The Hummingbird

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This hummingbird glass sculpture was purchased to be my cake-topper at my wedding to match the light hints of hummingbird throughout my wedding (like the hummingbirds mom embroidered on my dress).  Less than a year after the wedding my cat skidded across my dresser, knocked it to the ground and shattered it. I refuse to throw it away. It sits there, sealed in a plastic bag, for eternity. The symbol of the hummingbird means too much to give up. I dream of finding someone to fix this cake-topper, even though I know it’s not possible. *~* My grandparents used to take an annual trip to see my Grampa’s brother. They’d go out to Massachusetts and spend time with family, and then return home to Buffalo. One of their favorite parts of the trip was sitting outside and watching the hummingbirds buzz around. Then, my great-uncle passed away, and my grandparents went out for the funeral. On their last night there, in the cool evening air they spoke of my uncle. As he sat there talking, a hummingbird flew up near my Grampa’s shoulder and hovered. It lingered near his face for several minutes, flitting back and forth before flying off. They all decided that had been my great-uncle stopping by for one last visit. Almost nineteen years ago, after a year’s fight against cancer, my Grampa passed away. It was September in Buffalo.  Cold air had begun to move in. All summer things were fading.  I returned to New York with the funeral, and then went right back to NC to return to school. Three weeks later the family grapevine lit up with the story. At the end of September, Gramma was out on her porch to bring in all the chairs, etc. for winter. It was a yearly ritual when it just became too cold to sit on the porch. Since it was sunny, she decided to sit outside for one last afternoon. Wrapped in her sweater she sat, watching the cars go by as she always did. There. In the cold end of September. Hovering near a hanging plant. Buzzed a hummingbird. It flew under the porch roof. Hovered near Grandma. And then took off. * Every September for the past sixteen years. Even if I have not seen one all year. A hummingbird shows up. Every year. *~* I won’t let go of the cake topper. The hummingbird is still in one piece. And Grampa still visits. Read more »

Becoming My Father

Growing up, I always knew I’d become my mom. It ran in the family, after all. She was turning into Grandma, and I favored her over my dad, so it stood to reason I’d turn into her. I never expected to become my dad. My family had a tendency toward vacations that were road trips. My dad has a bit of a nomadic side to him, so I think those road trips really helped ease that need to go, go, go. My dad was also a control freak. I remember half-teasing that he had a tendency to plan our vacations down to the minute. Trips to Disney. To California. Hockey tournaments. Busch Gardens. The Henry Ford Museum. Everything was thoroughly researched and plans made that we weren’t allowed to deviate from. It was intense vacationing. I swore I’d never do that. And I haven’t… Exactly… When the word came down that Denver’s original wish was going to be a no-go, I knew what that meant. A return to Disney World (his backup wish). This time we’d have the experience of last year (and the handful of missteps we made, rides we missed, etc.) to guide us… Which meant planning was going to happen. Turns out the teen is as much my dad, if not more, than I am. We’ve gathered books (these are just two of the 6 we have), watched every single Disney special on TV we could find, and I got the free Disney vacation DVD. We’ve written down what we missed that we want to see, and things we saw we want to do again. Denver has even located a map w/ approximate walking times between attractions (seriously). I’ve made meal reservations (we sort of flubbed this last time), and Denver’s plans are revolving around those times and the parks we’ve mutually agreed we want to visit each of our three days. Since he’s been gone most of the summer we haven’t gotten down to nitty gritty, and I’m still insisting on complete flexibility (not minute-by-minute) in our planning because things happen, and my dad is ill, and my mom has a horrific back (they are going w/ did I mention that?)–so flexibility is key…but we are going in with some plans this year. It’s oddly soothing. Just don’t tell my dad I said that. Read more »

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

Top Ten Tuesday – What I Miss About Buffalo

In case you’ve been living under a rock–or are new here–here’s a news flash for ya: I’m from Buffalo. Buffalo, the 716, is my home town and though I’ve now lived more years in Indiana than I did in Buffalo, I still miss my hometown. Some things I miss more than others. This list is all about a few of those things. 1. Anderson’s famous Beef on Weck – You haven’t lived until you’ve had one of Anderson’s famous Beef on Weck’s. That’s Kimmelweck, by the way. It’s essentially a Kaiser roll with coarse salt and caraway seeds. I don’t even need toppings, but many people add horseradish. 2. Sponge Candy – More specifically Fowler’s sponge candy.  Anyone from Buffalo knows what it is. Everyone that isn’t gets a blank stare. Let’s just say it’s crunchy, melt in your mouth candy goodness wrapped in chocolate (milk chocolate is my preference, but orange chocolate works well, and I’ll “force down” dark chocolate if it’s all that’s around. I can’t begin to tell you how magnificent this is. 3. Sahlen’s hot dogs – There is no other. I, in general, despise hot dogs. Sahlen’s I will eat until the cows come home. The spices, the skin, the way they cook up on the grill. Nothing compares. Nothing. Still trying to wrangle a way to get them to Indiana without the willingness of Wegman’s (bestest grocery store ever) to move this far west. 4. Family – Like I said, I grew up there. I miss the days of family gathering. Grandma, grandpa, aunts and cousins. Even now it’s not what it was. Grandma & Grandpa are gone, my aunt is living in their old house, my cousin in the next city…but I still miss being that close to my family. 5. Anderson’s & its Frozen Custard – Yes, Anderson’s gets two mentions on the list, they are that good.  Not only do I love their beef on weck, but Anderson’s itself (the original on Sheridan Ave) holds such dear memories for me. This picture is from the days when i lived there before they built on an indoor seating area…back when it was walk up only. It gives me a sense of nostalgia.  Oh, and the soft frozen custard? Unmatchable. I’ve tried. It’s totally unmatchable. 6. Duff’s – The only place for wings far as I’m concerned. 7. Canada – Again, it was right there. We once had a cottage on Lake Erie, back when crossing the border was as easy as saying hi to a border guard. I miss the cottage, and I really miss the chocolate. Because Canadian candy is DA BOM. Seriously, Smarties (the Canadian version of M&M’s) are so much better…and every other candy. Trust me, there’s a difference. 8. My old House – That’s it. The neighborhood, the house itself, that tree in front was a wee baby when we moved in. Sure, memories are often rosy, but we were really happy there and after we left there we were here, our family separated (bro stayed to finish his senior year in Buffalo), and things were never ever the same. 9. Niagara Falls – It was right there. In some ways that made it less special, in others more. I mean, it’s the Falls. 10. Vinegar on Fries – The land where it’s so expected that you put vinegar on your fries, that vinegar is on the tables like ketchup. My favorite place to indulge is at Ted’s (where they, coincidentally, serve Sahlen’s hot dogs). *~* Okay, so clearly I have a dear, close tie to the foods of my home, since they clearly dominated this list. lol.  still, I miss so much. ~sigh~ Of course, if asked if I’d want to live there again I generally say no. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss it with my whole heart.   Read more »