Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Latest Buzz

     It has been a week of extremes for me. To be fair, each week usually has its ups and downs.  Though there are highs and lows,  most of them don't stray too far off course of our day to day existence so we don't feel the full impact of them most of the time. But then there are weeks like this one.
     It started with my grandmother passing away early Sunday morning.  That in itself was understandable. She had lived a long time and was more than ready for this to happen. She closed her eyes and woke up to eternity. I was taken aback only because she has been such a huge part of my life. I am happy for all the great memories I have that will soon move in to fill the hole that has been left in my heart by her passing.
     I am finding that the best way to honor my memories of such a treasured loved one is to embrace the opportunities that life has offered me. This moment is  about one of the extreme high points of my week when I had the privilege of sharing my storybook with students at a local Holland elementary school. It was such fun to share my words with eager young readers and writers. We enjoyed finding all the rhymes within the text of  "Green Goo."
     Over the course of the last few days I have baked cookies for The Holland Area Beekeepers Association's bee school. This class is all about introducing the public to the concepts of beekeeping and what it takes to get started in maintaining hives of your own and how that benefits our communities.

     This was the first time that I have made cookies since my grandmother's passing. It was an honor for me to be able to use her sugar cookies recipe to make some of the snacks that the students will be enjoying during their breaks at beekeeping school.
     Then, since I had bees on my mind I decided to check out the large library of books that Green Goo's publisher,, has on hand to see if there were any that dealt with bees or beekeeping. Happily, there is a charming little storybook that I can share with you titled "Buzzy the Bumblebee."


     Making these cookies, thinking about bees, and discovering this storybook reminded me that spring will again be here soon. Life has its cycles and all the moments are to be lived to their fullest and treasured because you never know when you might find your heart's fondest memories.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

One Last Thing

     I understand I should not be surprised. She was blessed with a long life. There are not many people that live to be 99 years old. But she is my grandma and I will miss her dearly.
     It is still a shock to me. I suppose I had just assumed she was a shoo in for 100. Happily, we had just celebrated her birthday with her less then two weeks ago. She had cake and ice cream. She ate every bit. She always loved her desserts. I inherited that from her.
     I also get my love of baking and reading from her. I use her sugar cookie recipe to this day and have shared it with hundreds of other people. It was part of the give away that we sent home with each guest at our wedding as our thank you-a heart cookie cutter and grandma's recipe, along with the phrase,"We are cut out for each other."
     I am off of my day job this week. I hoped to get a lot of writing done. I have gotten some done. In fact, I may have written one of the most important pieces of my life. If you had told me a week ago that I would be writing this, I would not have believed it. Yesterday I wrote up my grandma's obituary for our little local paper. My mom asked me to do this. It was hard to know what to say. There is so much I wanted to say, but I managed to come up with what I believe are just the right phrases to sum up grandma's 99 years, at least from my perspective. I hope it did her justice and honored her.
     I know I will be writing more about her in the coming months so that I can save her memories in my words, in my heart, and in my mind. One of the greatest gifts she gave me as a child was just simply allowing me to be me. There was never any time pressure at grandma's. We could play outside at our leisure, walk to the park or the playground, or walk down-town with her to the dime store, library, or local restaurant.
   I am glad that I had the opportunity to do this one last thing for her.