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Friday, December 26, 2014

Post Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.
 Howard Thurman

Friday, November 7, 2014

Making Pie Crust

Crumbling butter into flour, sugar salt, I think of  Mrs Gregory, my fist landlady. I was twenty, she was eighty-five or at least that is how old I felt like she was. She may have been younger.  Her apartment was next door to mine, above a sheet metal shop her husband owned.

Hoosier Mama Pie Shop, love pie. 

She was tall, elegant, and perfectly coiffed, and a bit sketchy on grammar. I was young, homesick, and very tight on funds. 

In the evenings, when I could bear the silence no longer, I would sometimes knock on her door. Helen, which was her first name and what I called her privately in my mind, though she never offered such intimacy to me, answered my knocks swiftly. Which always made me wonder, if she heard me coming, and was as eager to see me as I was to see another person.  Mrs. Gregory had never ventured to my door, and often seemed surprised that this new renter would end up at her's. 

On one particular evening, when Helen came to the door, her hands were covered in flour. She invited me in to her carpeted kitchen, "keeps the sound down" she said, when I queried "why carpet?" Carpeting in kitchens seemed counter intuitive to me. 

Waving her hands towards the table, "sit down", she said, "you can talk to me while I make pies." Obediently, I sat, happy to have an excuse to stay. All the while she talked to me, as she was a talker, she gently worked the butter into the flour,  Helen mostly talked about her sister, Lucille, as she occasionally threw in a little more butter, then a little more flour. 

I asked her what her recipe was. Mrs. Gregory looked up at me incredulously. 
"Recipe? you can't have a recipe for pie crust! You feel the ingredients, some-days you has to add more butter, some-days you has to add more flour. Your hands tells you the recipe, you have to listen to your hands!" 

The next evening, a knock startled me out of my loneliness, opening my door, I found, Mrs. Gregory, and a piece of pie waiting for me. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Longed-for beauty

It is autumn,
with its longed-for beauty

Burning bush outside my office window. 


all of which fuels an even
deeper longing

drawing closer
to each other.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Remembrance of Uncle Walter

Uncle Walter in Yugoslavia 
Today's post was written and spoken at Uncle Walter's funeral by my daughter, and is used here with her permission. 

"Thank you all for coming today.

Uncle Walter was a lot of things, but boring wasn't one of them. In photographs, he is nearly always pleased: and no wonder. When Uncle Walter was photographed, he was usually in another country.

The travel industry has changed a great deal since he worked on Michigan Avenue, but the general idea--go and make sure to have a wonderful time while you're at it--comes through loud and clear.

A few months ago, my mother and I sorted through his enormous collection of expired passports. Uncle Walter was a man of the world, or at the very least a man who saw quite a lot of it, and so the visa stamps were like something out of a spy novel.

Japan. India. France. South Africa. Cuba ("Fidel Castro was always very nice to me," Uncle Walter said. Apparently the Cold War really did a number on the honeymoon tourism industry). 

Uncle Walter wasn't exactly James Bond, but he had an air of mystery about him, one that was at times overshadowed by his very dry wit, or his impeccable nature. It was easy, as a child--and it remains easy now that I am an adult--to think of Uncle Walter as a man at the end of a long journey. 

To be sure, his life in Chicago had a lot of routines embedded in it: Aldi for groceries, Selmarie or Brauhaus for lunch, freezing a coffee cake in individual slices so it wouldn't have time to go stale. But his apartment--which he moved into in 1956, the day my father was born, and which he moved out of in 2008--was filled to the brim with souvenirs from the life he led when he was away from home. It seemed very small, or at least it seemed that way until we had to move everything out; then it was just a constant unfolding of stories no one had ever asked about. 

Part of that was money, of course, because Uncle Walter knew the value of a dollar and didn't work with anyone who was sentimental about the fact--but part of it was that, Uncle Walter was the kind of man who planned for every contingency and who knew how to read his audience. Uncle Walter also knew how to be a tourist; he excelled at parties because of this. The trick is: stand in a corner with a glass of scotch, and wait to see what happens next. It's a very good trick. I have written it down.

