Friday, June 8, 2007

How I Spent My Grandson's Birthday

Our Theo was two years old yesterday, and I didn't even talk to him all day.

Early Thursday morning, I learned that sweet Aunt Thelma had passed away Sunday night, and her funeral service was scheduled for Thursday afternoon. (She wasn't really my aunt; she was my dad's cousin, but that's just too complicated.)

I read the email message from Donna just before I went to work at 8 am. After just a little thought, I left work at 9 am, topped off my gas tank, and drove up to Hutchinson, arriving just in time for the 1 pm service.

It was a very nice service at the funeral home, with a good turnout. Harlen and Thelma have accumulated many good friends along the years. There was a soloist - a little white-haired man - with a nice tenor voice.

After a prayer at the graveside, we went back to their church for a meal and conversation. A few of us (quite a few! there were 25 or more) went to Harlen's home. Their son ran a DVD photo slideshow from Harlen and Thelma's 70th anniversary celebration the previous week.
Seventy years, and they were still having fun together!

Here's a link to the funeral home and to Thelma's obituary and guest book. Her picture that you will see is from the anniversary party - she and Harlen were cutting the cake. They blocked out Harlen and the background to show Thelma in her pretty new pink dress.

I had mentioned to my Kansas-raised cousins that I needed to find a birthday gift for my friend Alice. On Ann and Lori's recommendation, I went to the Carriage Crossing in Yoder just south of "Hutch". It was nicer than I even imagined. I think I fell in love with the place when I touched the front door-- the handcrafted door with the clear beveled glass pieces separated by carved wood in the shape of a leafless tree, and the carved wooden woodworking tools decorating the lower panel of the door.

I think I looked at every item in the gift shop before I made a decision.
I found two little cast metal coathooks. Each had one bird, side view, with two hooks angled out from below the feet. Maybe cast iron, pretty heavy. I thought I would get one of them for Alice, whose birthday is today.
Then I thought I would get the other one for myself. They were really inexpensive. Then I thought I should give her both of them. I may not decide for sure until I wrap her gift--I still have a few hours.
I looked for something for Theo, but didn't find anything that seemed just right. Wonder if he would like a little bird to hold his favorite boots?

It was such a lovely place I thought the restaurant would have good pie, and that a slice of pie really would hit the spot with a hot cup of coffee. Then I realized I actually was getting a little hungry, so I ordered a roast beef sandwich (rather than a dinner - I was saving room for pie) with a cup of coffee, and then asked what kind of pie they have. My young waiter's eyes got real big and he said "We have a LOT" so to speed things up I just asked for blueberry.

I learned that they make about two dozen different kinds of pie every morning and forty or more on weekends. The bread for my sandwich was homemade, toasted just right, the beef was tender and flavorful, the tomatoes were ripe and red, the coffee was good - none of it could have been any better. Many thanks to Ann and Lori for telling me about this place!

I may just have to go back to try another variety of pie. It's only 200 miles from home.

It made me think of the movie 'Michael' and the scene in the restaurant, when they all ate pie and the angel Michael (John Travolta) told Dorothy (Andie MacDowell) it was time for her to sing. Remember?

My memory isn't really that good. I had to go look at to get all the names right.

When I drove back toward the highway, with the late afternoon sun painting the green grass gold, I saw an Amish horse-drawn wagon approaching on a side road.
All things considered, I had a really good day. I hope Theo did too.


  1. Hi Grammi - I stumbled onto your delightful Blog - and could not resist telling you how much I enjoyed it! and... visiting with you at Theo's birthday party, hope we get to visit at lots more birthday party's for that delightful little boy! Granny

  2. P. S. the Carriage House sounds delightful, hope I can get that way one of these days and sample all the goodies. granny henri