To the elderly man at the ferry terminal; you sat on the bench adjacent from us, surrounded by your family. You wore dark trousers and a long sleeve black and red plaid button down shirt. Attire that seemed much too heavy for the for the warm summer day. We had just raced back to the ferry terminal, thinking we were almost going to miss the boat, but arriving with about 20 minutes to spare. We were sweaty, and tired, and eating our avocado sandwiches and shared ice cream cone way too fast.
I could feel your gaze on us through your dark, wrap-around sun glasses and light smile. At first I figured you were enjoying our youth and the easy shared habits of a young couple, but I soon overheard your daughter, or niece, or friend read to you a few cards you received about the passing of your wife. As they comforted you with their kind words and stories of the spirit she had, you watched us and I can only imagine that you were thinking of when the two of you raced through life, side by side, for the past some odd 50-60 years.
As the ferry came in, a tear came to my eye as your early 20-something grand daughter held your hand and kissed your cheek as you were about to part ways. I can only imagine what it’s like to loose the love of your life. I saw it happen with both of my grandfathers and I know one day it will happen to me. The one you know so well and hold to so tightly, that it seems almost un-real that this luck has happened to you. I’m savoring every moment of it now, I must. Thank you for the reminder.
We celebrated 3 years of marriage (and 9 years of love) this past week by going on a bike trip through the San Juan Islands. An entire week of bike riding, island hopping, camping, hiking, napping lakeside, and eating out of what could fit into our bike panniers. There were zero computers and no cell service (I snapped these two photos before mine died and I didn’t bother to try finding a charger). Each day we woke with the sun, relied on our bellies to tell us when to eat, maxed-out our energy, and went to bed thoroughly tired. I know this probably sounds like hell for a lot of people, but we enjoyed it and can’t wait for a chance to do it again. If you’d like to experience a little bit of our trip, here’s a link to the short movie we made using images taken with our GoPro Camera attached to the front of JARED’s bike.
Before we left I made a chamomile bundt cake. You know, to stick with tradition. It’s chamomile flavor is grassy and sweet. I used chamomile I grew in my garden, but you can use your favorite chamomile tea, loose or from tea bags. I think lightly sweetened whipped cream would be a lovely topping to replace the glaze if you prefer. We enjoyed the last few slices with vanilla ice cream, another must if you have some in the freezer.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cane sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons dried chamomile blossoms or about 2-3 tea bags
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
1 cup plain yogurt
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease with butter or oil a bundt pan and dust with flour.
In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and chamomile, set aside.
In a separate bowl combine the oil, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and yogurt, whisking until thoroughly combined. Pour into the dry mixture and gently fold in until just incorporated. It should start to bubble a bit.
Pour the batter into your prepared bundt pan, smooth out the top and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pan for 10-15 minutes before removing from bundt pan to cool completely.
1 tablespoon dried chamomile blossoms
5 tablespoons hot water (not boiling!)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 rounded tablespoon turbinado sugar or honey
Place the chamomile in a small dish and pour over the hot water and lemon juice. Let steep 5-7 minutes before removing the leaves, then stir in the sugar to dissolve. Spoon the mixture over the cake and serve.