Where Did the Summer Go?

Each year as August rolls around, I ask myself this question. It always seems that once we celebrate the Fourth of July in all its glory, the summer flies by. This year is no exception as time marches forward in spite of our wish for it to slow down ever so slightly. 

In just a couple short weeks the college kids will be heading off to school, my second daughter among those headed away for the first time. Just after that, school starts anew for the rest of them and summer 2016 will be one more in the memory books. 

I have to say that for my kids, my husband, and myself, this has not been a great summer. Most of June I spent in and out of the hospital and the month of July was spent still recouperating from my surgery and complications. We didn’t do anything fun or exciting. We didn’t go anywhere or explore any new fun adventures. We stayed home. We bonded, at times, a little too much, but usually just The right amount! The best part was that most of us were together and grew out family bond. That is worth it’s weight in gold, however. 

If it weren’t for my family, I certainly don’t know how I could have managed. My dad, God bless him, even made me an Apple pie, from scratch! I taught him how to make it several months ago and he’s perfected it now. My beloved aunts have sent notes, recipes and even a piece of apple pie back with my dad, just for me. My cousins and one of my aunts came to visit me. I truly am blessed to have such a loving, caring and wonderful family near and far. It’s their love, actions and prayers that have helped me recover from this wretched surgery and infection. 

This is not to say my friends haven’t been there because they have been. But this is to remind us all just how important family is. The apple pie from my aunt was made by my 93 year old aunt. She lives 90 miles away and sent it home with my brother and my 85 year old dad. Family and love conquers all of given a chance. Respecting the elders in my family and caring for them means that even though my mom may no longer be with us, my family picks up the pieces and holds me in their hearts to care for me like she would have when I need her most. This summer I needed her like I’ve never needed her before. Having my aunts call and write to me has meant more than they will ever know. Their love has carried me through when I was missing my mom the most.

I’m doing much better and I have no doubt that I’m the next few weeks I’ll be fully recovered, but I’m still weak and I still have pain. I’ll get there though. Now most days are good days. Now, it’s time to put this summer and this chapter behind me and look forward to brighter days. I will never forget those who have been so kind to me throughout this summer though. It is through God’s grace, family and friend’s care and support that I am recovering and doing so well. It has been a journey I hope never to revisit. My mother always said when you have your health, you have it all. She was so right. 

Now it is time to look forward to one daughter pursuing her dream to become a nurse, one daughter going aeaybfir the first time to study pre-med and sociology then my youngest kids will be starting the school year at home. Number 3, my amazing artist and hilarious child will begin driving this fall, Lord help us! The youngest child, my beard devil, will be in 4th grade already. As we all day as adults, “just where did the time go”? Wasn’t my 20 year old just in preschool last year? 

Time is a strange thing. Not only does it stop for no one, but it also will heal wounds. Just look at me! I’m much better than I was 2 months ago. I bet you thought I was going to say it heals wounds of the heart. That’s a subject for another day. For now, I will look forward to what is left of this summer and the beginning of a brand new school year with brand new adventures to be had. There’s still a little bit of summer left for me to enjoy!

My Dad’s Apple Pie

wp-1462056657340.jpgThis gorgeous masterpiece is my dad’s apple pie.  Yes, my dad!  Never did I imagine that he would be making beautiful pies like this at 85 years young.  In fact, a month ago, he didn’t know how to make one.  He has learned to cook so much in the last 5 months and I am so very proud of him.  He never ceases to amaze me with his ability to learn new things.  He is the most awesome role model for our family. That being said, I never thought he would become such a good chef.  I guess I also didn’t want to think about that possibility.

Mom was an extraordinary cook.  Ask anyone and they will agree.  When mom had her knee replacement, she was unable to do the cooking so dad had to learn.  They were never big on take out or even going out to dinner.  Who would when mom could cook so well! You’d have to be mad to say no to her cooking.  I miss her cooking and I know dad does too, but he is learning. He’s come a long way in these last 5 months.

20141107_163830_HDRI showed dad how to make his favorite pie just once.  He ate the whole thing.  I didn’t even get a bite and I was a bit disappointed about it!  It looked so good coming out of the oven.  We talked about the kinds of apples, and dad assisted in the preparation of the first pie.  Since that pie a few weeks ago, he’s apparently made several.  Did I mention that he really loves apple pie?  Let me tell you, he’s becoming an expert.  This man can do anything!

We talk about food now among everything else.  He’s come a long way from asking if he should use the bake of broil setting on the oven. He cooks all his own meals and does a fantastic job.  His specialty is potatoes, but he’s an Irishman.  If he doesn’t have a potato for his supper, he hasn’t eaten yet. Perhaps we will take on pound cake next if the notion hits him.  Yes, the most delicious pound cake from scratch.  Life is always an adventure with dad and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  He is the greatest dad a girl could ever ask for.  I thank God every day for blessing me with such a wonderful dad and role model.  And dad, if you do happen to read this, I love you with my whole heart, always.