Whew! Yesterday was everything I expected, hoped for, and more. While the nieces breakfasted, I did as much prep work as possible for the big meal later in the day. Then, regardless of everyone else's timetable, the goats needed my attention and I left the nieces to get ready for departure and went down to the barn. Bless their hearts, all the goat girls cooperated and I was almost done when Deb, Craig, Larry, Terry and Arvin (Craig's parents) drove up. Since the cell phone is almost an extension of myself now, I was able to receive calls from the two missing Kids (Pete and Clay) with loving Mother's Day wishes, holding the phone with one hand and milking with the other.
Dave rode up on his Harley just after Arvin helped me haul the milk buckets up to the house, so the cousins were able to connect for a short while; it's been years between visits. I wish Michelle and Lori had been able to stay longer.
It seemed very fitting for a Mother's Day menu to use recipes from my mother (at Deb's request); warm German potato salad and sweet-and-sour German red cabbage, and Deb and Craig had brought a ton of assorted sausages to grill. Those two took over the kitchen so I could get ready (that meant clean bibbies) for Christopher and the film crew who were already at the bottom of the drive.
The anticipated chaos began with a flurry of introductions. Then the family counted out chips and dealt cards and settled into the poker game while Christopher explained how the interview process worked and gave me a little background on his research project. The film crew, Jesse, Aaron, and Allan, searched outside for an appropriate setting, moving furniture on the deck, looking for electrical plugs, etc. The day was rapidly heating up and the site they chose was in direct sunlight at the end of the deck. I won't say it wasn't intimidating, but Christopher made the interview as painless as possible and I found it most interesting. About the time he and I were ready to melt in the sun, Aaron called a halt when the camera let him know it had reached maximum tolerance for the heat. That, however, was not the end of the process. The crew wanted to film a segment in front of the computer. I've never been so glad I'd dusted the room and made the bed, even in the morning's rush. We were a cozy bunch, five of us, cameras and sound equipment, crammed into my room, with Bessie Anne supervising us all. She'd also drifted in and out of the outdoors portion, getting her own claim to fame.
While all this was going on, we'd occasionally hear bursts of laughter from the poker table and the guys would apologize for keeping me occupied on Mother's Day. It was hard not to rush the crew because I really wanted to be with my family. The aromas of grilled sausages and the vinegary cabbage were enticing. Finally, releases were signed and equipment packed up. The crew had a long drive back to southern California, so I sent them off with a sausage for the road. There was one last piece of business. Christopher had a small Polaroid camera and asked for a picture of just him and me together. He had learned it was a custom in Thailand to take instant photos with a new friend and each would have a copy. I now have more than just a memory of this out-of-the-ordinary experience.
At long last, I was able to join my family for a meal and a few hands of poker. It was very special that Terry and I were able to share Mother's Day together since we both call Craig our son. As is typical after dinner, the boys stretched out and caught a few ZZZs. Sundown approached and it was time for goodbyes and "Love you" down the drive.
It was a good day. No, it was a most excellent day!