Having one’s cake
Monday October 12th 2009, 12:44 pm
Filed under: Friends

(I stole his photo. Yes, this is a cake. You really want to embiggen this one.)

Now, I’ve enjoyed the Cakewrecks site for some time, and Jen and John, who write it, are currently on a book tour. One of their stops is supposed to be in Bethesda, Maryland, my hometown. I so wish I could go!

That tour, if you’ve been following them, recently got upended. John thought he had the flu. He went in the bathroom to barf after four hours’ sleep and, as he later wrote in the comments, he now pictures his guardian angel, sword held high, bringing it down hard on the seat parts. Jen heard him cry out, ran to him, and found him half passed out on the floor with a growing egg already on his forehead.

What do you do in a strange town?  She called a cab and took him to a local walk-in clinic, where they got dismissed–eh, the flu–but one doctor didn’t like the looks of it and came out while they were waiting for a cab back to the hotel and threatened to call an ambulance.

The upshot is, because of that head injury, the ER took the guy seriously. And it turned out it wasn’t the head injury that was making him having a hard time staying conscious like that, and it wasn’t just the flu, and it wasn’t just the pneumonia he actually had, it was a blood infection that landed him in the ICU for days, lucky to be alive, lucky not to have lost any limbs.

And they paid serious attention to him in the ER and caught it in time only because they were worried about that head injury.

Thus his mental image of that guardian angel. As she went back and forth between the hospital, the tour appearance, the hotel, and the hospital again, Jen describes her tears at having a cab driver surprise her by knowing her situation and telling her that the drivers in town were all praying for her husband.

John is now out of the hospital and they are getting back into that tour. And that’s their story.

Meantime, and the reason I mention all this, is, I got a note from LauraN that quite surprised me. Now, Laura’s an old friend whose cousin married my sister, and she was roommates in college with Richard’s cousin, so we call each other cousins-in-law in great delight.  What I didn’t know, was…

Well. Cakewrecks posts funny pictures of professional cake goofs, but on Sundays they post what they feel is the best of the best out there, the most delightful, the most intricate, the most creative cakes.  If you go here, at the end of the post is a cake Jen describes as “my absolute favorite” that day.

Now go here and you’ll find it on the second page, but don’t miss the pear balancer on the first page, which is MY absolute favorite. And for which the baker won a well-deserved blue ribbon.

That baker is LauraN’s brother.

Small blogworld.  And very, very cool.  Well done, Bill!

12 Comments so far
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One of my favorite things about human beings is that strangers care.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 10.12.09 @ 7:06 pm

Cake? Who would dare to cut into that work of art! The story about the head injury, pneumonia, cab drivers, et al, sounds to me likemore guardian angels at work. If I read that right, the head injury saved him.


An elderly couple had dinner at another couple’s house, and after eating, 
the wives left the table and went into the kitchen. 
The two gentlemen were talking, and one said, ‘Last night we went out 
to a new restaurant and it was really great. I would recommend it very 
The other man said, ‘What is the name of the restaurant?’ 
The first man thought and thought and finally said, ‘What is the name of 
that flower you give to someone you love? 
You know… The one that’s red and has thorns.’ 
’Do you mean a rose?’ 
’Yes, that’s the one,’ replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen 
and yelled, ‘Rose, what’s the name of that restaurant we went to last night?’

Comment by Don Meyer 10.12.09 @ 8:44 pm

As far as they see it, that head injury did indeed save him.

I think the reason I needed to write about what they went through, actually, is that it strikes so close to home, although I was avoiding saying that earlier, not wanting to sound maudlin. I was traveling last November and signing books myself. I, though, had the good fortune to be back home again by the time I began to be ill, two weeks after the trip, and of course you all know the rest of that story. I had my own hospitalizations and coming so close to not making it out alive.

And I too had so many people praying for me. Some of them knitting for me. So many remembering me and writing me and encouraging me, while I, like John, read the comments via laptop from my hospital bed. Every person helped. Each one mattered by letting me know I mattered. Survival by loving peer pressure as well as good medicine. It IS good medicine.

It all strikes so close to home. I’m so very glad that he, too, is recovering so well.

And I wanted to celebrate with him and his wife by celebrating on a subject they enjoy writing about. Go Bill the CakeFX baker! Go friendships and great human goodness. It changes everything.

Comment by AlisonH 10.12.09 @ 9:30 pm

Divine providence is wonderful.
I love the cake, but I would not dare to destroy as in slice and eat, this amazing sculpture.

Comment by Henya 10.13.09 @ 12:20 am

Talk about twists and turns! Favours do come in different shapes and sizes, huh? I’m glad he’s doing better now. One more “thank you” to be said.

Congratulations to Bill for such an achievement! My husband says he would put some lacker on it. Couldn’t eat it. I agree: this is art!

Comment by Suzanne in Mtl 10.13.09 @ 5:16 am

Thanks for highlighting my brother’s cakes. And although they may look too pretty to eat, they do taste good. (I’ve eaten a couple that were less elaborate that he made for family parties.) My brother decorates the cakes, but my sister-in-law makes sure they taste as good as they look.

Comment by LauraN 10.13.09 @ 7:06 am

Wow. It *IS* a small world, and those are fantastic sculptures, regardless of the medium. The fact that they’re edible is just icing on the cake! :p

Comment by Channon 10.13.09 @ 7:14 am

What a talent!

Comment by LynnM 10.13.09 @ 8:42 am

How cool is that? On SO MANY levels!

Comment by Momo Fali 10.13.09 @ 11:20 am

I am definitely glad John is better. That must have been very scary!

As for the cakes, the pear balancer is awesome! But I admit to liking the devil making a snow angel on the second page. Adorable!

Comment by Margo Lynn 10.13.09 @ 12:08 pm

So many guardian angels at work here! Including the doctor at the walk in clinic…and hooray for the cab drivers.

Now off to drool over some cake pics…

Comment by karin maag-tanchak 10.13.09 @ 1:42 pm

What a great talent! I don’t think I could eat a cake like that, it would feel like slicing through a sweater 🙂

Your friends were very blessed with caring strangers. It is never easy to be ill & not be home! I’m sure it made a huge difference to know that someone(even a stranger) cared.

Comment by TripletMom 10.13.09 @ 3:58 pm

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