Good morning to all. It is quite a brisk morning here in the Chicago land area. I guess fall has arrived. It is however, a beautiful day outside. I had a good performance yesterday with the Senior Center. I did the program on Christopher Columbus...and I must say, I ever surprised myself. I researched him thoroughly...or at least as much as could be found...and the presentation came off rather well. It surprised everyone there. Amazing history that seems to have eluded the history books. Those are the types of stories I must admit that although difficult, I enjoy doing.
Yesterday, I received a number of texts from my eldest granddaughter. It began with the announcement of her marching band having won first place at the competition on Saturday night. I am so proud of this young lady. She is an absolutely amazing child....but she was that way from the very beginning. You see, I raised this young girl for the first 4 1/2 years of her life. She is my special gift from God. Now, don't get me wrong...I love all of my girls to pieces, but having raised this young lady, there is just a different bond.
So, today's blog is about my Sarah and a very special time. When I think about what would have been a special time with this child...there are many to choose from. Her and I went over many of them yesterday on the phone. We were like 2 peas in a pod. Where ever I went, so did she.
Sarah was the epitome of the perfect child...and I am truly not saying that because she belonged to me. Anyone who knows her and had been with us can tell you the same thing. She was just a surprise to everyone. We could go anywhere and she would always be a good child. I could wake her up at 4 A.M. to go on a trip and she would smile, let me dress her and play with her toys for a 3 hour drive in the car quietly. We could go into any store and she would never touch anything or whine about wanting anything. Our rule was...I would buy one thing when we went somewhere...but only one...so she was to pay great attention to what she wanted. When she found it...it was bought...but she was not to ask for anything else. She always abided by the rule...and it taught her to be selective.
Well, the story today is about a trip to Indiana and back. We went to the Amish area in Shipshewana for the day. While we were there, we went Blueberry picking. Her and I in the field picked and picked the blueberries and placed them in these buckets that were ice cream gallon plastic containers. We laughed and had a great time and picked 3 gallons of the blueberries. We talked about all the wonderful things we could do with them when we got home. We each got our fill of munching on them straight off the bushes and when we were finished, we paid the lady a whole $9.00 for the 3 gallons and loaded them into the car. We spent the rest of the day enjoying the area. Sarah was 4 years old at the time.
The next day when we got up, we put on our aprons and began to work. Sarah was in charge of helping me clean the berries and then she was the masher. She sat in the kitchen with a big bow half filled with berries and an old potato masher and mashed them down. These mashed berries were used for ice cream that we made. We then began the jelly making. Sarah was able to measure the sugar and fill cups of water and berries and place them in the pot to cook on the stove. While the jelly was cooking we began making blueberry cookies, pound cake and pies. It was a totally BLUE day...except for our spirits. We loved being in the kitchen together. We even made some homemade bread for the jelly.
Well, the next day, we decided to visit The Grove. It is a historic landmark with so many trails and things to do. We loved going there to spend parts of our day, and aside from that, we know everyone there because of my working at the show there and my friend is the supervisor, so we could stop and have a visit.
Sarah decided that she wanted to take my friend Kris some of her blueberry treasures. We packed up some of everything and off we went. When we arrived at the Grove, we went upstairs to my friends office and Sarah told her all about our day blueberry picking and then took out all of the goodies that she brought.
Well, Sarah was a very caring and giving young girl and when we got there she realized that there were all these other employees, so she had me cut everything into small pieces and she ran around giving everyone that worked there some of her homemade goodies to taste. When I reminded her yesterday of that, she just commented "So, I was a leader even back then!". I just had to smile. She was so proud of what she had done and that year, we made a cookbook at the Grove to sell as a fundraiser and we decided to put Sarah's recipe's into the cookbook and named her as a "friend" of the Grove. While we were discussing that story yesterday, she said "Grandma, now you are making me hungry for some of your blueberry muffins!" That just made me smile once again. It is nice to hear that they have their favorites and their memories. Blueberry muffins became one of her favorite morning snacks and she and I would make them often. Oh, how grateful I am for having had those days with her. From those days spent together...she often will make breakfast for her siblings and for her family. She has continued to make me proud of the young lady that she has become. She is now in her Senior year of High School and has recently received an acceptance letter into college. She in an honor student and will graduate with honors and works nights. She has many outside activities and does charity work that involves serving the less fortunate during the holidays.
With so many troubled teenagers today, it is such an honor to sing her praises. I hope that those special moments that we spent together will stay with her always. As we chatted more yesterday, we went on a real stroll down memory lane and talked about some of the things we did together. The picnics we had in front of the fireplace, the days in the hot tub in the basement where she learned to swim across it, or the days at the pool when we played the Little Mermaid and Ursula. When I choose to raise Sarah, I gave up the dream of becoming a doctor so that I could stay home and take care of her....most would think that crazy...but I was the blessed one. I wouldn't have traded a single moment of those days together. I gained so much during that time together. She was part of my soul. She still is and will remain there forever.