The Blessings of October, 2016

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October 15, 2016

A week of blessed memories…

The weather guy on MPR (Minnesota public radio) noted the other day that there are six weeks until Thanksgiving. This, he said just after observing the frost we had on Thursday morning was the first since April, and ending the longest growing season (184 days) he had ever record in our Northern tier state. He remarked that this growing season had ample rain and optimum degree days, making for a wonderful bounty from our farms and gardens.

So much for which to be thankful!

This past week, Michael, my son, married Kalea, who our entire family loves dearly. She brings so much to mand-k-wedding-1008-2016-159our family. Intelligence, endurance, focus, determination…. She relentlessly pursues her degree in speech pathology while she works in the service industry at one of Milwaukee’s esteemed restaurants, Morel in the 5th Ward. Kalea is lovely, witty, sings like a songbird, and plays the ukulele. She was born in Hawaii, and we have her birth certificate to prove it!

Their wedding was understated, intimate, sincere and heartfelt. It was charmed by their extended family of friends who shared in the joy of their wedding. Their college and even some high school friends gathered on Sunday at Morel, made available by the gracious gift of their friend Jon, the proprietor and chef at what is currently considered among Milwaukee’s four leading restaurants. The food for the wedding feast was not off the Morel menu, however. Rather, the menu was designed by Michael’s sister and Kalea’s best friend forever, Annabella Boom. Perhaps at a later writing, I will detail the cuisine we shared. Suffice now to say that Annie has a unique talent with flavors. She is a magician with herbs and spices. And her menu planning is superb, like a conductor orchestrating a symphony. Cathy delved into the cooking as well by preparing dozens of mini-quiches in an array of a half dozen varieties, including mixed cheeses such as gruyere,  Emmentaler and parmesan combined with mushrooms, or broccoli, or zucchini,  or  ‘shrooms and sausage, or—the best—cheeses and bacon. Those morsels evaporatmand-k-wedding-1008-2016-039ed at the Sunday brunch!

I contributed the family favorite, Arizona beef barbecue. Our efforts proved a satisfying feast for 80 or so extended family who joined Michael an Kalea to bless their new marriage.

Beyond the cuisine, Annabella also brought warmth and good will to the wedding celebration by bringing our Gautemaltican friends, Gustavo and Pablo. After the wedding weekend, the Guatemalan contingent traveled first to Chicago to join in the Cubs victory celebration (Pablo’s a big Cubs fan from his years in Chicago). Then they were off to California for the Desert Trip, a grand music festival featuring Paul McCartney, img_0575Mick Jagger and the Stones, The Who, and others. They will also see and hear the recently designated Nobel Laureate for Literature, Bob Dillon (uh, isn’t he from Minnesota???)!

I find my daughter amazing: How does Annie conjure the magic to feed a family of many dozens, cheer on the Cubs as they travel to the Series, and then take in Dillon on his first gig as a Laureate? Magic. Sheer Magic.

A take home message from the week that illuminates joy throughout my soul is that my now adult children have wonderful friends who respond to Michael and Annie’s charisma, integrity, passion and heartfelt love. They draw friends to our extended family who nurture our with souls with good will.

It’s a blessing.

I wonder how many more blessings I’ll note and be thankful for during the next six weeks leading to our Thanksgiving holiday?

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