In each cabin and inn room at my bed and breakfast, there is a crocheted doily. It may be under a lamp, a vase, or draped across a nightstand. Each one was handmade by my mother. Throughout the years she made many... too many to count... we should have. As she grew older, her mind remained sharp to read pattern instructions. Her hands grew old, but her fingers remained nimble.
Whenever I would stop by for a wee visit, she was crocheting. She would ask about my day... Had I tried any new recipes to prepare for my bed and breakfast guests? She would often share her Capper's Weekly (a homey newspaper familiar to me as a child and now called Capper's Magazine) that always held tried-and-true recipes that readers had submitted. What antics had my chickens been up to? We would talk about the asparagus and rhubarb shoots poking through the soil in the spring... the pussy willows and lilac buds, the cream of asparagus soup recipe tucked into my CSA basket that I planned to try, and the rhubarb custard pies that she baked each spring with freshly cut rhubarb from her garden. She would share the doily she was presently working on. Our chats were about nothing really... and yet so much. Now, her 93 year old hands have stopped crocheting. Our chats have now ceased... or have they? No, we still have our chats. Why just today, I walked our property in search of signs of spring. I brushed the decayed leaves aside... remnants of autumn past. "There... see, mom. Bright red rhubarb shoots to be made into pie. I will use your recipe. Oh, and look... pussy willows bursting forth along the path beside our wetlands and budding dwarf korean lilac bushes along the sidewalk leading to my front door. What pretty early spring bouquets they will make! As I prepare my cabins and inn rooms for opening in two weeks, your doilies will be there."