The Triplets!

One loaf of sourdough, one loaf of brown beer and buttermilk bread

Mixed: 9:30 pm

Molded: 1 pm next day

Baked: 2: 35 pm

Gave the loaf of sourdough to The Triplets!

I have been trying to get a loaf of bread to the family with the triplets since mid-March when I met the father talking with Bob, his across-the-street neighbor. These families live just a block away from us; the triplets in a sweet little house that has an enormous palm tree out front.

But time and again this past month we have knocked on their door, warm bread in our hands, and they haven’t been home.

Today, I had two loaves of bread coming out of the oven at 3:30 pm. I had a decision to make. Do I take the easy route and give the bread to someone I knew I would bump into? We had a sweet girl over to play–the loaf of sourdough could have easily gone to her family’s table. Or… we were planning to attend a short talk given by a friend –there would be lots of folks there who might appreciate some fresh bread. Or we could wait until we returned, around dinner time, and see if the triplets happened to be home.

As John Ronan and I walked down the block this early evening, we talked about the many cedar trees in our neighborhood, counting them along the way. Then, we noticed the triplet’s van in the driveway (a good sign!), and when we got to the front door, only the screen was closed, the big, heavy wooden door was wide open (a great sign!). We had finally done it! Fresh bread in hand, we tried to knock…

“Hello!” We shouted through the screen door. “Hello…”

No one came, but we could hear shouts in the backyard. We tried to knock again.

“Hello!” John Ronan shouted. “Can we come in?”

Finally a little something zipped by; I saw a short shadow against the living room’s back wall. “Hello, are your parents home?”

A brown-headed boy came into view. And next the dad.

“Hey, its the bread lady!” The mom followed. I introduced myself, and before I knew it we were invited inside, marching single file up a set of steep stairs, and looking at the new room built for the triplets.

It’s amazing how much you can learn about someone new in just a small slice of time. John Ronan jumped straight into the fray, and asked to play with a colorful set of plastic gears. The triplets showed off their boundless energy, jumping from bed to floor to bed again. The mom told me about their remodel and we talked about homeschooling and kindergarten and working from home…

Getting them bread was worth the wait. I can point to yet another house in my neighborhood and see faces and know the names of the people who live inside. That house will no longer be distinguished by the word triplets… but by the names of each child, plus the mom and dad.

My little cozy community is expanding, thanks to these few loaves of bread.


Spring Giving

Two loaves, one sour rye for us, one plain French, to give

Mixed: 9:45 pm

Molded: 1:15 pm next day

Baked: 3:35 pm

Gave to: Karen–neighbor down the way with the beautiful fig tree

Spring is all around. Our plum tree is in full bloom, the pomegranate has the sweetest little leaves covering its open branches, and the nasturtiums are beginning to take over the back fence. And Easter–our beloved Pascha–is just around the bend. There is so much to celebrate–and Spring is giving in abundance.

Today, we were hoping to celebrate our bread giving by sending a large loaf to the triplets down the road. It has been two weeks now since I promised them something, but have continually been sidelined by conflicting schedules. Yet again, we knocked on their rustic green door, warm bread in hand, but no one was home.

‘Okay. Where to now?” I asked my four-year old apprentice.

“There!” He pointed across the street to an empty-looking house. No lights. No cars around…

“Hmmm,” I mumbled. “Don’t think there’s anyone home to enjoy this warm loaf of bread.”

“How about there!”

A car was just pulling into the driveway of the house on the far corner, which has the fig tree out front that we always admire. We have never met this neighbor. She lives outside our nine-house radius… “Run and say hi,” I urged John Ronan. “Say hi before she gets in the door!”

And he ran.

“Hi!” He said while sprinting with those little Tom Sawyer legs of his. He sped straight across the street. Straight up her driveway. Straight up her steps and caught her as she was just opening the back door.”Hi!” he said again.

“Hi,” she said, smiling, looking around for Part Two of the story.

I caught up to explain about the bread. “Just an extra loaf, since I baked today. We love your fig tree.”

We chatted for a bit while John Ronan hopped across cracks in her driveway. She has lived in the neighborhood for more than ten years–like us–I learned. It was nice to finally meet the owner of that beautiful tree. I always knew she’d be nice. Anyone who grows a fruit tree so close to the street must be nice. She offered for us to take figs whenever we liked.

As we left, the munchkin kept up his crack jumping and said as we walked the block home, “Okay. Let’s go home and bake another loaf of bread so we can give it to the next people.”

“Did you like that?” I asked. “Did you like giving away the bread?”

“Of course!” he said, as if I was crazy for asking.

And I was crazy for asking. It’s spring, and the spirit of giving is in the sights and the scents all around. Nature is setting the right kind of example at every turn.

And who wouldn’t want to cruise the neighborhood and make friends and give away bread? Four-year olds are so smart.

“All right,” I said to my small companion…”Shall we race back to the kitchen?”

And we did.