When pressed for talking points, the war comes up in one way or another. I think it was the first time he had gone to another country. Uncle Walter served as a staff sergeant based in the Philippines and did quite a lot of administrative work; he used to say that a typing course saved his life. He never really said much aside from that, which was generally considered a good reason to change the subject. Still: when we were sorting through Uncle Walter's papers, we came across a letter from Bob Stillwell, who was a close friend to Walter and served with him during the war. Bob wrote, "you have always been the perfect gentleman.... And you taught me that life was supposed to be fun. Never forget those cocktail parties [during the war] with the bombs falling all around us."

Uncle Walter had style, and he wasn't shy about offering his opinion. But that remains a very small part of who he was. 

Uncle Walter was an astonishing person and he lived a very long and full and fascinating life. I have a feeling that we will never know the half of it. I hope he had a marvelous time."

----Katie Rose McEneely

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Safe Passage

Yesterday, Uncle Walter went on a another trip.

This one will be the adventure of a lifetime, and while he would have preferred to have this voyage on the QE 2,  instead, it is a voyage of another realm.

Uncle Walter has never visited this location previously, and it is the ultimate stamp in his passport.

I miss him.

Walter Laurence Butt Jr.
September 12, 1920 - September 22, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Tomatoes from our garden! YUM!

green pepper
red pepper
tomato &
ginger root.

I am
texture &

I am
thinking of:
tomatoes &
the poison they
were supose
to have provided.

I am delighted
one bite
proved worth
the risk.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sands of Time

Lost in thought as well as my garden...

Each morning,
stumbling to remember;

shopping lists,
and what
to do next.

Nothing seems;
Earth shattering,
time sensitive,
or life changing.

Oddly though:
each moment adds up to;
hours, days, months, and years.

Which in turn add up to:
wonderment at the time
that has pasted by.

Acts that have become;
walls, windows,
worries and wasted.


Cemented families,
friends, fears and faith.

As the good book says--
We have entertained angels unawares.
So easy to miss, so easy to misinterpret.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Imprecise Mixology

These have nothing to do with anything other then this very kind and thoughtful daughter (who, writes the blog I am enticing you to read) gave them to me for my birthday. Now we can eat salads without our hands. How nice.
One of my daughters has started a new blog. Of course, I think it is wonderful.
I hope you will too.

This daughter of mine (or should I say ours? with a nod to my spouse) writes with both wit and charm. Please take a look, in her words, think of it as "going off-road, not off the rails"

SO, I am sharing it with you today:
The Imprecise Mixologist

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Italian Ladies

While I live in a solidly Midwestern town, just about a mile from my house, is an small international village, so to speak. It was a town settled by Italians around the turn of the 1900's, versus my town which was settled by Presbyterians, in the early 1800's. (A much more staid bunch.)

The houses are built out of stucco, stone and sweat. The yards are small, but every inch counts. It has a Southern Italy sense about it. While there is no ocean edge, we do have Lake Michigan, which I would think, might feel like the sea.

These fine Italians, came and showed us how to garden, make pasta, and enjoy wine. They have done a stellar job, and we are better for their efforts.

The evidence of these facts are clearly shown by the names of the restaurants; Scornavacos, Maria's Bakery, Papagallos, and Two Guys from Italy. Or landscaping companies: Mariani, Fiore, Puccio, to name a few.

The streets are lines with flower beds which also house; zucchini, tomato, pole beans,and cucumber plants. It charms me when I see then sprawling over the fences and climbing up trellises.

Not so much these days, but when I was much younger, I would see small women, hair covered by black
scarves, sweeping the sidewalks in front of their houses.  There were holly hocks dwarfing the front porches, sunflowers dwarfing the hollyhocks, and all of the flowers dwarfing these industrious women. A colorful view.

Now, this town is home to a new wave of immigrants, Hispanic. These two cultures have melded well. Now one finds next door to Italian establishments: taquerias, Super Mercados, and, Panaderias.

It is the age old American story, we almost all came from some where else, hoping to find a safe place to raise our children, a community to call out own, and a hope for a more prosperous future.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Travels with Uncle Walter

One of the many passports he has...
Uncle Walter is;
a bachelor,
a paradox,
and alone.

not entirely. 

He has traveled lightly
through life. 
Never keeping
what did not matter,
nor packing what
he did not need. 

When he speaks of
his time in the army,
World War Two,
he says;
Typing, saved his life.
Some of his many passports...
(His mother made him take it in summer school, while at the Christian Brothers Academy.)

