The last of the four children have taken their wives, husbands and darling offspring home off-Island until next summer. It took the usual two days to get the house straightened up before any real cleaning could be done. Miraculously it does not look like anyone left something important behind this year that would require a trip to the post office by this tired grandmother of five.
We did the beach, the fair and the rest. However, what really makes our getting together most memorable is the eating we do together. I always have their favorite chocolate chip, butterscotch, pecan Bzer (their nickname for me) bars ready when they arrive. Our daughter takes it up a notch with her chili-powdered fish dishes. One son and his nephew cook really spicy nachos which a granddaughter cuts the onions for. She looked adorable in the green sunglasses she decided to wear to prevent onion tears. Tomato caprese salads are the specialty of one daughter in law who brings the tomatoes and basil from her garden in Pennsylvania. The children and I make pancakes every morning. They stir the batter and then drop chocolate chips into the pancakes as they form and bubble in the hot butter. We never got to rib night this year . . . There will be time for that in 2013.
New to the family this year is a 10-month-old granddaughter who watched everyone eating at the table one night and decided that she, too, wanted to join the feast.
We put her in the same high chair that we have had in the family since grandson number one arrived for his first visit fifteen years ago. She squealed with delight as I presented her with half a bagel which she munched on all through dinner. The next morning it was Cheerios on the high chair tray. She eagerly picked them up by the fistful and directed them to her open mouth. Toward the end of the week she moved on to chicken pieces.
As the last of the towels and sheets came out of the dryer today, I glanced around and realized that the cleanup was about complete. Only one item remained to be hauled down to the basement. It was the high chair. Several days have gone by and the high chair remains in its appointed spot near the dining room table. Somehow I feel that as long as that stays around, the children will be eagerly waiting for me to heat up the griddle for breakfast tomorrow morning.
It will be too long before that morning arrives. Way too long.
Bonnie George is a retired educational journalist who lives in Chilmark.