When my children were young, we had a beautiful 6 bedroom Cape Cod vacation home on a huge lake, at the edge of the woods in Maine. It was an old home that we remodeled, one with hand-hewn beams, and a big concert grand piano sitting before a picture window that overlooked the lake.
I would awaken before anyone else each moring, and quietly sip my coffee as I watched the deer playing in the valley between us and the lake. There was always mist on the ground, swirly clouds of it, just before the sun came up fully. It was a magical view.
When the sun had risen, I would go out back and pick fresh raspberries or blueberries, when they were available, and would wake everyone up with the scintillating aroma of fresh berry muffins. When berries weren’t available, I would bake cinnamon or fresh vanilla ones, or sometimes, lemon poppyseed ones. Each of my children, at one time or another, has recalled the feelings of walking up to those scents, and how, to this day, smelling any of them when they pass a bakery evokes memories of the wonderful times we had there sailing, hiking, roaming the woods, canoeing, and visiting with our copious Italian family around bondfires at night, or with the friends who would fly out from Texas to join us.
I thought about that this morning as I baked fresh muffins for John and for Maya. I was with Steve, my now-deceased former husband, back then, and Maya wasn’t born yet….so today, I spent an extra hour recreating my own memories for them. Albeit urban and not rural, their memories of this morning will mean awakening to the smell of fresh blueberry muffins. The berries are from the Farmer’s Market, and not the back yard, and there are no woods nor lake within site, but still, this will be a happy memory for them.
Today marks the last day Maya will be with us for awhile. She is in nursing school in Seattle, and is working full time, so she doesn’t get to visit often. However, when she wakes up, she will smell the muffins before she gets out of bed. Same thing for John. They will both remember how beautiful this day is in gorgeous Portland, where the temperatures are not expected to rise over 74 degrees. They will awaken to the music of The Mastersons, and the hot muffins and delicious coffee, and a hearty breakfast, and it will be a good memory for them, because they will always remember how much I love them.
That’s how things roll around here. We have such a good life. Simple plesures are the best.