My birthday comes a few days after Christmas every year. Because 2012 happened to be a milestone year for me, we found a place on the ocean in Truro on the Cape and our family gathered for a few days to visit, cook meals for each other and walk on the beach right outside our door.
M. put together snowflake garlands and C. helped her place paper red cardinals hopping around tiny white lights set in mason jars along the window sills making the place festive and elegant. Each took turns cooking for the rest of us; then another pair cleaned up afterwards. It worked out great with meals of shabu shabu, chap jae, ham and pea soup, ham sandwiches, delectable cheeses, huge salads with pears, pomegranate seeds and maple syrup laced dressing.
I took breakfast duty each day, making stacks of french toast, light oatmeal bread dipped in beaten eggs laced with vanilla, fragrant in a large electric skillet, mounds of tender, scrambled eggs with chopped scallions, crisp bacon on the side. And lots of hot coffee.
G. and M. went to pick up the lobsters and cape scallops for my birthday dinner. Afterwards, we had M.’s homemade coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting lit with candles. On the last day, after packing and loading the cars, we sat down to one last round of eggs benedict, made with warmed ham on toasted whole grain and cheese bread topped with tender poached eggs and generous dollops of hollandaise sauce made with Meyer lemon.
Sand, wind, water, salt. Lots of it everywhere. Thoughtful gifts abounded, the most touching of all was a DVD with voiceovers and music made by my daughters and granddaughters, including the littlest one at the end (Josie at 27 months old) saying “hap-py birth-day, gram-my”. The DVD movie did not come across like a “this is your life” kind of tribute which always seems to me like a valedictory farewell (okay, now you can go and sit somewhere.) Instead, it was a light-hearted celebration with lots of humor, flowers and food, good times shared together. I noticed a favorite suede jacket that I wore in college and wondered where it went to. There were comments from my blog too and a parade of the countries readers originate from, set to the “Star Wars” opening trumpet theme.
All in all, for an introverted, reclusive worrywart person and mother, the thoughtfulness and affection shared by everyone during this birthday holiday made us feel happy and content, especially me. And Josie’s innocent joyfulness at being near the ocean said it all: “O-cean! O-cean! SO Happy!” We are lucky to have such a wonderful family. And my thanks go to each and everyone who made this birthday holiday so meaningful and full of love.