Friday, February 13, 2009

A Bowl of Roses

Ups and downs are an expected part of everyone's life. "Life is not a bowl of roses," my mother would say. I have always loved that she mixes that one up. Life is not a bowl of cherries. Every rose has it's thorn. Don't forget to stop and smell the roses. Something like that. But "life is not a bowl of roses" is appropriate for Valentine's Day and somehow fits my mood.

Of course, even more dramatic ups and downs are an expected part of any sizable construction project. And any new business venture. And all the excitement that comes with trying to understand two year old logic. We are doing all of those at once. And there most certainly are plenty of ups and downs. Some more steep and jagged than others.

The ups and downs this week really seem quite curvy though (again somewhat appropriate for Valentine's Day).

Many moods, including mine, have curved upward a little as the temperatures have risen into the twenties and mere existence has gotten much more comfortable. I find it encouraging to see work on the bakery moving faster. The literal and figurative fog seems to have lifted as we no longer freeze our eyelashes with our own exhalations.

The curve dropped down pretty significantly a few days ago with the news of Talkeetna's iconic 74 year old bicycle riding airplane mechanic health nut world traveler Mike Fisher slipped away after a several month decline from prostate cancer. He was my friend and a most adamant supporter of this dream to build a bakery cafe outside of town. He was always looking forward to riding his bike for a cup of coffee and a loaf of good bread. I did get to say a small goodbye and thank you in my way, but am deeply saddened that he will never sit at the cafe counter, reading the newspaper and talking my ear off for hours on end.

I had one evening with an upward curve this week, enjoying good company, good libations, and great music when I went (sans my family for a change) to hear Natalia Zuckerman and Willie Porter at the Latitude 62. A memorable and touching evening.

Back down again with the realization that this experimenting bread and pastry baker will be cutting out all the good stuff to try to eliminate possible allergens in Oliver's diet that may be causing a rash on his face. After some ridiculous $500 spent on special groceries and the inability to find palatable looking gluten/wheat free, egg free, dairy free, nut free bread or a recipe for one, I am in disbelief that we may have to continue this diet for a month or more to include Oliver's birthday next month.

But Grandma Leilani and Grandpa Al are back from three months outside. So maybe they will enjoy some Oliver time and I can get a few more things done. That's good news.

But the just as iconic, extremely talented Talkeetna painter and patriarch Bob Durr unexpectedly passed away two days ago. Very sad.

I made some pretty tasty everything-free brownies tonight. Considering they have no butter, no wheat flour, and no eggs, they're really pretty good. Don't think I'll make them at the Flying Squirrel, but at least Oliver (and the rest of us living here) get to have some treats. (Believe it or not, these things were home made with "flour" from chickpeas, "eggs" from tapioca, and "butter" from prunes!)

Lately, I see this all as less of a roller coaster (though I think I will reserve the right to use the roller coaster analogy again in the future) and more of a see-saw...just trying to keep my balance and not let my butt slam down on the ground too hard.

Up and down.
Up and down.
Up and down.


  1. Reading this entry was a definite "up" experience for me!

    Wonderfully written ... could write a book next! Talkeetna's own book-writing baker! :-)

  2. Oh, and another blog I follow that is having some parallel experiences wonderfully told:

  3. Loved this entry. And I was surprised you didn't also quote mom on another "proverb" she loves to espouse that fits right in. "Esti, darling! Life is a series of ups and downs." You illustrated it extremely well, though!

  4. Anita, you're amazing that in the midst of all of your hard work and focus you are able to not only process, but share your feelings about it all.

    Brighter, warmer and more "up days" are getting closer! Keep it up and know that many of us are cheering you on and feeling your highs and lows.

  5. Well expressed Anita

    Mom and Dad