Around Our Way
When I was a child we celebrated two Easters. There was the
regular one where we started the day hunting for candy, donned brand
new dresses and hats for church, and returned home for a ham dinner.
Then there was Greek Orthodox Easter. Our next door neighbors invited
everyone in the vicinity for a feast that featured a whole lamb
roasted outside on a spit and divine pastries that must have taken
ages to make. Children played and adults chatted while Greek music
played in the background until the stars came out.
Those memories came back speedy quick when I happened to pick up
Tameka Fryer Brown's Around Our Way On Neighbors' Day, a vividly
illustrated celebration of community. A young girl rushes home (with
a detour at the ice cream truck) to find her mother stirring a big pot
of food. An unexpected phone call distracts mom (a woman after my own
heart) long enough for her concoction to go up in smoke. But a cheese
and noodles dish saves the day, laid out with other people's goodies
for a patchwork feast. Music plays. People play board and card
games. Children blow bubbles. The narrator's father embarasses her
with his dance moves...
We're still in the time of year where there's time for a late
summer or early autumn adventure before the snow flies. What would it
take to get together a street dance or party where you live? You'll
never know unless you try.
On a personal note, my friends the Ottos, who have been married 58
years celebrated their respective 81st birthdays: Fred's the 17th and
Alma's the 22nd. I made sure we sang Happy Birthday at church lunch.
Then I had the great good fortune of hearing the stories of how they
met, almost ended up with other people, and found their way back to
A great big shout out goes out to Fred and Alma with best wishes for a
wonderful year and many more birthdays together.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod