How many ‘photos of the week’ have I missed? I’m thinking back to these past weeks and wondering where the days have gone. This is what always happens in the spring; the days grow a little longer and a little warmer and suddenly time disappears. I feel like I’m in catch-up mode right now, trying to get myself back on track with all of the things that have fallen a bit behind: practicing Spanish, hiking, preparing for the next Camino, writing.
I was keeping up, until all of a sudden I wasn’t. But this always seems to happen- just when everything comes together, life hits, and the routines vanish. But I’m lucky to be able to say that the things that have derailed me are all good: small trips and holidays and time with family and friends (and, well, a too-tight hiking shoe that caused my right foot to ache and resulted in a break from Camino training. Just when I thought I would have absolutely no trouble with footwear for this Camino!).
So here are a few photos. The first is all about bread: I help my mom bake her traditional paska recipe for Easter, and this year I did 95% of the kneading. My memories of paska making go back to childhood: my mom working her hands through the mound of sticky dough, the all-day process, the tall, golden brown loaves. I’ve done a lot of the kneading these past few years, and it always feels so satisfying: picking up the dough as it spills over the edges of my hands, folding it, throwing it, molding it. But this year was different, there was nothing satisfying about it. The dough was sticky. It was sticky like the heavy paska dough of my memories, the kind of dough that causes stress.
“It needs more flour!” I kept saying to my mom.
“No,” she shook her head. “Just keep working it.”
I should have trusted her, she’s been making this bread for over 30 years. But I kept asking, kept saying that I thought something was wrong. I also kept kneading the sticky mass, the dough coating my hands like an extra layer of skin. My face was red, my hair was falling into my face, at one point I was short of breath.
But in the end, she was right. The bread didn’t need more flour. It was perfect.
And the next photo is all about music. When I was 16, my mom, sister and I went to see Ringo and his All-Starr Band. At the time, I was at the height of my Beatles obsession, and Ringo was my favorite. We got to the venue early and as soon as I saw others carrying signs and banners, I instantly wished that I’d made one myself. So we rooted around in the car and found a manilla folder and I wrote RINGO in large block letters with a blue sharpie.
Later, during the concert, I stood and held up the sign. Ringo looked out in my direction, smiled, and pointed at me. “You’re 16,” he sang, “you’re beautiful, and you’re mine.” This still goes down as my very top concert/music moment.
This past weekend I was in Cleveland to see the Rock Hall Induction Ceremony. I was there, once again, with my mom and my sister, and I was there to see Ringo.
And despite more engaging speeches and more dynamic performances from other artists, the highlight was still Ringo. My grin stretched from ear to ear as I watched him, sitting at his drum kit, banging away with his head bobbing from side to side. Paul McCartney was there, too, playing his guitar and supplying background vocals- it’s as close to the Beatles as I’ll ever get.
The music felt timeless, I felt like I was 16 again.
Dearest Nadine, These are the best times of my life; kneading bread with you and seeing Ringo. Luv, luv, luv, Mom