I haven't written since Fathers Day. Did you miss me?
Since my business is closed due to the Coronavirus, I have been working on projects on the farm and soaking in some good family time. The best of which was the arrival of my first grandchild! Little Evangeline arrived July 2nd, and since then, she has owned my heart. We call her Eva.
Long ago, I asked my kids to let me get done with being 'mom' before making me a grandma, and they obliged. If you remember a past newsletter, (Click HERE to view) my youngest son, Jens, graduated in mid-June. little Eva arrived early July. How's THAT for good timing?
Eva is the daughter of my oldest son, Derrill, and his lovely wife, Caitlin. It seems that history repeated itself when she was born. Do you think she knew that her father was born ten days early and that it started when her grandma's water broke around 11:00 at night after watching Star Trek? I have to wonder because that is the story of how Eva chose to make her appearance. She came ten days early, and it all started after her folks finished watching Star Trek. Caitlin's water broke a little after 11:00 and the contractions began. Eva was born a little after four in the morning weighing five pounds, seven ounces.
It is such a yummy thing to be able to relish this little family. Derrill is a such a devoted father, it makes me smile. Caitlin is a natural at being a mother and caring for a newborn. I am still amazed at how this tiny little baby can fill your heart with a love so big.
I have to watch from afar as she grows, and of course, I have to plan more trips to southern California to see her.
I'm already looking forward to taking Eva on bike rides! I couldn't help myself and got this jazzy little two-seater bike trailer. I have to smile because the brand is 'Weehoo' which is my 'mama-call.' All the kids know the high pitched 'weehoo' sound that I make to get their attention out of doors. My mom used it on us kids, growing up on the farm, before cell phones. It was the way to signal that dinner was ready or that mom needed to get your attention. I have found the 'weehoo' call helpful in crowds when I needed to get my kids' attention. I recently called clear across Baker Lake where my son was camping. He heard it, got in his kayak and paddled across the lake to where I was.
So, as you can see, my little Eva-adventure trailer is rightly named!
Tea and Tour 2020 on Hold ~
Before the pandemic hit, I was looking forward to a Tea and Tour summer featuring the fun of our new fleet of electric bikes. It is interesting how things change. Until the number of Covid-19 cases subsides, I am remaining closed to the public.
This summer I have enjoyed a lot of family rides and adventures. We did a day trip to Lopez Island, which is my favorite island bike get-a-way.
Tea and Tour Lopez Island 2021 ~
I am scheming to debut a Tea and Tour of Lopez Island next summer! What do you think? I would offer it once a month and envision starting out with tea and scones in the tea tent overlooking my chamomile field. We would then load up in the Willowbrook van and trailer the fleet of e-bikes to catch the ferry from Anacortes to Lopez Island.
When we arrive on Lopez, I picture a scenic ride to Spencer Spit for a picnic lunch and beach combing followed by biking across the island for ice cream at Lopez Village. We would finish up with a BBQ dinner on the beach before taking the evening ferry home. Lopez is my favorite bike adventure. Feedback? (Click Here to drop a note)
Flower Gathering ~
Recently, I took nieces, nephews, kids and cousins on a bike ride gathering wildflowers. My next newsletter will share the reason we needed so many flowers, but today I wanted to share this picture of our harvest. Before we began our errand, I told them of my memories of taking long walks with their great grandmother, Lucy Shook. She loved gathering wildflowers and grasses along our country roads to make beautiful summer bouquets.
My daughter, Kjaisa, spent the morning combining wildflowers with Willowbrook garden flowers to create wonderful centerpieces that would make her great-grandmother Lucy proud. (But you will have to wait until my next newsletter to find out why.)
The poem 'Flower Gathering' by Robert Frost was one of her favorites. It was especially tender to her after my grandfather passed away. My mind wanders to it often when I am gardening.
I left you in the morning,
And in the morning glow
You walked a way beside me
To make me sad to go.
Do you know me in the gloaming,
Gaunt and dusty gray with roaming?
Are you dumb because you know me not,
Or dumb because you know?
All for me? And not a question
For the faded flowers gay
That could take me from beside you
For the ages of a day?
They are yours, and be the measure
Of their worth for you to treasure,
The measure of the little while
That I've been long away
Do you love the poem as much as I do?
If so, watch your inbox next week for when I write about the floral centerpieces.
Teacup Time ~
For those of you who live in the Northwest, you know how the winter drags on and on. February seems to be the hardest month for me. This 'Teacup Time' remembers a dreary day last February when I responded to an ad for a teapot. I found a family story so sweet that it warmed my heart and made the day not so gray. It came from a woman who was widowed and downsizing. I purchased the teapot, creamer and sugar bowl and now have them on display in the Tea Room. They remind me of the dreary day in February when I made a tender connection with a delightful woman named Evangeline. Little did I know that come summer, when I would celebrate the arrival of my first grandchild, she would be given the same name. Below is the story in her own words.
"This little gilded china teapot, sugar and creamer belonged to my mother, Emma Rebecca Collins Magee (1904-1987) from Xenia, Ohio.
Her father, Arthur E Collins (1866-1914) was a successful farmer and was recognized at the state level for innovation in farming. He died of typhus fever when my mother, Emma, was 10 years old.
Her mother, Mary Leeper Collins (1886-1932) upon becoming a widow with a nineteen-year-old son off to fight in 'The Great War' and a daughter of 10, sold the family farm and moved into Xenia where she built a house large enough to board local school teachers. The local elementary school is named the Collins School and hosts current students for a taste of yesteryear's education.
Xenia was on the Underground Railroad along which Harriet Tubman brought slaves to freedom. My Father, Walter Jacob Magee (1903-1963) was from Harmony / Zelienople, Pennsylvania. He was a basketball star for ZHS his last two years.
Mom and Dad met at Muskingum College in Ohio, John Glenn's alma mater, and became engaged there. They married on September 12, 1934 and served for 17 years as home missionaries / ministers in the Dakotas."
Evangeline Ruth Magee DeMaster
That is it for today! Watch your inbox next week, I have some great news and pictures that I am excited to share.
Oh! I forgot to report on my dad's eye surgery! (Click HERE for the former newsletter about my dad) Everything went smoothly and he is able to see again. I am amazed and grateful for modern medicine.
Will you share The Willowbrook Word with your friends? (use the icons above) It would be great for more people to know of what is going on here on my little farm. Lets get the 'Word' out.
If you would like to read previous issues of The Willowbrook Word Click HERE.
Since the arrival of my granddaughter, Eva, I haven't been posting anything on social media. Did any of you notice? Use the links at the top of the newsletter to connect to my past posts and look for more to come!
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