A Blanket of Gold

I look across the backyard with a heavy sigh,
just a few weeks ago, the broom had done its
job, the garden gloves lie in the shed, caked
with flakes of dirt, exhausted from pulling
weeds that had the nerve to sprout abundantly,
as though they are admired as much as
the glorious lavender hydrangeas.

Now, crunchy yellow leaves inundate the grass,
as if Mother Nature gently laid down
a blanket of gold. The wardrobe changes of the
leaves, pirouetting to the ground, lead to the season
when Gratitude is placed on a pedestal,
paying homage more than any given day,
which leads us to the turkey brining
in a citrusy concoction. The carving knife
and gravy ladle eager to present their annual
performance. The formal dinnerware excited
to display its shiny patina. The gathering.

And on this special day, the sky and sun
will collaborate to create a bright blue backdrop,
no clouds invited to this celebration,
not even a breath of wind will drift through,
or one tiny raindrop will fall on this event,
just a high temperature cool enough
to welcome a sweater,
the kind of weather that would delight them both.

He would ask for a beverage before sitting down,
and then even after sinking into the soft sofa,
his hand would caress the glass for minutes.
He would pause before taking a sip.

Because before partaking in the festivities,
he, who lived through the second world war,
would slowly absorb
the noise,
the laughter,
the chaos,
the loved ones…

© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites.com – All rights reserved.

Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you the feeling
of Gratitude in your hearts that will last a lifetime.

Sending wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving! 🧡🍁🍂

A Text in Seconds

My thoughts on Sunday, April 25th, 2021…

Dear Mom, I know you’re listening from above, so I need you to know that I’m sorry for moving in and out of the house so many times, for putting you through that emotional turmoil. Although, I couldn’t have known back then what you were feeling, but I understand now. I realize how much your heart ached. The emptiness, the thought of your youngest leaving the nest. The strong wish to protect and keep me safe. I’m walking in those shoes now, dealing with the discomfort, and honestly, it’s not a trip to Disneyland. But I know in time, the discomfort will lessen. I don’t think it will ever disappear for good, but I know I’ll feel more at peace as the calendar pages flip.

Those were the days when my parent’s door was revolving – when I strived to find my way into the vast world outside of their home. Today, our youngest, our son, left home for the first time. Not for college, not for his internship, but for a taste of independence. The caveat is that his apartment is across the country. He’ll live closer to our daughter and son-in-law who also live on the east coast. And while this fact brings joy, I still wish their paths could have been paved on the west. Maybe someday. Or maybe, we’ll uproot and head east. The future remains a giant neon question mark.

The weekend prior to his leaving was spent with the three of us, my husband, him, and I celebrating this new adventure, as well as ours as empty nesters. Great food and wine, nostalgic conversation that at times provoked tears. Then today came. We knew it was inevitable. The day that he would begin his drive across country alone. Fortunately, his first day of driving would only be four hours, so he didn’t have to leave early in the morning. This gave him time to relax, to take one more look around the house and make sure he packed everything he needed, and to walk our dog with me one last time. He has never liked being in photos, but since this occasion rings differently in that he’s moving away, he conceded to selfies of the both of us once we reached the top of the hill, along with photos of him and his lab.

Then just as he was about to start his car for the first leg of his journey, we took selfies of the three of us: mom, dad, son. Smiles, funny expressions, all concealing the tears of what was about to come, the hugs and the “see you later.” Talk about emotions! But we got through it, and then we watched him back out of the driveway and wave to us as he rolled down the street, embarking on this exciting journey. My husband and I let the tears flow in the drama of the moment.

The pros of technology come in handy when our son can send a text in seconds, telling us that he arrived safely. Those few words including “love you all” with a heart emoji allows us to breathe again. That was his first drive. Day One. He’ll have six days of driving across country where the seventh will be the day he is handed his new apartment keys. A moment of joy, celebration, adult independence, but also nostalgia, knowing he’ll miss us, his dog, and his childhood home. It was tough for our Labrador because his doggie brain doesn’t understand the words his brother says to him. Giving those last hugs to his chocolate lab tugged at the heart. If only our beloved pets could speak our language. During the day, our lovable lab meandered into our son’s room. I have no doubt, he not only sensed his brother’s absence, but he sensed something had changed today. As smart as our furry family member can be, I’m sure he felt the profoundness of it all.

