Friday, September 21, 2018
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Did your Mom ever break her own house rules? Cedar Rapids metropolitan area. From left Benton County, Linn County, and Jones County. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I was in second grade, seven years old.We almost never had dessert in our house. Years later I learned, though she never talked about it, my Mom was always on a diet. I never quite figured out why. She served healthy food. Nothing was fried. We never had gravy. We had a home-cooked meal every night, with a glass of water. Dad, and only Dad, had one slice of Wonder bread with dinner. We only had bread in our lunch-bag sandwiches for school. Food... (Read More ...)

Peas and Cheese Salad.  My husband loves peas. Velveeta Cheese (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I don’t. With two exceptions. Field peas and Peas and Cheese Salad. Field peas are a kind I was introduced to by my Georgia-born-and-bred husband. We didn’t have such a vegetable in the North where I mostly grew up, the natural home of root vegetables. I never even had them in Texas, where I eventually moved, and where barbecue and baked beans were the norm. There are several kinds – field peas, Crowder peas, cow peas, purple-hull peas, black-eyed peas. They are a nutty, speckled brown, rich-tasting... (Read More ...)

I Am Thankful for Pencils. I met a man recently, Chester Smith, who belongs to the Lions Club. Pencil collection (Photo credit: ursonate) They had a seeing and hearing van outside the Boys and Girls Club where we met. I knew the Lions Club collected old eyeglasses. My grandson and I gave all my mother-in-law’s old eyeglasses to them a few months ago. Here’s a place you can find a Lions Club near you to donate old eyeglasses. I didn’t know it, but they also collect old hearing aids. But this gentleman told me about the other things he collects as part of his service mission. Tabs from... (Read More ...)

Remembering Bread and Butter Pickles. Breaking up is hard to do. Every time I pass a farmer’s market or apple stand, I look for bread and butter pickles. They won’t be as good as my mother-in-law’s, but they remind me of her. Her house still functions. Bread and butter pickles in a mason jar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There are beds, nightstands, rocking chairs, vanities and wastebaskets in two of three bedrooms. There are sheets and towels in the linen closet. But, the bedroom closets are empty and the clothes are gone from the dressers. The high, 4-poster bed in the front... (Read More ...)

Did You Have Any Cookbooks When You Got Married? I took home economics for two years in high school and one year in college. Butter and a butter knife (Photo credit: Wikipedia But my real education in cooking came when my mother once gave me a 10-minute lesson on how she put dinner for five on the table in 30 minutes every night. She got home from work at 5 PM and took a 30-minute nap. We all sat down to eat at 6 PM. How to Put Dinner on the Table in 30 Minutes Boil, drain and butter frozen green beans, corn, or peas or cut-up fresh carrots, beets, brussel sprouts, broccoli or cauliflower. Peel,... (Read More ...)

Remembering a Wedding Day. This Friday, August 10, would have been my in-law’s wedding anniversary. They married in 1940. 14-carat gold wedding rings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My father-in-law died a few months after their 69th anniversary. On his 90th birthday, a big family and friends celebration that included his three sisters, who would eventually each turn 90 themselves, Fox told us the story of his wedding day. I’d heard the story once years before, but loved hearing it again. It seems there were a few hours between the wedding ceremony, that August 10, 1940, and the dinner where friends... (Read More ...)

Did Your Mom Like You Best? The Smothers Brothers used to do a comedy routine in which Tommy, the older brother, claimed that their Mom liked Dick, the younger brother, best. Click here for a video clip of the Smothers Brothers on The Jack Paar show in 1965. The line was always funny. Probably because everyone suspects that it is true, or might be true, in their family. Velveeta Cheese (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It was clear to me as I grew up that my parents favored my older brother. Smart as a whip and easy going, he never talked back. My parents had conferences with his teachers so the teachers... (Read More ...)

 What Did Your Parents Teach You About Love? Neither of my parents ever told me they loved me. But, they came close. They had us convinced that being there was saying, “I love you. Since they had each lost a parent at a young age, in many ways, they were right. Mother Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia) In fact, I never doubted that if I needed them, I could call on them. My mother was there when a librarian thought I would lose interest in reading if I read above my grade level. She refused to lend me books that were harder than she thought I could read. My mother checked them out in front of her... (Read More ...)

What Did Your Parents Teach You About Relationships? I remember watching my parents argue once. It didn’t happen often, at least in front of us. Whatever the dispute was, one parent made their case, forcefully. The other parent just listened. I wondered why the other parent didn’t come back forcefully with their own argument. I have speculated, as an adult, that my parents’ loss of a parent at a young age made them incapable of expressing strong emotions. This may be true. Engagement Ring   I have speculated that they did us a disservice by not teaching us how to argue our own point-of-view. This... (Read More ...)

How Did Your Parents Meet? I’m always interested in how couples meet. Especially couples who have been together a long time. I’m no longer surprised by couples who met in a bar. I’ve stopped worrying about couples who met online. A navy photographer snapped this photograph of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, just as the USS Shaw exploded. (80-G-16871) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) One of my sons met his wife when she stopped walking down the street to watch him juggle. They both now enjoy circus arts, such as walking on high or bouncy stilts. The other son met... (Read More ...)