Yesterday at the tailgate market I bought Mom the cutest pie – a mixed berry (blueberry-raspberry-blackberry) creation that had the words “Yay Mom” in crust cutouts on the top. I didn’t think to take a picture of it until later, and Mom’s caregiver said she was going to give Mom a piece for breakfast this morning, so you’ll have to use your imagination. Confession: I bought a generous-size piece of pumpkin-chocolate chip coffee cake for myself! I’ve been buying a sweet or two from Aimee, the pie lady, for years now during my Saturday pilgrimage to the tailgate market. In addition to the pies, Aimee has scrumptious flavors of coffee cakes, cookies, scones, and other temptations, all organic ingredients. Her latest creation is apple-cinnamon mini-donuts which are the perfect snack while browsing among the “healthier” booths of kale, lettuce, beets, and farm-fresh eggs.
Like so many good things in my life, I learned to love tailgate markets from Mom. She patronized them long before they became fashionable, when this market was just a few vendors selling flowers and produce and baked goods out of the back of a pickup truck, or spread on a card table covered with a 1940s printed tablecloth. Later, when pop-up booths came into use, Mom loved the display of colorful tents that turned a deserted parking lot into a bazaar and a community. “I always wanted your father to paint it,” she said once.
Mom is now 97 and doesn’t get out much. I miss our outings to the tailgate market and garage sales, but I’m thankful to have her gentle and loving presence still in my life. Now, we share books to read, watch the birds that come to her balcony birdfeeder, and reminisce. We talk a lot about the family dogs, Sheba, a collie, and Sherry, an English Shepherd, that marked my childhood. The dogs long gone, but never forgotten. Another lesson she has taught me – that love never dies; it is part of your heart; it lives on inside you.
Happy Mother’s Day. May it be filled with much love and many blessings.