The quiet in the house is LOUD, but we know with time, the volume will soften into a sense of normalcy. Walking into his bedroom, the bare walls and empty shelves incite a wave of emotions that hit me like a tsunami. As we anticipated the day he would leave, we selfishly begged for time to slow down. Now, moving through the week to day 5, he is on his way to visit his sister and brother-in-law. We are thrilled that our kids will get a chance to visit. But we also wish for time to speed up, for him to safely arrive at his new home, the final stop on the road trip.

Two more days to go. I have never felt such an affinity for my cell phone before as I wait for his text messages to ping each evening. The tears flow less frequently now that he is over the hump of the week, but they’re still very much present, finding their freedom every now and then. They fall out of joy, from missing him, and from unleashing the tenacious worry. I feel as if I’m holding my breath while he continues to blaze through the many state lines. I’ll be able to exhale once he arrives and embraces those keys in his hand.

On the opposite side of the emotional spectrum, we are so proud of him, so excited for him to walk through the door of this new chapter. It’s what we’ve always wanted but knowing the moment of him leaving home would render tears and emptiness, too.

Eventually, my husband and I will embrace this empty nest for the precious gift it is to us now as a couple, and for what it means regarding our children – a gift from them as they are able to live life to the fullest in their adult years. We will find our new rhythm through the new empty nest chapter in our family story. And we couldn’t be more excited to make memories in their new homes. Let the journey continue!

I posted about this soon after he moved out, but It’s been over a year now. He’s settled into his new life and so have we. Between flights, phone calls, and texts, we stay connected. Yes, we miss him as much as we miss our daughter, but the silver lining is that they’re living their lives, spreading their wings, the natural progression of life. We couldn’t be prouder.

Lauren Scott © ❤️
If you can relate to this scene,
the “see you later”, the emotions,
and new life chapter,
I’d love to hear about it.

A Plea

I remember our conversation, effort to
calm emotions, phone glued to ear like

a natural extension. Her voice, exhausted…
“When will this be over?” She asked Dad

days later, more like a plea. He could be
gentle or travel the path of honesty. I don’t
know the words he pulled from his language

of a sixty-seven-year love…how he tiptoed
through the reply, though tenderly, I imagine,
since his heart was shattering into millions
of minute fragments. Her time was close.
Our awareness vigilant. Each day, another
breath held until the hands of time would
pause. Then as quickly as the sun fades
behind rolling hills, raindrops splash upon us.
She had ascended. Moments of memories
to follow. But not one day passes without
celebrating her life. Not one day slips by
without her knowing how much she is
loved and missed.

Lauren Scott (c)
Mom would be 101 today,
and since she loved her roses,
we dedicate this beauty for her.
❤️

In the Company of Redwoods

It felt like walking back in time, strolling around the loop in the park flanked by redwoods, families laughing and holding dialogue over a barbecue burger lunch. The aroma tickling our noses. Opened bags of chips and containers of various salads on the table ready for serving. Grandma shuffles across the street, both hands gripping her walker. Grandpa right beside her, his hand resting on her lower back. Deep, long-lasting love in his eyes. Parents play badminton with their children – a portrait of entertainment at its finest. Our stroll takes us to the bridge where we pause for a few minutes. Leaning against the rail, we see young girls and boys splashing in the creek, laughter whirling around in the warm June air. The sound, musical and magical. Redwoods stand tall in their regal manner, providing shade from the scorching rays of the golden ball in the bright cerulean sky.

A week has passed since extreme high temperatures inundated our area – no air conditioning, felt like we were simply existing, wiping sweat from our faces, zapped of all energy, fans at arm’s reach. So, a day among the Redwoods sounded ideal for a cool breather. Our stroll continues past the inviting, glistening creek where we spot poison oak on the side of the road, but we don’t touch. No desire to itch. A Western tiger swallowtail with its black tiger stripes and pretty pale-yellow wings joins us, flying around my husband then me, as if wanting to listen in on our conversation.

Campgrounds on our right display tents in all sizes and colors of blue, red, orange, and lime green. Kids of varied ages play games at a picnic table, a far cry from fingers flying across a keyboard. The delightful scene transports me to my childhood at our cabin on the corner, playing Yahtzee, or the classic Go Fish and Crazy Eights with my parents and sisters. A breeze whirls around us – we want to capture it with our bare hands, bottle it for when the house is sauna hot. A few dogs trot beside their owners, our dog mirrors them, happy to be outside with an abundance of stimulation: smells, people, children, food! His nose in overdrive!

