Friday, September 11, 2009

Life in My World--Four for Friday

1. Yesterday I went down to the temple in bigger town and also stopped in at the craft store for a very specific thing—wooden, four-drawered boxes. Last year Calvin helped me glue and clamp 24 of them together to make 4 Christmas advents. Yesterday was my lucky day. The store was clearing them all out for $1.50 each. I got enough to make two more advents.

2. I have a friend whose eight year old daughter died of brain cancer on Super Bowl Sunday. There isn’t a Super Bowl that I don’t think of them. Even though it’s been nearly twenty years ago, sometimes I still send a card telling her that I haven’t forgotten her daughter or the challenge their family went through together.

This morning I was thinking about the corner-stand, hot-dog vender we met several years ago in New York and wondered what his day is like today. If I could write him a letter, here is what I would say:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for serving us, we really appreciated how clean your cart was and how cold your drinks were. You took good care of us, but I still remember how empty your eyes were and how sad your face was when you told us about your customers, friends and fellow New Yorkers that you watched perish in the World Trade Center attacks. I remember your details of the sights, sounds and smells you experienced. I’m sure sorry for what you went through.

On September 11th, 2001 I turned on the news right after the first plane struck the North Tower, just in time to see the second plane fly into the South Tower. It was unreal—until I talked to you. Then I realized how very real it was to you and thousands and thousands like you.

America is busy again and has moved on, but I want you to know that I’m thinking of you today . . . and the thousands of others who hurt . . . and hope you feel hope and peace.

With warmest regards—

3. Today my goal is to clean house, make raspberry jam and can a batch of Grandma Ellingford’s Chili Sauce. It is made from tomatoes, cloves, peppers, onions, etc. I really like it on roast. In a pinch you can add a couple of Tablespoons of chili sauce to mayonnaise and a dab of ketchup and make a pretty good Thousand Island dressing, too. I think Grandma’s chili sauce is something you have to grow up with to appreciate it. At least my siblings and I are the only ones on Earth I know who like it.

4. Calvin and Grace call every few hours and update me where they are. It kind of reminds me of the Santa tracker on Christmas Eve. They spent last night with Ty and he called after they left thanking me for his scrapbook. It was so worth doing. Things like that always are.


Ande Payne said...

Mom I loved this post. That was the sweetest letter you would have sent to that man. Only you would think of that. I love you.

Becky said...

I just love you to pieces, Neighbor Jane! This post was wonderful.

I love the letter you wrote; my heart hurt when I opened up my newspaper today and there was hardly anything about 9-11, 2001.

I'm canning peaches tomorrow...and trying to figure out what to do with almost 20 pounds of Gala apples (no one at my house really likes applesauce!).

Anyway, thanks for another fabulous post :)

Emma J said...

I love your letter to the hot dog vendor. It gave me shivers. How DO you do all you do and write everyday, too. You're an inspiration.

And is there any way I can get the recipe for the Ellingford famous chili sauce?

Ryan and Haley Krumblis said...

Aunt Jane,
So wish I was visiting you right now! I have never canned! Actually I think you and my mom did when I was little, but I want cans! I am showing the film World Trade Center to my classes, trying to get them understand the importance of history and remembering. Such a humbling and sobering experience.....history really is a living thing! Love you!

Jill said...

It's very sweet of your to remember your friend's daughter after all these years.

I explained about September 11th to Whitney this morning and ended up crying in the process. It's weird that it was 8 years ago, and that my kids were too little to remember it.

Anonymous said...


I, too, make ONE batch of chili sauce each year. No, I didn't grow up on it, but is sounds and tastes of old-fashioned yumminess that really is best smeared on a falling-apart pork roast. BettyLou's baked beans recipe calls for it too, and they are also delicious. Have you done the dreaded pears yet? I think it's time for a party, so when Calvin gets home, lets plan one. Better yet, lets plan one for when Calvin gets home!
Love you,

deidra said...

I love me some chili sauce. Nothing like the house after church when the roast has been in the CrockPot smothered in chili sauce. (Plus the house smells so good when you can it!) Yum!

Marie said...

I'm with Ande. Only you would compose a letter to a hotdog vendor.

And I am completely eaten up with jealously about the advent calender thing. I want one like that, but I have never found one. Sigh. Someday....

Julie said...

I love your letter. I also LOVE chili sauce although in our house it's Grandma Simm's chili sauce. I also love it on roast.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Well color me surprised. I never knew others ate chili sauce. Calvin makes so much fun of the recipe (the title misled him and completely befuddled his expectations) and the kids dislike it so I lost all perception and became a closet chili sauce eater. Thank you all for letting me know you like it to. And yes, I agree, one of the reasons I love to make it is because of the smell of the house while it cooks.

Thank you!

Ben or Cortney said...

Ben's Dad LOVES Chili Sauce! So you guys are not the only ones! Oh and by the way you inspired me to bake my very first loafs of bread yesterday. They were a little over done on the bottom but other than that, pretty good. Thanks for the inspiration, and by the way how do you find the energy to do what you do? Dd you have a time machine, or something, that adds another 10 hours to your day?

michelle said...

I loved this. I love that you remember -- your friend's daughter, the hot dog vendor. I think you're wonderful.