Bonding Over Murder

I believe that days go slow and years go fast,
And every breath’s a gift, the first one to the last. – Josh Kear, Eddie Hill, David Frasier

Yesterday, following an afternoon that included geocaching with Maggie Faith and watching three — count ’em — three episodes of Death in Paradise, I mentioned to her that I needed to get busy and write a blog for tomorrow. “What do you think I should write about?” I asked her, as she ate her onion rings and I slurped my limeade recently purchased from Sonic.

“Hmmm,” she said thoughtfully. “I think you should write about how we went geocaching and found two caches, and how we always go to Sonic after we geocache, and how that’s our tradition.”

I explained to her that while it was a very good suggestion, I had written so often about our geocaching experiences and our subsequent trips to Sonic that I thought people’s eyes would glaze over if I tried again. (Though I will mention offhandedly that we went two for two, and we each found one. It doesn’t get much better than that, geocachewise.)…..

Dagny and Maggie during one of our earlier geocaching escapades.

But having said that, it occurred to me that the importance of my yesterday is that I spent good, quality time with one of my grandkids. Actually, with two of my grandkids, because Addie is the one who reached out and called me mid-morning to begin with.

“Nana, I just got finished with Swim Team and I’m hungry,” she said. “Can we go have breakfast?” What? A chance to spend valuable time with my 16-year-old granddaughter AND eat? Why would I turn down that opportunity?

I have used the words with which I began this post more than any other quotation simply because they resonate with me every time I hear Luke Bryant sing that song. (The truth of the matter is that those words resonate with me far into the night, because it wins the award for the song most likely to be on an endless track from the time I crawl into bed until I finally throw in the towel and Luke and I get up the next morning.) While I’m not sure that most people are good, as the song claims, I am certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that we must enjoy every minute that we have with those we love. Because years go fast. And s**t happens.

I sent an email to a former colleague who also knew my friend Megan to let him know of her passing. While he’s not as rich and famous as Luke Bryant, his response was just as wise: Wow. Time is fleeting and life is too short.

In a desperate attempt to not let this post become too maudlin, let me tell you that there is another reason that it’s good to spend time with a grandkid or two. Death in Paradise, a murder mystery that is set on a fictitious Caribbean island, is, well, not going to win any awards for creativity or meaningful writing. But it’s just plain fun to watch, all those ocean views and that reggae music as background and all. Still, it’s nice to tell Bill (as he heads outside to do some actual work) that I’m going to stay with Magnolia and watch this program in case anything comes up that seems inappropriate. Besides, watching a program like Death in Paradise with a very bright 11-year-old is a ton of fun. From the first scene, she begins finding clues and guessing potential murderers. Being a fan of the murder mystery genre myself, it makes my heart happy.

Life is short: might as well enjoy it with an 11-year-old on a desert island.

Thursday Thoughts

This Pear is No Bluff
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, we have a pear tree in our back yard that has been fruitful this season……

So I am trying to come up with all sorts of ways to use pears. The other day I made a pear-caramel upside down cake that turned out perfectly. I sent Jll a text saying that if anyone would like to come over after dinner for dessert, they were welcome. No response, but around 5:30 the kids began trailing in. First came Maggie Faith on her bicycle. A short time later, I heard the front door open and Alastair walked in with a big smile on his face. I hear there’s pear cake, he said. Next came Addie and Dagny. I asked Addie to serve it up, and before I could say a partridge in a pear tree, the cake was served and eaten, and the kids were gone. Can you blame them?….

Well, actually, Maggie and Dagny stayed to watch an episode of Death in Paradise on Netflix, a mystery show on which I have gotten them hooked.

One More Pear
There were a couple of pieces left from the pear cake, and I removed them from the cake plate and put them on a small paper plate so that Bill and I could enjoy them for dessert the next day. I had a meeting that night, and when I got home, I noticed that Bill had eaten both pieces. “You ate my piece too?” I asked him crabbily. “Well, since they were on one plate, I thought you wanted me to have them both.” I’m not certain of the logic there, which seems somewhat flawed, though genuine. So the next day I made baked pears with brown sugar and cinnamon…..

…..and told him to make sure he left me one!

Bob’s Your Uncle
I’ve mentioned that Pinterest gets an idea on her own in what she thinks I might be interested. For a while it was chicken coops. Lately, however, she has been sending me suggestions for haircuts — specifically, angled bobs…..

Now don’t get me wrong. I happen to think think angled bobs are absolutely adorable. Still, how Pinterest thinks I can go from this…..

… an angled bob is a mystery. By the way, the other thing she has been sending me is information on something called “puffy paint.” I have no idea what that is, or why Pinterest thinks I am interested in knowing how to create it. Bill and I have been talking about hiring a painter to paint our upstairs once the windows are finished. Since we all know that Google, Facetime, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter all eavesdrop, that might explain the puffy paint posts. But I am NOT putting puffy paint on my bedroom walls.

You’re Beautiful
Bill and I were grown ups again last night. We went to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and saw Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. I loved — LOVED — Carole King when I was in high school and college. It was all I could do last night to refrain from singing. The woman behind me wasn’t as successful as I. Just sayin’…..