he calls me "Dabby." Not sure where that came from, but for the last couple of months it's been Dabby this and Dabby that. I like it.
My granddaughter turns 2 Sunday and I'm proud to say that we have forged a strong relationship over the last 24 months despite the miles that separates us.
I was at the hospital in Salem, Ore., when Kayla Grace finally arrived after an extremely long day and night. Exhausted and exhilarated, I held her in the first moments of her life and loved her with all my heart that morning. But, of course, I didn't know her.
Salem is about five or six hours away, depending on how fast you
drive. Sometimes it's taken seven or eight hours if Rick and I stop to
shop or eat along the way. I vowed that cold November morning when she
was born that I would see my granddaughter once a month, and I have.
Between visits, 21st century technology keeps us connected. I might
be cooking dinner or doing laundry and get a text that says, "K wants to
Skype." I drop what I'm doing and run upstairs to the computer and
logon as Grandma Skype.
When I answer her video call, Kayla screams. "Dabby! Dabby!" and my heart melts.
I wouldn't miss her birthday party Sunday for the world. I spent
this past weekend baking oatmeal raisin cookies and biscotti for her. I
bring them every time I go up to see her and I was thrilled when my
daughter-in-law told me she really likes the biscotti. I liked my
grandma's biscotti, too. It's a small thing, but it connects her to
family tradition. My parents and my grandparents, people she will never
know, are smiling.
I decided to bake for Kayla instead of working on cranberry bread. I
have to admit I'm starting to get nervous as the Bake-off nears. I know
Michelle Morgante has been practicing and perfecting andndash; when we met for
lunch to discuss the details of the competition, she had just made
cranberry bread in individual Bundt pans. Tricky.
I overheard Anne Boulley tell someone at lunch that she's been
experimenting with adding Bouncing Berry Farms cranberry compote to her
bread recipe "in ribbons." Dang.
If you haven't heard, I challenged those two to a Cranberry Bread
Bake-off this Friday and Saturday. Each of us is making a half dozen
loaves of cranberry bread and there will be a tasting at Vita Cucina
during First Friday Art Walk, from 4-7 p.m. We're charging $5 to sample a
plate with each of our breads giving the money we raise to Teri Sandler
to help pay for the community Thanksgiving Dinner.
Tasting will continue at Vita Cucina Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.,
but if you come Friday night we'll all be there along with the
"celebrity judges" that cranberry grower Chelle Webb lined up and Jon
Parmentier playing music.
And please don't forget to sign up for the Festival of Trees. It's
one of the most fun events of the holiday season here. All you have to
do is purchase a live or artificial tree and decorate it. Some
businesses and individuals decorate with a theme, but you don't have to.
Bring your tree (you can decorate it there) to the Veterans Memorial
Hall, or if I can't convince you to donate a tree, come down to the hall
and buy raffle tickets to win a tree. You can deposit your tickets in
the can for the tree you'd really like to win and cross your fingers. I
won the tree of my dreams the first year I tried.
The luncheon is on Saturday, Dec. 3, and that's when all the trees
will be displayed and raffled off. It's the perfect way to kick off the
holiday season. The contributions Charlotte Fleshman and the ladies in
the Emblem Club raise directly benefit local charities and DNHS
scholarships. For more information, give Charlotte a call at 954-4530.
Reach Michele Thomas, the Del Norte Triplicate's publisher, at
mandshy;andshy;thoandshy;masandshy;andshy;andshy;@triplicate.com, 464-2141, or stop by 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.