Monday, November 22, 2010

Well Fed – Static Control, Memories, Stew, Assigned Friends, and Parenthesis’s

Tis the season for static cling.  Everything sticks to everything and everything itches.  Thank goodness for fabric softener, hairspray, slips, and lotion.  (Have you tried the bodycology lotion at Wal-Mart?  I really like it.  Gardenia is what I brought home today.)

We’re spending Thanksgiving in Idaho with a couple of my sisters. Calvin, who watches the weather forecast, has warned the kids who are driving to expect snow, to leave early, drive slow, and that those who are going hunting should bring wool clothes. I’m glad I’m in Calvin’s car.

Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday. You can imagine how out lucky I felt when I discovered we had ancestors on the Mayflower (my brother-in-law had an ancestor on it, too, but his was soon hanged for being a horse thief).

I was thinking about childhood Thanksgivings today. One year my little brother and sister had the chicken-pox. Talk about a downer year. No cousins came. It was like a regular Sunday dinner. No nut cups. No place cards. Turkey instead of roast, Thursday instead of Sunday, otherwise very, very similar.

Another year Heber, one of my folks’ close friends, died of a heart attack. Mom was in the kitchen early in the morning stuffing the turkey and crying. (Now as I’m typing this I’m wondering if maybe it was onions, but at the time I was certain she was in mourning.) I carefully watched Mom (I didn’t want dinner called off and another chicken-pox Thanksgiving) while I played with my pet pretend mice. (I had three jellybeans that I glued little paper ears to and put them in some cotton in the bottom of a little box. They lived for several days.)

I loved the Thanksgivings when our Chadwick cousins came. They loved to play home-made games like Up-Jenkins, The Liars Game, and Cat & Mouse. Chadwick cousins didn’t put age limits on who could play. And then after we’d eaten Thanksgiving dinner, we went down to the basement and sat around the fireplace and piano while Dad and Uncle Duane sang. I remember them laughing more than singing. They accompanied each other – Uncle Duane played the saw, Dad played the spoons, and Aunt Pat played the piano. They sang songs like Down in the Valley, You are My Sunshine, and Home on the Range. But they also sang “Cigereeeeeettes and whiskey and wild, wild women . . . they’ll drive a man wild, they’ll drive him insane.” (Mom and Aunt Pat didn’t think they were funny.)

I also loved the Thanksgivings when my sisters brought home their college roommates.

It’s been snowing all day. I fixed stew and breadsticks for supper. (I put a handful of barley and little cubes of winter squash in the stew and they made a very nice difference.)

I went visiting teaching today.  I explained visiting teaching to one of my friends who is not a member of the same church I am by saying, “It’s kind of like we’re assigned friends.  I’m assigned to be a friend to some women and other women are assigned to be my friend.  And . . . it works.  It works because we all do it.”  (Remember the monster mash? It did make cute pilgrim mix and I took it to “my assigned friends.”

Tis the season for lots of good things.


Cali said...

I loved hearing about your little mice and the parts of Thanksgiving tradition that made you the most excited.

I love you,

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

Yeah for Thanksgiving! I hope you guys arrive safe and sound!

Heather @ Multiple Hats said...

I never got to claim the Mayflower heritage until I married Matt - now I figure his people are my people, so I can say the same! Wonder if yours and mine got along?? Here's to a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family - travel safely . . .

deidra said...

I love visiting teaching. It's been an adjustment here in a family ward, but I'm so glad one of my assigned friends is a 75-ish year old woman. Her husband Wilbur likes to join our visits and they're both great! After dropping by with a jar of applesauce, she asked if I'd like some of her empty jars-- yes please! I benefit from getting to be her friend.

Brenda Goodrich said...

My family sang the same songs, but I remember it as 'cigareeeeetes and WHUSKEY', not whiskey. And we also had stew and bread for dinner tonight!

Becky said...

We were on the Mayflower too! :)

Your pet mice sound adorable and creative.

Jeff's dad has a couple of songs that as soon as he strums the first chords on his guitar, my mother-in-law gives him "the look" that says he's in trouble...too, too funny!

Jill said...

I enjoy Thanksgiving too and am glad that it is more than just a Sunday dinner for our family as well. My brother has campaigned for years for us to ditch the extended-family gathering and just have Thanksgiving with our family, but to me that's just a Sunday dinner and doesn't capture the spirit of Thanksgiving at all.

I think your Pilgrim Mix is a great idea. I gave my visiting teaching ladies cookies and a Conference Issue of the Ensign.

michelle said...

I love that you're glad to be in Calvin's car. I love that your pretend pet mice only lived for 3 days! I love having assigned friends as well.

Ande Payne said...

I love your pet mice. And nut cups. I love Thanksgiving with you. You make it so fun.

Wendy said...

I would so love it if my church tradition had assigned friends. I moved to the country (to my husband's grandmother's house) four and a half years ago when we were expecting our third and final son. I'm not a shy person. I have reached out so many times that it hurts (recently made a batch of choc. chip cookies and the woman never called back or made any contact - I finally couldn't hold my sons back from eating them). Assigned friends sounds like a wonderful idea, indeed!