Friday, September 22, 2017
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U Iron your socks don’t you? Day 28 of 365 (Photo credit: DieselDemon) A soon-to-be cousin from the other side of the family, young and single, at a recent family wedding asked me if it is true that men have to be trained after they are married and if they are trainable. My husband and I looked at each other and both said, “the iron.” My husband broke the ice. “Both people train each other to what they need.” Then, I told the story. On some occasion, I no longer remember whether it was a birthday or Christmas, but let’s just say it was Christmas, my husband gave me an iron. He knows... (Read More ...)

He Learns from Experience. An 1890s advertisement showing model Hilda Clark in formal 19th century attire. The ad is titled Drink Coca-Cola 5¢. (US) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) One Christmas, he gave me an iron. On my questioning look, he defended himself. “Yours doesn’t work anymore.” “It doesn’t?” Now, practical items, especially appliances, are no longer gifts. He Knows How to Answer the Question, “How Does This Look?” We have come to an agreement that if I want to know how something looks on me, he’s allowed to tell the truth. But, he keeps it general, as in, “That doesn’t... (Read More ...)

Why I Use Cloth Napkins Family heirloom silver napkin rings (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I was a newlywed. My husband of 5 months had been drafted, reporting two days after we eloped. He and a new buddy had arranged for me and the other wife to be roommates while our husbands lived in the barracks for the Army’s Officer Candidate School that summer of 1968. The war in Vietnam seemed to be ramping up and new officers were needed. Our husbands would graduate as 2nd Lieutenants in November, bound for Vietnam a year later. I was pregnant. My new roommate had been married two years. The first time our... (Read More ...)

Hot peppers for hot pepper jelly (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Did your husband introduce you to any new foods when you got married? “Oh! It’s hot!” my son exclaimed when I recently served hot pepper jelly with Greek yoghurt on Wheat Thin crackers. How can he have lived 33 years and I never introduced him to the Southern tradition of hot pepper jelly? Actually, I didn’t know about it until after I married. Hot pepper jelly is not a Midwestern food. Who ever heard of putting hot peppers in sweet jelly? Apparently, anyone who grew up in the South. My husband is a Georgia-boy, born and bred. But,... (Read More ...)

What Would You Give Up to Be Married? My husband gave up music. Marriage (Photo credit: Lel4nd) And a farm. And living in the Pacific Northwest. And living in a different country every two years. And being on time. I can’t listen to music in the background while carrying on a conversation without getting a headache. A suburban girl, the idea of living in a county where there were more cows than people freaked me out. With parents and in-laws on the East Coast that we visited every Christmas and our sons visited for a week or two every summer, I could not bear the thought of living across the... (Read More ...)

Do You Have a Fondue Pot? Dipping a cheese fondue with a long-stemmed fork (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Last week I went to a fondue party. I see the blue enameled pot I got as a wedding present every time I open the cupboard door. I probably haven’t made fondue for friends in 30 years. But, I wouldn’t even consider getting rid of the pot. To look at a fondue pot is to remember lazy evenings with friends, talking over the pot, making sure your beef hasn’t turned crispy and you haven’t lost your bread cube in the cheese. The hosts started out with their own fondue pot, added one from the mother... (Read More ...)

The Birthday Cake It was January 15, 1968, my father’s 50th birthday. I was making him a cake. Chocolate Birthday Cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Normally, this would be no big deal. In my childhood, my mother was always on a diet that nobody spoke of, so if we three children were ever going to have sweets, it fell to me to make them. She had given me a five-minute lesson once on how to make dinner for five in 30 minutes, which she did routinely every night after she got home from work. Boil, drain and butter the frozen vegetables, rotating between green beans, peas, corn, carrots, lima beans,... (Read More ...)

Inside the control tower. The instruments give wind speed and direction . A Cessna 152 taxis out for a training flight. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The Wind Just Changed Direction For me, part of learning how to fly a plane was knowing what I needed to tell air traffic controllers when I communicated with them for permission to land, receiving guidance as to which runway was free. So, I found myself in the air traffic control tower of the airport where I was taking pilot lessons, outside Buenos Aires, Argentina, one bright, clear afternoon. The Argentine air traffic controller asked me if I wanted... (Read More ...)

We Are All Argentines I was in the air traffic control tower at a small airport outside Buenos Aires, Argentina. All airports in Argentina, civilian and military, were run by the Argentine Air Force. Argentine Air Force C-130 during Air Fest 2010 show at Moron Air Base, Buenos Aires Argentina (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I wanted to understand, from an air traffic controller’s standpoint, how pilots should communicate with air traffic controllers, because I was studying for my pilot’s license. Though small, the airport was international. It was just across the Rio de la Plata river from Uruguay. Because... (Read More ...)

What Was Your First Car? My first car was a minivan. Carol Covin In Front of 1967 VW Beetle Just Sold, January 1968 I’d actually owned a Datsun pick-up truck before. But, that was because we were a suburban family and needed to pick up mulch and the like. The first car I picked out for myself was a minivan. I know, boring. I’ve had three minivans since, the most practical car for hauling kids and stuff. But, the first time I participated in buying a car was when I went with my boyfriend, six months before we married, when he bought his first car. A brand-new, beige, 1967 VW Beetle. The car... (Read More ...)