When he speaks of his travels, 
which was his career, 
he says;
Plan, plan, plan.
Should they inquire the price, 
I did not work with them, 
they were not my kind of clients. 
When the Telex came, I was thrilled, 
when the fax machine came, I was enchanted, 
when email came...
I went home.

I know he carries many wounds, inside and out. 
I know this because, for thirty-eight years, as the niece that married in, I have pursued his company, much to his surprise.

Much to my surprise, 
while we have never left the area,
we have traveled many miles together. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sitting in the Sun

Sewing through this summer has it's perks. One of which is getting to sit outside in the soft breeze that flows over me while I stitch.  The other is the "excuse" to sit and enjoy the garden, I steal glances at while I examine the next step to be completed. Feeling no guilt for the weeds, just enjoying the flowers, anticipating the vegetables. Clementine sits next to me in contentment. No barking. Peace reigns.

It is as if, I am transported back to my childhood. We would sit under the weeping willow trees that lined the gavel drive, so as to stay in the cool shade, not to mention the leaves of the tree grazing over our skin in the breeze. I loved those dry summer winds.

I would embroider, sew doll cloths, manufacturer small useless items with my needle, and thread. Sometimes, I would sit with my sister, she would read to me, which was one of my greatest delights. Being read to to is something I still enjoy. Oh the decadence, being able to work on something while having my mind engaged elsewhere.  Or sometimes we would sing songs from the red Scribner music books, that sat on top of our piano in the living room..

On Sunday afternoons, our family would sometimes gather around the piano. We would sing songs that were encased in those covers; Casey would Dance with the Strawberry Blonde, Daisy, Daisy or countless others. I personally loved the Casey song the best. "His brain was so loaded it nearly exploded..." fascinated me as I  tried to imagine what that looked like.
My four, in all of their glory! 

As these days cascade past me, I am reminded of  my children playing in the yard.  Their days were filled with taking things outside, then dragging the same items back in at the end of the day.  Little House on the Prairie* imagined through their eyes,  space odysseys, as the swing-set transported them. Super hero stories played out, fights worked out, all as if those days would go on forever.

Holy Cats! the day has begun, sewing, to be finished, yells to me, so this writing
must stop, be stored until the next minute I can find to write them. To be honest, these thoughts circle me, and are stitched into cloth as well as my heart.

*That summer, my eldest convinced my car pool partner we were selling our house, purchasing a Winnebago, and going west, like the Ingalls. Sigh. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Sorting Laundry (metaphor for life)

It is Monday. Which means three things.
One of the items I give preferential treatment to. 

1. Wash Day. (It is the only thing I have been consistent with my entire life) 
2. Trash Day (this has not been consistent, as the city has complete control on when this day occurs)
3. Dinner is an after thought (with all of that laundry going on, eating is not that critical to me)

The day starts early, as I am in a race with myself to get all of the laundry washed and dried before I hit the hay tonight. I like to pretend, once all of the hampers and laundry shoot is emptied, for the rest of the week, the laundry does not exist. I may or may not be successful with this pretense.

In general, my sorting goes like this:

1. Dark clothing
2. Light clothing, but not white or towels
3. Towels, but not rugs
4. Delicate, but not underwear
5. Shirts, but not sheets

And so on until all of the dirty clothes have found their people, so to speak. As I write this, I realize that I personify the laundry.* I have since I was a small child, helping my mother hang clothing out on the line. We did not have a dryer.

When I was a child, we had a washing machine we dragged out of the basement and out into the yard. We hooked up the hose to it, cranked away until the clothes were clean. Then we hung them up on the line. If it was winter, we took the frozen clothes in like sheets of plywood, let them warm up, and drip dry in the kitchen. All of this makes me appreciate my automatic machines, very much.
Kind of like this one

I have my favorite clothes, which I am ashamed to say, I give preferential treatment to. I would like to think I am without without respect of clothing, so to speak. But, alas, I am not. The table cloth from France, much higher on the totem pole then the napkins from Target.

