, our friends who brought more chairs, Miss Janet  for sharing her thoughts, Glenn, Linda and Sheryl for all their prep help, and my parents for bringing tables, chairs, food, and themselves.  They had a wonderful final part in the ceremony as well, that I wasn’t expecting and hadn’t planned.

And…friends, dear friends. Thank you for the gift of your presence.  Thank you for the love that was coming from some special people who could not make it here, thinking especially of Grandma Dottie  and Judy and Jerry, who were very disappointed to not be able to be present.

Once all had arrived and we had approximately 50 people in and around the house, Zach went up to get dressed in his cap and gown.  We had a “barefoot graduation” here as he decided he didn’t need shoes.  Greg had written some encouragement up for Zach, about his name and its significance and the meaning of a name.  Then Janet told us a few stories about Zach as she remembered him from his time with her at Kids Co-op.  Beren surprised us with the loving insight that he still loves Zach even though they bicker.  Then I shared my thoughts for Zach and encouragement.

At that point we picked up two gifts we had for Zach and his diploma, and presented each with a word of explanation.  I gave him a CD of Sidewalk Prophets which includes “The Words I Would Say.”  This song has made me think of Zach ever since I first heard it a couple years ago when it came out.  We also had a book of family history and memories, which I have been working on for almost 18 years now…since my mother gave it to me for a birthday present the year Zach was born.  Then we gave Zach his diploma.  It really is a gorgeous official diploma, signed by both the school administrator and the lead teacher.  Gotta love that official touch.

Then my parents had their part, and Dad shared memories of Zach and encouragement, and then Greg, Zach and I came down from the porch and everyone gathered around and my mother prayed for Zach as he goes forth, with everyone gathered around laying hands on Zach, or on someone else nearby if they couldn’t reach.  Talk about powerful.  I had thought briefly of this myself, but when I delegated the conclusion of the evening of prayer to them, I did not have any idea how they would handle it.  I can’t imagine a better way to send out a graduate.  It reallyblessed me to be a part of that physical representation of our spiritual connection.

We finished off with cake and punch and other munchables.

I don’t know when is the last time I have enjoyed something so much, that was that much work to organize and put together.  Every guest brought a joy to my heart and God graciously orchestrated everything so that Zach had a good graduation day, and I did too.  I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much, and that was an added bonus.

Thank you everyone for your love and support in Zach’s life and your prayers and encouragement as he moves onward.

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Posted June 17, 2013 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized

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The World’s Greatest Cookie   1 comment

I recently made one of the world’s most delicious cookie recipes, after quite a long hiatus.  I have to say of everything I cook, most of it, with a couple of exceptions, is recipes from friends and family.  I do use two or three excellent cookbooks on a regular basis, but overall, the best recipes are those in my ratty old accordion file that’s falling apart.  They’re written on recipe cards, index cards, bits of notebook paper, the back of a page of Juan Goytisolo’s Marks of Identify that I read as  college freshman, a few cut out of magazines and the newspaper.

The other great thing about a recipe from a friend, is that when you make it, you think of that person and fun times you had together.

When you make a recipe given to you by someone who has died, I think it’s a way to make them live again, just a bit.

When I make this cookie recipe, I remember how they were always in a glass cookie jar, waiting for me when I went to visit my grandmother in Oklahoma City.  I remember summer dinners in the dim dining room, the window A/C humming away bringing gloriously cold air to us.  I remember my grandmother’s smile and her big brown eyes.  So many memories there.  When I make the cookies I think with so much love of Gramma.

When I eat them I think of her too. Somehow food has that power for good.  Maybe it’s not the most nutritious recipe you’ve ever seen, but hey, it’s  a cookie.  It’s not supposed to be nutritious.

To good food and good memories and the love of a good grandmother.

World’s Greatest Cookie

1 cup butter

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 6 oz. package chocolate chips

Cream butter and peanut butter together.  Gradually add sugars and cream until blended.  Add eggs and beat until smooth.  Add flour and soda.  (Gramma says to sift flour twice, but I have managed to get along without that step for 25 years now.)  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by teaspoon onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake in 325 oven for 15 minutes.  Makes 6 dozen.

Posted June 6, 2013 by swanatbagend in Uncategorized

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