One of the rewards of intensive parenting of young children is that they grow up to be friends. I love spending time with both my adult children and their families.
Last week, I enjoyed the luxury of spending five whole days with my daughter Kate. We both are blessed with flexible schedules, so we can be together and keep up with work while also taking time to shop, visit friends, cook, bake, eat out, exercise, watch movies, and visit Pittsburgh cultural attractions such as the Phipps Conservatory.
We had good fortune while shopping. We found bar stool cover fabric, some clothes on sale at Banana Republic, great ingredients from Whole Foods for our cooking adventures, and we even visited one thrift shop, a tradition.
I’ve hired Kate as my marketing director for my upcoming book, Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets the Glittering World. Now that the manuscript is in the final editing stage, we get to map out a plan for how to better serve the readers of this blog and the community we are building on my author page on Facebook. We want to provide inspiration and connection to the great folks who have “liked” the page and who keep coming back for conversation there about writing, memoir, and the process of transmuting experience into wisdom.
While in Pittsburgh, I also met up with Sharon Lippincott, a memoir writer friend and blogger who drove into the city so that we could have coffee together. Sharon teaches memoir and has turned her years of experience into a book, The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing: How to Transform Memories Into Meaningful Stories. Sharon and I were able to connect immediately around our shared interest in teaching and writing.
It just so happens that Kate herself is becoming a writer and speaker. While I was visiting, she was interviewed twice. First, by Pittsburgh’s Channel 4 Action News, WTAE and later by two podcast hosts, John and Carl, at Creative Briefs. The questions she answered turned the tables on her own role as an interviewer of young creative professionals on her blog Yinzpiration. She also talked about her networking and coaching group Rock It! at Propelle and what it’s like to host Creative Mornings/Pittsburgh.
Kate is also digital strategist at Plumb Media. She works for and with her husband Nik, one of the founders of this web design company, and with two other employees, Dagen and Ryan. The business is located on Penn Avenue, one of the busiest streets of the city, linking their district of Garfield to many other districts.
Kate and Nik renovated an old building and live two floors above it, renting out the middle floor. They enjoy the “30 Second Commute” back and forth to work and get to play with their cat, Sargent Pepper, during the day.
Since Kate and I tested recipes which will appear in my book, we needed a place to take the fruits of our labors. First, there was rhubarb cake made from a recipe handed down from my Great-grandmother Herr. We gave away as many pieces as possible.
Then we made pickled beets, onions, red beet eggs, and deviled eggs. We took our masterpiece downstairs to Nik, Dagen, and Ryan. Together the five of us scarfed them down. All that was left was a little red juice on the glass dish.
I had a wonderful week, and my book will be better for this time of doing as grown-ups many of the things we enjoyed when Kate was a little girl. Some people think it isn’t wise to work with family members. What do you think?