I realize, as I sort the laundry, I am also sorting my brain. I am preparing for another week of life, and this sorting process helps me to make some of the small, large and in-between decisions about what I will do, will-not do, and what will be put off until another time. Most often though, I find myself in a race to finish all of the work before me, as fast as I can, in unrealistic time slots. This is so I may move onto the carrots I crave to work on:

1. Watercolor Painting
2. Quilting
3. READING, my favorite!
4. Sewing for fun
5. Writing

SO, as it is Monday, and the washer is beeping, I had best go, change the loads over, and move on to the next impossible task of the day.

*This sounds weird, even to me.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

One Never Knows...

These peonies are from last spring,
 soon they will bloom again.

If I should die today
just a few notes
to explain:

You have been wonderful
I have enjoyed
our time, 

The shirts are not ironed
the dishes,
not done,
the ants are still
crawling in--
from somewhere...

I failed
on all fronts.

I have played a good game of:

1. Not finishing anything
2. Of incompletely understanding everything
3. Seeing the flowers, not the weeds

The needlepoint on the ironing board,
is Candice's.
The yellow bowl,
 is Katie's.
My heart--- yours.

The passwords are in the protected file,
that has been kept safe(er,
then I have kept myself.

This may all be moot, 
but then again,
one never knows. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Post-Party Thoughts

Centerpieces I made for dinner yesterday.

It is the day after. After the house was swarming with cousins, sister/brother-in-laws, daughter/son-in-law, children, large and small. The house is tidy, china put away, crystal sparkling in the cupboard, silver, polished, and in it's chest, waiting for the next show time.

I am experiencing a warm glow of the knowledge there are enough left overs in the larder to preclude me from having to think or make dinner tonight. What a lovely sensation.

Family gatherings can wear many faces. The nervous one, the first time you entertain your new in-laws. The tired one, where you have stayed up all night to prepare, the resentful one, that old hurts nursed bring on, and the anxious one, that is paralyzing to one's enjoyment of the event.

My guess is, everyone has experienced some or all of these emotions as they prepare for family gatherings. Yesterday's for me, was a labor of love, a labor of desire to please, and a gift to my husband.

The menu was planned with care by my daughter and I. The setup for tables brought the typical controversy, but was accomplished by moving all of the furniture out of one room into the garage to set up tables, borrowed from my sister to accommodate our family.

Over the years, I have gone from the newest member of my husband's family to part of the family. Which is to say, it is now our family, instead of his family.  I have gone from one of the attendees, to one of the contributors. I have gone from not understanding these people, and wondering if I ever would, to loving these people and wondering how I could live without them.

After thirty-eight years, I have much to look back on. I have; made many mistakes, misjudgments, and have often been part of the problem, instead of part of the solution. But I was blessed. My mother-in-law loved me, and I loved her. She taught me much about acceptance, patience, and setting oneself aside, I miss her everyday, now that she is gone from this earth.

So, this Monday morning wash day, I am reflective. I think about how,  by saying those powerful words, "I do",  all of those years ago, I became part of a wider circle of family then I had ever know before. and how it has changed me, for the better.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Thought in the back of my mind...

Dishes, for company.

There is a thought
that has been
for days.

It has drifted
in while
I folded laundry...

As I walked
to the
mail box,
it sails through my mind.

It appears sometimes
when I am
lost in

I pause...
dust bunnies up from the floor.

I wonder.

When Martha,
complained to Jesus,
about her sister,
seemingly slacking,
did he help her with
the dishes?

Did our Lord,
gather up the food,
as he gathered those
around him?

I hope,
he did.
I imagine he did.

I hope he stood there...
taking each dish
from her tired hands,
wiping it off,
soothing her spirit,
with love.*

* This thought first came to my attention via my daughter, she shared that she hoped this was the case. From the moment she said this, I have had this thought circling through my mind. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014


One of my "babies" I like to knit.
Ever since I was very small, I have enjoyed creating.  Not in the sense of  "everywhere she goes she creates a crisis", but in the sense of making things. 

Like doll clothes out of Kleenexes. I may or may not have used a whole box of these versatile tissues,  making a spring wardrobe for my doll. The arm holes are very tricky when your not old enough for pointy scissors, and you have to poke the hands through to make them, this takes a lot of practice.

My other favorite endeavor was making swans out of shirt hangers. If you bend them just the right way, and twist the hook part, very carefully, so it is pointed in the correct position, without breaking it, ...this also take a lot of practice.

