Monday, April 10, 2023

Short one Easter Bunny? There is no way to explain...

 This edition of the Change the Journey Blog will have nothing to do with dementia or care giving, but it is about a very important part of our journey.  This past week we have had an opportunity to bring together the things that I love the most;  family and food.  Good Star Trek fans will know what the 'prime directive' is.  My prime directive is to maintain a strong, cohesive family.   For me, cooking and eating together is a way to share the love of family.  I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as Pam and I loved living through it.

 As I have mentioned here before, we host a monthly luncheon gathering of Pam and her sisters.  Del and Lois had a total of six children, all girls.  I affectionately call them the Woods Sista's.  One of the sista's lives in Colorado.   Sadly, she misses out on this monthly event, although the group does call her every once in a while.  I am the oldest of five children in my family, a good mix of the two genders.  But my sister, Carol (aka Twisted Sister) and I are the only survivors.  So recently we asked my sister to join the monthly luncheons.  I will say that Carol fits right in with the Woods sista's.  She is outgoing and often very funny.  She has added value to the group.

 Each month I develop a menu with appetizers, entrees, and dessert.  It is often an ambitious menu that offers enough variety to suit most tastes.  It often gives me an opportunity to research some new recipes or cook some of my old favorites.  You see, as our three daughters were growing up, Pam and I shared the cooking responsibilities.  But her retail job required two nights a week, so I ended up doing more of the cooking than she.  As time went on, I enjoyed it more and more and developed a number of go-to recipes that the girls favor to this day.  And there are aspects of the cooking that I approach as an engineering problem.  For example, the menu often requires several things to be cooked at different temperatures and times.  In order to have everything come to the table at the same time, I develop an 'oven plan' the night before.  Something a chef probably would not be doing, but an engineer would.

This week had three events that would bring together my love of food and love of family.  Wednesday was the Woods Sista's Luncheon, Friday was my 75th birthday, and Sunday was Easter Sunday.  A week or so before the Sista's Lunch I asked for menu requests.  What I got back was "we want breakfast for lunch".  And breakfast they got.  It was the toughest test for me because most of it has to be cooked in real time with little that I could prep ahead.  But it came off really well.  For the first time, the sista's had to go out for a walk after eating in order to make room for dessert.  There were two birthday cakes for dessert this month.  One of the sista's has a birthday later in the month, so she brought a cake for me and I made a cake for her.


My birthday was a pretty uneventful day.  Our eldest wrote a very moving tribute on Facebook.  I had a difficult time reading it without welling up.  It is always wonderful to know that your adult children, now with kids of their own, appreciates what you have done (and still do) to help make them successful human beings.   She and the middle daughter brought me some beautiful flowers.  And the youngest had a gorgeous arrangement of roses, carnations, and snapdragons delivered.  Again, I had trouble reading the attached card, as my emotions took over.   Actually, that is something that I have noticed lately.  My emotional side has really taken over.  It is an unusual feeling for someone that has always been an "all about the data" engineer.  I always abhorred the "touchy-feely stuff.  I don't know if it because of Pam's diagnosis or not, but it seems like a different world.

 When our daughters were young,  the family often went out for Easter Brunch at a hotel or restaurant in the area.   Today the family has grown from five to twelve, with the five grandsons and the sons-in-law.  Given the current state of the economy,  it would mean that having brunch at a nearby establishment would require consultation with a financial advisor first.  So we did Easter Brunch @ The Condo.  The menu was a good mix of pastries, breakfast items, and the spiral ham and au gratin potatoes that our family loves.   As usual, there was more than enough food.    Our middle daughter cooked several items at her place and brought them over. 💖  My sister and our oldest daughter each brought desserts.






















I was a little disappointed that two family members were not able to attend.  Hopefully they will read this blog and will not let it happen again.  A funny side story here was that I did grocery shopping for this event and picked up some chocolate Easter bunnies for the grandsons.  When I put them on the table our oldest daughter realized that there was a small problem.  See, we have five grandsons and I only bought four chocolate bunnies.  Sometimes I wonder which one of us actually has dementia.  But Courtney picked up another bunny, thereby averting a major issue.  😆😆  Also, our niece in the Atlanta area should have come for Easter Brunch, but she thought that flying to Antigua with her fiance'  was more important.  Michele and Andy, we love you and hope you had a wonderful time.  We missed you.



For me, one of the most important things in life is our family.  When bad times hit a family member, the rest of the family should always be there to support them.  We are all different.  We each have our own values, priorities and sensitivities.   It is important, at least to me, that we be able to put all the differences aside and rise to the occasion and support your family.  Seeing events like Easter and the Sista's Luncheon, encourages me that we can do this.  I was reminded earlier today that it is National Siblings Day.  Three of mine are gone,   In reflection, I can think of a couple of times where I didn't rise to the occasion.  But it is too late.  I'm left to reflect.  Don't let that happen to you.  Love, respect, and support your family.  Rise above.


  1. Don't be afraid of your "touchy-feely" side, Cuz. That's your body taking care of itself. Much love.

  2. Happy Belated Birthday! Guess you wouldn’t mind all those “touchy-feely” meetings we had huh?

  3. Sorry we missed Easter- it looked amazing! Can’t lie - Antigua is pretty nice! Love to everyone ❤️

  4. Always too much food but so yummy! And I remember you being super emotional a wedding, college graduation ......