We wind down the road, then make a U-turn. Reaching our picnic table, our stomachs begin to rumble, so my husband pulls out the Reuben sandwich for us to split – haven’t indulged in a Reuben in a hundred years, with orzo and tabbouleh salads for sides. What a feast. What a beautiful day in the company of the majestic Redwoods. His Deschutes IPA and my sangria tap. Cheers to 34 years ago on this day when he asked me that timeless question and I said, “Yes.”

Lauren Scott (c)

A Mother’s Day Tribute 💗

Mom loved her pink roses, so this beauty from our garden is for her.

A Mother’s Day Tribute

With her tender care,
she creates perfection
Like a mama bird,
she provides protection
Under her wing
she carries warmth
A frown in her view,
she’ll easily transform
Her beauty shines,
flows like a river
Ah, but her love
will never wither
She embodies splendor
of many colors
bold for confidence,
pastel for aiding others
With a butterfly’s elegance,
she graces our presence
Her million-dollar smile
illuminates her essence
A sister, daughter,
friend, and lover
A doting spirit
like no other
An angel on earth,
A spirit divine
A lovely blessing 
One of a kind

Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms out there,
and to our Moms in Heaven, we miss you
and love you!
💕

And a Big shout-out to my daughter and son
who are absolutely the best

and make me feel so blessed. ❤️

Lauren Scott (c)

Raindrops, Good Friday, Easter, and Cookies 🌷

It’s been so long since rain touched down in our region that we’ve forgotten what it sounds like when it falls in droves or when those raindrops touch the roof. But yesterday, we were reminded once again, and the sound was lovely. No wind, no storm, no messiness. Raindrops fell lightly and consistently, all day long, just the soft pitter patter soothing the flora. The blades of grass and blooms with their friendly faces that wish to brighten our days sighed with relief. They were immersed in droplets of hope, and so were we. This precipitation was a welcomed surprise just before Easter.

Today is Good Friday in the Christian religion: a day of commemorating Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. Thus, a day of grief, penance, and for some, a day of fasting. Then Easter follows on Sunday, a holiday for celebrating Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. On this day, I wish you an abundance of peace and comfort.

For Easter, I decided to do some baking, so I pulled the recipe card out of my recipe box for my mom’s sugar cut out cookies. I have wonderful memories of baking with her when I was a young girl. I continued that tradition with my daughter and son, but now that they live on their own, I bake solo. In the past, I’ve used Cross cookie cutters for Easter, but this time I bought some that are fun for both spring and Easter.

My faithful red hand mixer has treated me well, so no need for a giant mixer in my kitchen. Butter, white sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, and baking powder waited for their cue. Once the cookies were baked, I mixed up creamy buttercream frosting: more butter, powdered sugar, a little milk, and vanilla, and voila! So good! When the cookies were cool, I frosted them then I added colored sprinkles for decoration. Some bakers paint their cookies, but I like to sprinkle. And here’s what my kitchen looked like:

Bunnies, flowers, butterflies, and chicks! What more do we need, except, Love, Love, Love?! Oh, and do you see those white carrots with the green tops or fronds, as they are called? Well, I forgot orange sprinkles, so they turned into white carrots. Yes, white carrots do exist and they’re called, Arracacha, an Andean root vegetable. My son said that the carrot cookies look like feet. I didn’t see that then, but I can see it now. 🙂

Now that you’re full from cookies, you may be in the mood to read a delightful children’s book for Easter that I highly recommend, “Sir Chocolate Saves Easter” by Robbie and Michael Cheadle.
You can read it at:
https://writingtoberead.com/2022/04/13/growing-bookworms-sir-chocolate-saves-easter-sirchocolatestory-childrensfiction/. Robbie is also an incredible baker, and she shares her fondant and cake artwork in this adorable book.

I wish you a wonderful weekend ahead. And if you celebrate Easter, I wish you warmth for a wonderful day, and joy and rejuvenation this new season of spring brings.

Lauren Scott 💞🐰🌺

Healdsburg

Thirty-three years to celebrate,
we cruise up the coast
passing lush green hills of January,
gripping the wheel from wind’s thrust.

The plaza pulls us in with its charm,
shops shimmer in their zeal for patrons,
the sun blazes, temperature warm,
windows entice with appealing apparel.

“You look like I need a drink of wine,”
words on a hand towel with pizzazz.
“With every glass of wine comes wisdom,”
a neighboring towel claims to add.

