You were too busy to wonder where I went these months past. That’s okay. I forgive you. Summer is like that. We lose ourselves if we’re paying enough attention. I got lost in all the right ways. Lost in endings and beginnings and falling head first into the bowl of life’s richest treasures. It took me awhile to get back up so pull up a chair and stay awhile.
Some of my summer days were about endings. Last day of high school for my youngest,
Last time I’ll kid myself that 3am phone calls are anything but bad news. Twenty-one-year olds still need their moms when they’re in emergency rooms. Thankfully, she’s all healed, even if her bicycle is not. Another ending, but we’re not mourning that demise:it was a kid bike and too small for her anyway.
Last time to wave bye at my youngest peering out the window of her new residence room five hours down the highway, a kid who grew up, like her older sister, in a speedy second.
Around here, we’re life members of the Blink of an Eye Club. Members share an affinity for lobster rolls, car confessions, and group hugs. Perhaps you’re a member too?
Some days were about beginnings: beginnings of married life for my niece, the first among eleven grandchildren of my parents to get hitched; beginnings of understanding that love is truly the winner of all the big emotions, of all the races to the finish line, with apologies to the spectacular Olympians Penny Oleksiak and Andre De Grasse (more about you both coming soon).
My job as Auntie Anne brings tremendous joy and— let’s not kid ourselves— no shortage of responsibility. Strapping a four-tiered wedding cake into the front seat with the AC jacked up just enough to freeze knuckles while driving the 3.5 hour route to wedding site this side of dreamy perfection? That’s how it happened to ensure a pair of giddy lovers were happy. Did I make the cake as promised? Nope. Nor did I drive the car-that was the Friendly Greek on duty. Some promises have to yield to schedule: my kid chose a university that started early and move-in coincided with the wedding. This home baker found the answer in two talented baking sisters, Cindy and Sarah Coelho, of The Bake Shoppe in Toronto, where I taste-tested a number of divine treats (tough job, but see above for Auntie’s responsibilities) and a sample of a cake I discovered was very close to the request of my mother’s famous birthday cake. Said cake arrived intact and was stored in a brewery cold room by the most accommodating townsfolk I’ve encountered in a very long time. If you’re passing through South River, en route to join one of my brother’s adventures in Algonquin Park, stop in at the Highlander Brew Co. and say hi from the blonde baker with the big cake box from Toronto.
On the day of the wedding, all I had to do was dress the cake up with rosebuds and keep the tears at bay. I’ll let you figure out which endeavour I failed at miserably. And yes, the answer to the question is delicious. The cake too.
As for the two lovelies in the spotlight, melting hearts and minds everywhere with their gigantic grins? They’re flown back over the pond and I miss them already.
Some days were neither beginning nor end. Rather, they became one long continuum of beach walks, the kind that make you wake up the next day and wonder if you dreamt the last twenty one years. We’ve traveled some, this family of mine, and up ahead are travels beyond. Yet nowhere can we breathe as easily under the big top of blue that are the skies of Prince Edward Island.
People come to these parts for golf, or seafood, or spectacular feasts thrown by the visionary native son Michael Smith at the Inn at Bay Fortune, easily my favourite food moment of the summer.
Or how about splashing about the many sandbars?
Sky gazing, that’s why I’m in.
Summer is over, but before September slid in, we snuck in a launch of my new food memoir, with love and sugar.
Family and cheerleaders crowded our yard under a tent festooned by my own girls with my go-to hues.
Baker friends provided treats made up from my recipe collection (yes, I owe them all heaps of doughnuts!!)
A live debate on the weighty topic of pie versus cake brought out the belly laughs.
Pre-orders of the book began that night. Now comes your turn. Click here to order a copy and I’ll make sure it’s delivered to you on time for all your holiday baking.
In the coming weeks, look for special previews, prizes, and profiles of my amazing book team right here as I countdown the days until the official launch in November in Toronto.
Send me an email if you want to be put on the list.
Today is my own back to school: TIFF OPENS!!! Regular Red Chronicle readers already know what happens to me during these ten days of screenings. See my film archive on this site. This year, I’ll be adding a guest blogger, The Friendly Greek himself, to share the space with me. If you want a hint of his tastes, here’s his Top Ten from last year’s fest. We’ve been going to TIFF together with our girls for years and September is the month of madness. If you want my list from last year, here’s my Big Thrills 2015.
WHEW! WE DID IT.
Thanks for stopping by. Now get back to work. Or procrastinate some more and drop me a line about anything in the space below.
- Special thanks and photo credits for my launch party go to Jane Langford and Janet Land. Painting backdrop by Kate Dotsikas. Tent pole decor by the Dotsikas Swish Sisters, Emily and Kate.
Every night, I crawl into bed and get a hit of a special kind of `sweet’ – I get to indulge in With Love and Sugar and i’m loving every minute of it, like it’s a guilty pleasure – except it isn’t. It is authentic and captivating, just like the author!