TPG Blog #10: The Art of Visiting and My Mom's Apple Cake Recipe
Posted on April 14 2021
All of us have a picture as a toddler with a telephone, right? I wouldn’t put it down for this entire set of pictures – 5 out of 7 have me chit-chatting away! There I was – my true happy place discovered at 18 months old. And so began my lifelong love of the art of visiting. I can talk to anyone about anything. I genuinely love hearing people’s stories and how their paths led them to where they are now. My family says I could talk to a head of lettuce – it’s a compliment, I’m sure!
Remember the kids in high school with a private phone line in their bedroom? I still remember their names AND they were listed in the phone book separate from their parents just in case I hadn’t heard about it or needed proof – argh! Other kids took their family phone into their bedrooms for some privacy but that was only physically possible with a LONG cord and trust me, we weren’t getting one of those either. So there we were in the kitchen or the office, unable to get comfortable for a long period of time and for all the world to hear … hmmm, parent points for this one!
My dad was a man of few words and my mom had words to spare so I attribute my love of visiting to her. We lived a 45-minute drive from Fresno where my grandparents lived and my mom made the trip with us about once a week. She would point out a hawk on the fencepost or talk to us about the importance of “good” shoes or explain who was related to who in the small town. Chit-chat is what we did but it was bigger than that – it made us feel like we mattered, in her life and in the world.
Visiting – load up in the car, drive around and stop by a friend’s house. No announcement, no plans, no agenda. We always had a cake or dessert on the kitchen counter for the visitor. Sometimes they stayed for dinner. Sometimes they would come with the troubles of the world and leave a little lighter.
My grandfather would fly out in his small plane and land on the road in front of the house – bravo, visitor, on your entrance! My father-in-law was an excellent visitor – great listener, little bit of advice, told a story and he was on his way. My dear friend, Cindy H. and I have spent the day together and STILL sat out in the driveway, talking for another hour or two! The art of visiting, whether it be on the telephone or in person, makes the world a beautiful place. It makes people feel like they matter and are seen. Sometimes one person is holding the light and says “Come on, this way!” for another, always with perfect timing.
Cheers to you, visitor! We see you, we love you and salute you for making our lives richer by crossing paths with you.
So call your girlfriends and have them come over – no agenda, just Apple Cake, pretty napkins and visiting. Better yet, load up this cake and stop at each of their houses to visit. Beep beep -- surprise!!!!! I’m here with cake!!!
Apple Cake (My Mom’s Recipe – The Queen of Visiting, Kathy Caywood)
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 cups flour
- 4 cups diced green, granny smith apples – not peeled
- ½ cup oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup raisins (optional)
- ¾ cup nuts (optional)
Mix all at once. Bake in 13x9x2 baking pan (greased) for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 ounces cream cheese
Mix ingredients and spread over cooled cake.
Have a beautiful week and go visit or call someone dear to you. Let’s cheer each other on this week – it’s what we do, you know.