Posts Tagged ‘cupcakes’

We are all figuring out ways to come together while apart.

Bob and I shared cocktail hour one night in a parking lot with neighbors. Some of us sat on tailgates and some got comfy on camp chairs. While keeping the appropriate distance, we got caught up on local gossip – the last time we’d seen each other we were cleaning up the streets after our Tornado.

I like to capitalize Tornado because it seems weighty, and it was my first time cheating death by Mother Nature. And we cannot forget Nashville was already reeling, before our “Stay at Home” order; some of us had no roof, or a home for shelter.

Yesterday we ordered cupcakes from our local bakery, The Cupcake Collection. Mignon is offering curbside delivery! https://www.thecupcakecollection.com/  They had just started up their business again, after losing a good portion of their historic house to record-setting winds last month. I remember the Bride’s Italian Nanny, Giovanna, loved red velvet cupcakes. But we were hoping to celebrate Great Grandpa Hudson’s 94th birthday with some sweet potato cupcakes.

Hudson was a redhead when he was young. He lied about his age to enlist in WWII and served on a ship in the Pacific Theatre. He is the only grandfather my children have ever known since my father died when I was a baby, and Bob’s father, well, he was of no use. My children never met him.

Hudson still serves as Ada’s co-star in Nashville. But when we would visit them in NJ, he was always the fix-it guy, having actually built a hospital in Ghana once upon a time when he was a missionary. He carved gigantic totem poles, fixed furniture, the pool every spring, and any plumbing or roofing problems that might pop up. He was the husband/handyman every woman ever wanted. Over the years, he’d officiate at more weddings than I can count, including the Bride and Groom’s.

We sang the Happy Birthday song to Hudson through a glass window in the vestibule of their assisted living facility. I’m not really sure if he could hear us. Only aides are allowed in and out, but we could talk with Ada through our cell phones. Her spirit is incredible, this virus cannot diminish that resilient light. “How are my babies?” she asked me. So I told her how the Bride is home-schooling, that she has enough PPE for now, and about Dolly Parton’s gift to Vanderbilt. Dolly for President!

She said she likes my red hair, and I told her it was pink leaning toward fuchsia. Leave it to me to decide to color my hair when I won’t be able to see my stylist for awhile.

Bob and I have figured out how to use Zoom, it’s actually pretty easy. I can still take a group Pilates class once a week through my iPad. I only need a yoga mat and a foam roller. I almost don’t recognize myself in that gallery window box – who is that purple headed lady?

Some of you know that I’ve often felt like a character in an Anne Tyler novel, going about her day to day existence, seemingly normal, while balancing an out-of-control inner life. Maybe most writers live in the subtext? It’s certainly helpful right now – in this out-of-control outer life – to stay in the moment, so I thought I’d recommend Tyler’s newest book to you, since we all have a lot of time on our hands. Why not call up your local bookstore?

Her new novel is “Redhead by the Side of the Road.” It’s about second chances, it’s funny and compassionate at the same time. You might want to eat a cupcake while you read it! https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-520904645953AE18-6DD5-4CA6-93ED-99E3EFF69A4C


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We’ve been driving home now for almost nine hours. And out of all the Snap Judgement and This American Life podcasts we listened to, one struck home. It was about an Arab who lived on the Jewish side of Jerusalem. His newspaper column was titled “Second Person Singular” and it’s just about his life, as an outsider on the inside.

Probably because that’s been my MO. I was the foster child, the strawberry blond, the lapsed Catholic who married a Jewish guy; somehow or another I just never fit in. Belonging is one of those basic human needs; my psychologist brother or MIL could tell you all about it. It’s Maslow’s rule of thumb. We all need to belong.

And yesterday, for the Love Bug’s first birthday, I had to stay in bed with a bad virus. I managed to bake the cupcakes, make the frosting, and even wrap up a couple of curried chicken wraps. I had a few days beforehand to play and cuddle with her, but I was absent for the big event.

But still, what’s important about one day? Every month since she was born, I’ve managed to visit with her, either in TN or VA. Almost every day I talk to her and we FaceTime all the time. I just have to get her to say “Nana” and not mean “No” or “Maybe!”

I listened to her party from my feverish upstairs in-law suite. I felt like an Arab living in the wrong part of Jerusalem. But it was all good. The Bride brought her up for a last minute night night before the festivities, before a little boy knocked the baby gate down on my steps and yelled. “It was an accident!” I snapped this picture.

Happy First Birthday Love Bug.


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