Shelves stocked with crafts, so cheery,
persuading to purchase without effort.
This store carries us to Rose Apothecary.
Where are David and Patrick?

Arches and patios show off twinkle lights
for when the moon shines her splendor.
We feast on pulled pork and slaw,
Chardonnay and Pliny the Elder.

Laughter’s in the air, picnics on blankets,
a man strums and sings like Paul Simon.
A man with a backpack eyes the banquets,
a dog licks his chops with a plan.

Great eats and drinks, and fun souvenirs,
loose cash spent, plastic card dented,
another toast for three more decades,
moments to share, a life so splendid.

Photo: Anniversary flowers ❤️

Cause to Celebrate

I stroll in the yard,
dry as an arid desert.
Drought drains most of life,
but they persevere, soaking
up occasional showers
.

Follow their guidance,
no surrendering,
joy imparts effortlessly.
Even through difficulties
cause to celebrate sweeps in.


So much is happening in the world to feed anxiety. But there is also cause to feel the joy that nature offers and to learn from her messages. And the desire to celebrate always sweeps its way into our lives to help keep our minds balanced in order to move forward.
For my husband and I, today we celebrate our beautiful daughter’s 30th birthday. 💞
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend, and one filled with joy and Cause to Celebrate!

Lauren Scott (c) ❤️💜❤️

Cake

I opened the oven door with my young children peeking around me and we all laughed! Instead of the meringue cascading in still perfection, cracks engulfed every inch as though an earthquake rumbled over the top. Through giggles, we yelled, “The Earthquake cake!” A Blitz Torte. It was my dad’s favorite, stemming from past generations of his German heritage.

The memories! There was Mom, standing in the kitchen of dark wood cabinets, hand mixer purring as she blended the magical ingredients for dad’s birthday each year. Mixing up this feather-light textured cake was no simple culinary experience; separating egg yolks from their counterparts, the egg whites, was a step mastered with practice over time. The meringue topping had to be whipped to precision like an image of still cascading waves in the ocean. Having only attempted this recipe once with the result resembling the earth riddled in quakes, Mom and Dad cracked up when they saw the cracked-up cake! Hilarious to the eyes, but the slight almond crunch of the meringue and creamy texture of the custard filling decadently pleased our palates.

And then one day I tasted carrot cake – the mixture of spicy cinnamon, tangy crushed pineapple, shredded carrots, and crunchy walnuts immediately deemed this cake my utmost favorite. Add the smooth, delectable cream cheese frosting (that I could eat by the spoonful) and you have life’s essentials on a plate! And it’s advantageous that carrot cake counts as a vegetable in my kitchen.

It was the day of my bridal shower. I walked into my maid of honor’s home, instantly inhaling the spicy scent. Carrot cake! She knew me too well, and her mother created the best recipe. Our moms and all the girls were in dessert heaven with each bite of that delicious piece of art. And so, the top of my 5-layer wedding cake was carrot – it had to be that way for my special day. Fortunately, my husband was a fan, too!

My two teenagers on a spring March day pulled on their carrot-shredding gloves and presented to me their creation while belting out, “Happy birthday to you...” With its two uneven layers, it wasn’t pretty, but it brought on the biggest smile. Their efforts earned them an A+, and when I treated myself to that first bite, I tasted spicy, creamy excellence. With their love and thoughtfulness stirred into the process, satisfaction was redefined!

I often delve into the carrot shredding and cream cheese whisking myself, watching my family revel in each forkful of the sinfully delicious dessert. This recipe has become a treasure in my collection evoking these precious memories. Whether it’s a Blitz Torte bringing to life images of my parents who have since left our physical world or a Carrot Cake from wedding and birthday celebrations, the stroll down memory lane becomes more poignant with each new bite.

Lauren Scott (c) 2021

Header: My birthday carrot cake this year that a wonderful friend made for me. 🧡🧡

Happy 10th Birthday, Copper!! 🎈🎈🎈🎈

Our furry family member turns 10 today! He’s a big baby and he still thinks he’s a lap dog even though he weighs about 78 lbs. If we sit on the floor, he’ll back his butt into the circle of our legs and park himself. “Oh, Copper. You filled a void when we adopted you eight years ago, welcoming you into our family. And in turn, you give us unconditional love and kisses, and let us rub your belly as often as we want. Look how generous you are! You continue to melt our hearts with your golden eyes and make us smile with your funny faces. We love you!!

Happy Birthday, Copper Boy!
🎈🎉🎇🎊🎼