To life and to Onward and to the rain pouring down

Archived | June 20, 2011 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I had to sneak away from clean-up after the big Open House for our daughter. It was a four-hour event, but the build-up went for weeks and though the clean-up didn’t take long, it seemed like a lot in one day. We had, at one point, over 50 people in our two-car garage, where we’d set up tables for food and gifts and eating. The rain did not hold off and it came pouring down several times that afternoon, and what can you do. You seek shelter, and hold on to your cup, and let go of your thoughts of The Perfect Day.
Some people spend years preparing for the Graduation Open House – landscaping and deck building and cultivating and so on, but we’ve never been much for that. Mr. Sundberg mowed and cleaned the garage and swept the drive, and I gave the house a once-over with a dusting cloth and vacuum, but beyond that we didn’t do a lot. So when the rain came pouring down it wasn’t a major let-down, rather a demand for small adjustments like moving tables inside and making sure the crepe paper stayed in the rafters where it wouldn’t be dragged through water on the wet garage floor.
What makes a gathering good and successful isn’t about the weather. It’s the mix of people and the camaraderie, and if there’s good food and drink on the side, that’s a real bonus. We had a lovely taco bar, several coolers full of pop and beer, and a modest box of rather cheap wine. There were plastic lime, pink and orange tablecloths (our daughter’s color selection) and a cake you could use as a weapon, it was so large and dense. And delicious. Vanilla, with raspberry filling.
And we had family there, and friends, and people from church and town and school whom our daughter invited because they’ve meant something to her life, and the mix of people in all of their humanness and brokenness and joy was something to behold. There was room for tension here and there, and not everyone knew everyone else, but when you get a bunch of people together in celebration, something happens. It’s magical, maybe, or holy, or just my imagination, but Good rises up and we raise our plastic cups to life and to Onward and to the rain pouring down.
It might be the tang, or the simple everywhereness of it, but I’ve had rhubarb on my mind and here’s another recipe that very well may send you over the edge.
Rhubarb Crunch
1 cup flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 cups sliced rhubarb
1 cup sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
Red food coloring
In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter; mix until crumbly. Press half of the mixture into an ungreased 9 inch square baking pan. Cover with rhubarb. For topping, combine sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan and add water. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla and food coloring. Pour over the rhubarb. Top with the remaining crumb mixture. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until bubbly.