Happy Fourth of July!
Happy Fourth of July!
…He is truly risen!
I had to wait a night to watch “Downton Abbey” this week, but it was for a good cause. Scott and I were living our own little English historical drama, all without leaving the Bay Area.
We left the boys with my parents (I love you guys!) and stayed here, at the Pelican Inn in Muir Beach.
We’ve been here before, and we love it. If you want a rustic little inn that makes you feel like you’re in a Daphne DuMaurier novel, this is your place. Everywhere you look, there is something quaint and intriguing to catch your eye.
There is an English pub downstairs, and a dining room with a massive fireplace and wood paneling and delicious food.
Best of all, it’s a five-minute walk to the beach.
And you can hike up the hills for a great view.
There is nothing like getting out of your normal routine to get refreshed, to get a new perspective. And looking at the ocean does that, too.
Best of all, I got to spend quality time with my guy. We not only started conversations, we finished them. When you are a parent, that is huge.
Of course, we talked about the kids a lot. And it was so great to see them again tonight, to hug them and hear about their adventures with Grandma and Grandpa. We all had a terrific weekend (though I’d say my folks could use another one after watching the guys for thirty hours straight).
And when we got home, we caught up on “Downton.” What a season! I’m loving it. Love how Mary may be reconsidering Tony (I like the other guy sooo much better), and how Lady Violet has had a romantic intrigue in her past, and how Edith may be edging closer to telling the truth to her family (just let it all out, girl!). Good stuff.
What is making you happy this week? (And if it’s “Downton,” what did you think of this last episode?).
I can take no credit for this one. My eight-year-old put the Elf on the Shelf on the camel; I just took the picture.
But it works, doesn’t it? Happy Epiphany!
Christmas books for kids are easy to find. But Thanksgiving books? Not so much. In the area of children’s literature — as in so many things — Thanksgiving gets the short end of the stick.
But in our family library, we have two Thanksgiving books that help get all of us – myself included — into a proper holiday frame of mind.
Thanksgiving is Here! by Diane Goode is a pretty simple, almost plotless picture book. Grandma and Grandpa host Thanksgiving for a huge, sprawling family, whose members arrive with frequent ringing of the doorbell and throw themselves right into the joyous celebration. They help with the cooking, move the furniture, push tables and mismatched chairs together, clean up afterward, take a post-meal walk, and just generally enjoy each other’s company.
But even though the story is basic, the book is wonderfully compelling. There’s a nice rhythm to the words, and Goode’s drawings are fabulous. Each family member has so much personality, and the pictures of the family activities manage to capture the cheerful chaos of a huge family gathering. My kids love this book, and I do too, because it reminds me of why I adore Thanksgiving: it’s a holiday that is all about loved ones gathering together around a table and enjoying each other’s company. You don’t need more than that in life, really, and this gem of a book is a colorful reminder.
Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin is a classic from my era (written in 1971). It’s about Maggie and her grandmother, who live in a house on the edge of a cranberry bog in New England. Grandmother has a top-secret famous recipe for cranberry bread hidden behind the fireplace, and the plot starts to spin when they have two guests come over for Thanksgiving and one of them just might be trying to find and steal it (the cad!).
I won’t give away spoilers, but let’s just say that it’s a sweet story about not jumping to conclusions, and about not judging a book by its cover. There’s a little theme of forgiveness at the end, too, which is nice. And the illustrations are so colorful and charming, with that unique early ’70s picture book aesthetic. They are evocative, too; the drawings of the house by the bog always make me feel Thanksgiving-y and oddly nostalgic, even though this California girl would not know a cranberry bog if she fell headfirst into one. It’s a darling book, and it even has a recipe for cranberry bread on the back cover … a nice touch.
Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving titles to share? Please do!