Memory is such a blessed thing

Archived | June 13, 2011 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I was happy to kick back awhile after one of those long weeks you don’t encounter very often. Last week of school, a bunch of concerts, and the graduation of the first born from high school — something you can prepare yourself for til the cows come home and then it happens and you’re there and you trace the circle from day one in your mind and it’s something to behold. It’s your kid up there, in a cap and gown, receiving a diploma signifying passage onward, and something catches in your heart.
Mr. Sundberg and I were there, in the field house, as the weather was threatening so they moved it inside and our ticket number dropped to two. Just us standing, together, for over two hours where time stood still, and I don’t know about Mr. Sundberg but I was reliving days gone by — her first day of school when she got off the bus and asked what the “f” word means, the day she was confirmed, the time she had mono for two weeks, her first kiss, how happy she was that one autumn day last fall when she spent most of the day in the sun out on the porch making collages and said, quietly, “I’m so excited for my life.” And, of course, the day she came into the world. Plump, dark-eyed, alert. I said her name and she looked at me and I told her I’m her mom. Mr. Sundberg took her in his arms and held her and looked at her for a very long time and whispered things I could not hear. That was eighteen years ago, and I remember those moments and how she smelled and her long fingers clear as day.
Much of life is on the uneventful side, but it balances out the chaos, and somewhere in between you have these moments, these extraordinary simple moments, and they are beautiful, and fleeting, like wind storms, or birds flying by, and you can’t make them stay. That’s why we have scrapbooks, and why memory is such a blessed thing.
I’m on a rhubarb kick lately, and made these for the kids on their first day of summer vacation. I found it years ago in an old church cookbook and tweaked it a bit to make it my own. It’s the nutmeg with this one, and the oatmeal, too.
Rhubarb Crumb Bars
Top and bottom “crust”
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oatmeal (uncooked)
2 cups brown sugar (packed)
1 cup butter (melted)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 T flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 T butter (softened)
2 eggs (beaten)
4 cups rhubarb (cut into 1/2″ pieces)
Mix flour, oatmeal, brown sugar and butter until crumbly. Press 1/2 into greased 9 x 13 pan. Add rhubarb. Beat egg. Blend sugar, flour, nutmeg and butter and add beaten egg; beat until smooth. Pour over rhubarb. Top with other half crumb mixture, press mixture down lightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.