Monday, March 7, 2011

Sugar and Spice

My daughter was my father's reward for putting up with me.  From the git-go, she loved wearing the ruffled socks and frilly dresses that I had forever eschewed.  She did not have to be bribed to put on a skirt.  All her life, she has been the consummate lady, and she is one of the best friends, in the best sense of that word, that anyone could hope for.

Listening to my neighbor's sons the other day of course led me to thinking about our daughters as children, too.  My mother could not cope with my four Kids en masse, and so would invite one at a time to stay with her.  Each of them had the opportunity for individual attention, and my daughter, in particular, enjoyed the niceties of special breakfasts and outings that Mother provided.  I used to see more of my neighbor's girl.  When she was ten, I invited her and a friend who was staying over to a tea boys allowed.  (Sometimes a girl just needs a break from rowdy brothers.)  The girls were advised to wear dresses.  When they arrived at the appointed hour, I had them choose from my large selection of hats.  I come from an era when such an occasion required gloves, straight seams on stockings, and, of course, a hat.  Seating them like grownups, I served fancy finger sandwiches with crusts trimmed, several kinds of cookies and cake, and a fruit compote.  The girls bought in to the program immediately, and made polite, albeit ten-years-old, conversation as they passed the good china, dabbed with napkins, and slurped pot after pot of sweet tea.  It was exactly the kind of party that would have delighted my daughter. 

Another white chick hatched yesterday; two more eggs left.  The hens have self-appointed duties.  Yuki is the incubator and rarely leaves the nest.  Satomi and Keiko are in charge of the babies; it's under their feathers the chicks run for safety and for warmth.  I find it surprising that after the clutch was laid, none of the hens has made another egg.  Not that I blame them.  They're very busy just now.

The window of opportunity for Fence/Tree Guy to finish with the oak and start the fencing has slammed with a clap of thunder and a downpour of rain.  It's another blustery day.

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