“…What are you looking for?”
“Presents. Five of them.” She explained, talking very fast, that no Ray ever came home from a visit without bringing presents. “It’s an old family custom,” she said.
“Hallelujah!” he exclaimed, shutting the book. “That’ll be fun, picking out five presents. I hope you have a brother. There’s a corking jack-knife here.”
—from Heaven to Betsy by Maud Hart Lovelace
Our “Betsy” came home from her trip yesterday with presents for everyone, in the grand Ray tradition. We tried to keep up our end of the tradition with a massive housecleaning, but I’m afraid I did not go so far as to scour the metaphorical coal scuttle. Jane’s equivalent of Willard’s Emporium was L.A.’s Little Tokyo: sky-blue chopsticks for Rose, stuffed Mario Kart mushrooms for Bean and the boys, and a pink piggy bank for Rilla. For her daddy, a Totoro keychain and a pack of Black Jack gum. And a bag of dark chocolates for me! That’s my girl.
Plus homemade cookies all around. Customized chocolate-chip cookies—extra dark chocolate in mine. I may have to send all my kids up to Kristen for cookery lessons. I hear Jane got a tutorial in baked tomato sauce. I look forward to sampling her homework.
And yes, I am giggling over equating L.A. with sleepy, one-horse Butternut Center. Then again, San Diego ain’t Deep Valley!
(Just ask Larry Humphreys.)
Unearthed: The Notebooks
The Birthday Girl Tells It Like It Is
For Better or for Not Terribly Impressive
Betsy-Tacy Booksigning at ALA Midwinter