Again, I may or may-not have made dozens of these swans. Some may or may not have had butcher paper, "borrowed" from the kitchen wrapped around them to emulate feathers. Tape was an integral part of this creation, so much so, my father lamented the fact he had never bought stock in 3M. (his point totally lost on me)

My grandmother was the lucky recipient of these creations, if indeed, they did exist. Though, I never remember seeing them on subsequent visits. Hmmm.

Just like this one, even the same color,
but not luggage rack, we carried enough of our own.
I started knitting when I was around three. I typically sat in the third seat of our Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser, pointing backward towards the cars behind us. I was the non-carsick child, so this was my lot in life.  I would diligently knit on small double points with left over gray yarn from one of my mother's projects. I would have preferred red, but she was not sharing that color at the time.

I would admire the lovely shape, I produced by my tightly knit stitches (read VERY tightly knit). Kind of like an hour glass. My only concern was, just how to duplicate this lovely pattern.

Upon arrival at my grandmother's house, which was a forty-five minute ride, so lots of knitting time,
(oh joy!), I would jump over the seat, and out of the car, waving my project with pride, for her to view.

"Picking up and dropping stitches, I see, can be corrected, with practice, you will get there."
Which, of course, was meant to be encouraging, but really was just eye-opening to me.

In time, I did learn how to stop dropping and picking stitches indiscriminately, make doll clothes without using an entire box of Kleenex (much to my mother's relief), as well swans without emptying the entire closet of it's hangers (much to my sister's relief, as frequently it was her clothing that took one for the team, so to speak).

Now, I am adult. Or at least it seems to be the case, and I make many things. Everyday. I am grateful to my family for giving me the room to develop, construct, create and imagine. For without their forbearance, (read patience with all of the mess), I would have never spread my own wings, and flown through life so well.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Quiz for Everyday Life

A floorcloth I have recently made fro my kitchen,
 nothing to do with anything, once again. 

Noticing that quizzes seem to be the name of the game everywhere I look lately, I have decided to make one of my own. 

 Questions for the everyday quiz:

1. Mending, which should be done first: 
  a. for family members
  b. for non family members
  c. for paying customers

2. Entering donations for taxes, what is the largest obstacle:
 a. what is the login password?
 b. what is the user name?
 c. forget the whole thing and eat a cookie
 d. waiting for husband to text the above information so you can proceed?

3. Ironing questions:
  a. should you do it?
  b. Uncle Walter's shirts first?
  c. Husband's shirts?
  d. sheets or napkins next?
  e. go read a book?

4. Oil change on car:
  a. put off one more day?
  b. get someone else to do it?
  c. use it as an opportunity to read uninterrupted, for longer then it actually takes for them to change the oil?

5. Dinner:
  a. wait for someone else to suggest we eat, faining surprise they could be hungry?
  b. go out with a friend and not look back?
  c. find a new recipe that no one will eat?
  d. suggest toast, jam and popcorn (for ruffage) and call it a meal?

Monday, February 3, 2014



Crossing miles of sky
is nothing like
miles of difference.

Between the world,
I left,
to the world
I have landed in.

Much is obvious,
to a casual observer,
like sunshine and warm days
versus snow and arctic blasts.

Barely scratches the surface.
it is the cold climate
of home,
I feel the warmest.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Twenty-seven years ago*...

Giving birth
is not a 
private affair. 

The world
stands still.

And yet,
does not. 

What was once
inextricably linked,
for what seemed

is not.

For in that on-going
when one becomes

All of the clichés-
are true. 

*Today is my third child's, (a daughter), birthday. I have watched her grow into a woman of real substance and talent. On that, very cold, January day, twenty-seven years ago, she arrived to; an ice storm, a sister, a brother, a father, a mother, and much love.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter Poem

From a walk I took in the woods.

Winding my way
through lists
longing to be doing
something else.

When  I was young,
It would have been;

Sailing ships,
seeking tropical islands
Saving the day
from some tragic event,
but not bloody.

But now,
I am old.

My dreams are of
a peaceful nature;

Families getting along.
staying in budget
finding where I put my cup of tea.

One hundred and one blog posts later...

One of my recent paintings

Well, just about one year ago, I started writing this blog. One hundred and one entries. These written musings have been all over the map. Poetry, recollections, guest posts (my daughters), and every day occurrences.

