For Saturday I got up a little earlier than I'd expected, and my mother invited me along to spend the afternoon with my niece (also brother and sister-in-law). This seemed like a good idea to me, and it was. This was a slightly early Easter celebration, and my niece is experiencing the strange new traditions of Easter with the same wide-eyed enthusiastic eagerness that she sees everything, particularly whatever's in front of her. She seems to strongly approve of these events where people surround her with attention, gifts, and candy, however.
My father had driven up in the morning, for a grandfather-father-child special Easter Breakfast at the Elks or some other fraternal organization nearby. This was very successful as a breakfast --- everyone ate, by reports, and my brother and my father were nodding off all afternoon, my brother at one point in the middle of texting someone on his Blackberry --- although a little less successful in getting the littlest kids up to speed on all the Easter traditions. While my niece was very good about picking up eggs and putting them in the basket --- she may be young but she knows there are things which belong in places and eggs do not go on the floor --- she was not comfortable with the Easter Bunny the way she was with Santa Claus back at Easter. She would wave to it from afar and came near, but at about a yard away she shied back and clutched her father pretty hard. We'll see how she does in a few weeks with the Administrative Professionals Day Mongoose.
While my niece ended up playing with my parents more than me --- well, they brought presents, while I was just there sometimes taking photographs, including a set of sunglasses which my niece delighted in putting on and taking off, and sometimes putting back on upside-down --- I'm glad to say their cat is now quite comfortable with me and feels fine letting me gently scratch it while it purrs. And my niece still likes the game where she jumps up and down, and I jump up and down while she does that.
Before leaving my mother took my niece on a little walk around the common lawn, where my niece stopped repeatedly to pick up dead leaves or pine cones. She knows where things belong even if nature is going to scatter them everywhere.
Trivia: In Spring 1854 the San Francisco Commercial Advertiser reported that M L Winn's two restaurants, Te Fountain Head and the Branch, served an average of three thousand patrons daily, with five thousand common for a busy day. Monthly beef bills ran to $8,000, and flour $4,000. Source: The Age Of Gold: The California Gold Rush And The New American Dream, H W Brands.
Currently Reading: Isaac's Storm: A Man, A Time, And The Deadliest Hurricane In History, Erik Larson.