This week, I thought that I would be late posting in my blog. You should know by now that Virginia experienced an earthquake, and Hurricane Irene has battered the east coast that has left 1 million Virginians without electricity. So, my plan was to go to Starbucks, plug in my laptop and write this post. However, at 11:50 p.m. Monday evening; the power returned. Now, last week I had promised to share with you Daddy's macaroni and cheese recipe and my birthday gift ideas for my sister, Belinda. Normally, I call her Mrs. Dyson because when I pronounce her first name it sounds more like "Blenda" or "Blen" instead of "Be-lin-da." Referring to my sister as "Mrs. Dyson" just seems to roll off of my tongue.
There are four gift ideas that I am pondering:
Number 1: A Grave Marker - If you are my Facebook friend, you may know this story, already. When Daddy died last June, the United States Navy provided his grave marker. Mom was so impressed with the grave marker that she had me to purchase a matching one for her (minus the date of death - of course). Last year, on one August afternoon, I traveled to the cemetery office to deliver Daddy's grave marker and to ask, Barbara Daughtry, a life-long friend of my sister and family to order one for Mom.
"Charles C, I'm so sorry for your loss," Barbara said as I entered the office. "You have my condolences. How is your mother doing?"
I replied, "Thank you very much. Mom is doing just fine."
"Make sure you tell her that I asked about her," Barbara continued.
"Okay. Here's is Daddy's grave marker, and Mom wants one just like it for her."
I gave Barbara my mother's full name, date of birth and an inscription to read: "Beloved Wife and Mother."
"What's your Mom's date of death?" Barbara asked as she furiously took notes on a pre-printed form.
"I don't know that, yet?" I replied with amusement.
"You now what? I'm so crazy," she replied with a slight smile.
Suddenly, I thought, perhaps I'll buy Mrs. Dyson a grave marker for her birthday next month. It will last forever. "Beloved Sister" would have been the inscription since I was paying for it. Her husband and daughter can tape a sticky note to it that says, " ...and Beloved Wife and Mother." Needless to say, my sister wasn't crazy about this idea. This year, I still think it's a great present. Plus, Daddy bought a family cemetery plot years ago for the four of us. Of course, we should have matching grave markers. I will get one in 10 or 15 years from now. And since we will be buried right beside each other; I reminded my sister during a recent visit to the cemetery to do not bother me during our eternal rest.
Number 2: A brand new Verizon Motorola Android - It looks like the cell phone she currently uses is about 5 years old. I'm sure it is the first pre-generation slide phone. In order for her to read her text messages, Mrs. Dyson places her eyeglasses on her pretty, young looking face; draws the cell phone close to her eyes and slightly move her lips as she reads her messages. Actually, it drives me a little crazy. In addition, it looks like it is scratched around the edges - my pet peeve - a scratched up cell phone.
Number 3: A Macy's Department Store Gift Card - This gift will be real easy to purchase. It's always the right size, color and fit. Macy's ~ Where Dreams Come True! (I wonder if Macy's will pay me for that free advertisement?)
Number 4: A Homemade Peach or Apple Cobbler - Some years ago, Mrs. Dyson taught me how to make peach and apple cobbler. We had even entered our cobblers in a cook-off contest at church. Unfortunately, we tied. I would swim the deepest ocean and climb the highest mountain for my sister. But, I make my cobbler to WIN. Just so you'll know, after all of these years, Daddy wouldn't even admit as to whose cobbler he preferred.
During his last few days on earth while in the hospital, I asked, "Daddy? Whose cobbler tastes better - mine or Belinda's?"
He took a deep breath, heaved his chest toward the ceiling, released a loud exhale and collapsed. I guess he really did want to take that secret with him to the grave. No, he didn't die right then. I think he wanted to tease me one last time.
So, the present that I decided to give her is Number __!! Actually, Mrs. Dyson is a regular reader of my blog, and I don't want to ruin the surprise. Since her birthday is Sunday, September 4th; I will let you know on Wednesday, September 7th during my next post. Stay tuned.
If you would like the recipe for peach or apple cobbler; send me a real nice comment on how much you enjoy reading my blog and email it to a friend. Look for my other post/recipe entitled, "Macaroni and Cheese" that I promised you. It has already been published.
Speaking of food, I may tell you what my maternal and paternal grandmothers used to make me eat at their kitchen tables or I may post about my interactions with others during the earthquake.
Much love to each of you and keep praising His name!