Much has happened in the last year. Most of it inside my own head. Which I have found, in my time on this earth, if often the most dangerous terrain.  The rabbit holes are deep, the answers scarce, and the opportunities for growth enormous.

Another one of my paintings

So on this, one hundredth and one post, I want to say, thank you; to all of those who have taken the time to read these meanderings of my mind, an even bigger thank you to those that have taken the time to respond, often with very thoughtful feed back, I have really appreciated your support.

I am very curious what this new year will bring, what words will visit me, calling to be typed out on to this page. I hope you will continue to join me.

All the best, and many thanks,

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cake Walk or what life isn't

Once again, a photo that has nothing
 what-so-ever to do with this post. 
When I was in grammar school, a million years ago, there were many things that transpired I felt confused by. Chief of which was an event called "cake walk*".

I should preface this story by explaining; the school I attended was a  building  about the size of a church, a very small church. It was brick, painted white, and filled with a diverse population. It housed students from first grade to twelfth grade.  Kindergarten was held in a house about ten miles away from this building.

Every year, in the spring, there was a fun fair put on by someone at the school. I was never sure how it happened or why it happened, but this fair occurred none the less. Now that I am older, wiser, and the parent of four children, I know exactly who put this event on, and why. Because I never heard my mother speak of it, nor seem to be involved in it in anyway, I was unenlightened about the organization of this event.

I only remember attending the fun fair one time. My anticipation was so heightened, I drove my mother,  my siblings,  my teacher, my classmates, bus driver, and my Sunday school teacher, wild with my endless exuberance.

Finally, the day of the fair arrived. I was dress,  ready to go. I stood by the back door a full four hours prior to the appointed time of departure. I was unable to eat my breakfast, unable to make my bed, and announced, I was unable to do anything at all, before we left for the school. I refused to move from the door, just in case my mother should inadvertently forget to take me with.  It had happened before. That is all I need to say on the subject.

I was, of course, proven wrong. My mother, informed me, we would not leave until everything was
accomplished. Sigh.

Walking into the gymnasium, I was amazed. It was transformed. I did not see basketball hoops, or anything other then the delights assembled to entertain us. There was a pinata, which I had only heard about previously, and truth be told, was not positive that was what it was for sure, until I over heard one of the older students say so. There were donuts on strings waiting for children to try to eat them without using their hands. Bozo buckets, apples in wash basins, Bingo tables, clothes pins in bottles to be played and cakes. Many, many cakes.

Cakes. Cakes? I looked for my older sister, as she was the most likely of my siblings to be wiling to explain to me:  how could I get a cake? Once I found her, she said " You have to use all of your tickets for the game. It is kind of like musical chairs. When the music stops, if you are on the right number on the floor, you get to choose a cake."

I was stunned. All of my tickets?  My mother had expressly said, "this was it, better enjoy it while your tickets last, when the tickets are gone, so are we."

Attending this was pretty much a miracle, money was nonexistent at our house. Actually, if my Aunt Dorothy had not taken pity on us, we would not have been there.  I had been sharing with her how wonderful this fair would be, if only we could go. (My mother may or may not have sent me to my room over this.)

After intense thought, I handed all of my tickets over for the cake walk, resembling Lot's wife, just a little, as I glanced over at the Bingo table, pinata game, and donuts hanging on the string, hoping I had not made a big mistake.

The music started.  The kid in front of me moved forward, the squares marked on the floor were "told you  if you were out" or still in the game or could to choose a cake from the table, depending which one you landed on when the music stopped.

There they were, cakes,  delicious confections from other mother's kitchens.

I followed closely behind the child in front of me, with butterflies so large in my chest, I am surprised I did not take flight.

I had my eye on the cake with violet colored flowers.  I thought it was beautiful,
not anything like the cakes we had at home. I suspected it may have even been store bought! Wowzier!

Then in a minute, it was over.  The music stopped. I stopped. The world stopped.

*Cakewalk (or cake-walk) is a game played at fun fairs. It is similar to a raffle and musical chairs.[1]
Numbered squares are laid out on a path. Tickets are sold to participants, with the number of squares in the path equal to the maximum number of tickets sold. The participants walk around the path in time to music, which plays for a duration and then stops. A number is then called out, and the person standing on the square with that number wins a cake as a prize (hence the name).