Thanksgiving through Christmas… a time of hi-jinks in some households… Oh wait! That’s MY house!
It all started waaaaaaay back in grade school.
My brother– who is older and wiser- was in the 3rd grade I was in 1st- Back then teachers asked kids what they were doing for whatever holiday it was (Easter, St Patty , Thanksgiving…) This particular episode it just happened to be Thanksgiving. His teacher asked the kids to find out what they were having for dinner… all afternoon Stace pestered my mom. Finally she said “Damnit! We’re having hot-dogs, OK???” – Which definitely was OK, since he loved hot-dogs. The next day at school the teacher goes around the room… one family is having turkey, another ham, one a roast…. and then she gets to my brother… and he cheerfully states “We are having Hot-dogs” … and she goes on. Not another word was said.
On Thanksgiving, we are all seated around the table, ready to feast and the doorbell rings- My mother answers the door and behold! The PTA is standing there with a Turkey and ALL the trimmings for the poor family that has to have hot-dogs. To say that my mother was a trifle embarrassed is an understatement.
And if you knew my mom, being embarrassed was the worst thing that could happen to her. She would have rathered the house burnt to the ground with everything in it, than have one of us shame her.
My dad hates (with a capital H) chocolate covered cherries. A fact I didn’t know until I was 20! When I was but a tot, my mom thought it would be funny to tell me that Daddy looooooooved chocolate covered cherries. She also knew that once I latched onto an idea- I would never let it go. For nearly 20 years I ritualistically bought my dad the dreaded cherries every single Christmas. And he would always dutifully open them and make a great production of eating one , and then putting them away. I had no idea he absolutely could not stand the until he told me in my 20’s!
Way to go mom! The gift that kept on giving….
My boyz- One was brains, one was brawn. Their playroom was in the basement. We had a storage place under the stairs- one year we hid all their Christmas presents in there. If the Brawn hadn’t acted guilty one day we would never have known they had been playing those presents for nearly a month! The Brain had found the presents and taken them all out of their boxes and had the Brawn flatten the boxes and the lift the toy chest on top of them. We took them away and told them ‘NO DAMN CHRISTMAS FOR YOU’ and made them watch from their room while we opened ours.. and then they got to come have their’s back!
The following year we threatened them with certain shortening of life if they pulled that stunt again…. We found a large box and wrapped it in the shiniest paper we could find and wrote The Brains name on it really big…. just for fun… ON Christmas Eve we told them if they even stepped one toe out their doors before we got up… it would be all over.
Not long after midnight we heard the pitter-pat of little feet… and waited.. a few minutes later we heard a loud WOMP! WOMP! WOMP! Hubby had put one tiny toy in that huge box and weighted it with rocks and wire so if it touched it would flip over. Startled, the Brain yelled “That’s NOT funny”!! and then laughed all the way back down the hall.
And yes there are plenty more tales!
Merry Christmas ya’all!
We went to a good Eye-Tali-an-o wedding last week down in Denver.
All the players were there… “The Don” ,”Cha-Cha” the wise guys and all the rest. Polyester in abundance right along with chest hair and chains, big hair and high heels.
But what stood out the most, was The Don’s mother-in-law…. In her sensible shoes.
I was immediately reminded of all the old ladies that used to sit on their stoops and watch kids play in the street. She reminded me of MY grandmother. Never without her sensible shoes. And all the times she chatted with ‘The Ladies” – Comparing olive oils and pedigrees, transgressions and recipes, children and husbands and so on. All dressed alike- all in sensible shoes.
She reminded me of all the ladies riding the bus to the market in San Francisco- shopping bags tucked neatly into handbags or under their arms, housedresses and sensible shoes for walking. She reminded me of garlic and gravy (that’s-a what we call spago sauce) and crusty bread and cannoli.
She reminded me of when we lived in North Carolina and went to a Columbus Day Celebration in downtown Fayetteville.
There standing all her glory on street corner was an elderly Italian lady in her green (the EXACT same shade as the flag!) housedress, matching handbag and jaunty little hat proudly holding a full size Italian Flag waving gently in the wind. In her sensible shoes….
A toast to The Don’s mother-in-law!
I miss my Grammy and was happy for the memories
Once upon a time in a far off land…. Okay, not so far off, but it sure seemed like it!
Cope, Colorado is 130 East of Denver and 75 miles from ‘anywhere else’. We used to live there. Mind you, this is out there in the sandhills, with a population of a hundred. If you wanted an espresso, or French press or any other ‘fancy’ coffee~ you were pretty well out of luck.
One day a huge 1/2 page ad popped up in our bitty local paper…. advertising for the small town 45 miles North…
NEW COFFEE SHOP OPENING!!!! WE HAVE ESPRESSO!!!!
Holy smokes!! In the blink of an eye, I was the horn to my friend Shannon. We were both totally twitterpated! ESPRESSO… here we come. We made plans…
Shann lived 15 miles South of town and were 15 North of town. I bundled my two kiddos into the van (yes.. the “Down by the river” van) and headed off to pickup Shann and her three kids. and off we went, backtracking 65 miles up to Yuma only to find out that the “Espresso” they served was that push-button gas station variety.
Talk about heartbreak! We weighed the options, told the kids to settle in and we headed for
Sterling… another 50+ miles.. to a place we knew without a doubt had “the Real Deal” Did I mention ‘Da Van had no AIR and it was the middle of summer??
So… 200+ miles and an entire day later, we had our two dollar drinks and the kids had theirs. (back then they were ‘only’ 2.50!)
Lesson learned…. When you live ‘out there’ call and ask first!
So my cousin Hannah has come for a month long visit to our farm. She is 9 years old.
At first I was “What am I supposed to DO with a GIRL?” We raised Boys!
~As it turns out, there was nothing to fear.~ We both speak SARCASM fluently.
She was (is) a self admitted “indoor” girl.
Well- things have changed a smidge.. I am sure her Mama will have a few bad habits to break!
BOOTS go with everything. Hannah has worn her boots more that her sandals and hasn’t even touched tennis shoes yet. 🙂
COOKIES for breakfast are ok sometimes.
WALKS are great for dream making… Hannah wishes to be an Artist or a Fashion Designer… I hope she follows her dreams, where ever they may lead.
Dirt won’t kill you… we have been in the garden daily. she has learned to simply rub things that fall in the dirt on her pants and keep on going…
She can DO ANYTHING. She has learned that with a little perseverance and cussing, all tasks are do-able! So very proud of her!!
Coffee nearly BLACK… and a sweet tooth for French Vanilla flavoring.
POLKAand two-step are a must have in the dance repository if you want to be ‘social’ around these parts.
HAY BALES are great fun. So is the quad and the dog. CHICKENS will follow you like the Pied Piper.
Well~ I gotta run. More on our adventures later…. sewing, baking, swimming, dancing and more! We have MEMORIES to go make!