Friday, March 28, 2014

The End of Another Week

Don't you think that Friday should be the end of the week?  And Monday should be the start of the week?  And Saturday & Sunday should be days out of the week?  Days when you don't have to do anything?  Days that are free?  When I'm in charge, that will be the case.  I could deal with things being closed on Sunday so that people were forced to relax or visit Grandma and Aunt Cele and have fried chicken and biscuits with too many people crammed around the table in a kitchen, all ages all together with sixteen conversations going on all at once.

I miss that slower time.  Maybe the grownups felt frazzled the way I do now sometimes by the pace of life but I was a kid when the times I'm remembering happened so what did I know.  I got to either squeeze between Mama and Daddy with my back to the window or claim a corner of the Formica and aluminum table rubbing elbows with Uncle Len and some random cousin.  Sometimes I got to sit between Grandma and Aunt Cele but that was mostly when I was there for a sleepover because in a crowd the smallest kid got to sit there.  I think my favorite meals out at the farm were when Grandma didn't have enough for everyone to have the same thing so the table was jammed with little plates and bowls.  There'd be three pork chops, a few slices of beef of some sort, and half a chicken with some kind stew in a bowl and Mama claimed half of the fried okra, I'd pass on the creamed spinach (ugh, looked like rags in dirty dish water to me) but load up on succotash (lima beans and corn), plus mashed potatoes (if Grandma remembered to bring the pot to the table, she often forgot).  If you were still hungry after all that was gone you could fill up on jelly bread--that's homemade honey-whole wheat bread made with bacon grease instead of shortening slathered with a thick layer of some kind of homemade preserves.  I liked Grandma's rhubarb pineapple preserves or "seed" bread which was made with some kind of plums that she didn't pit because they were too stubborn to remove so you just had pits to spit out.  Grandpa had beehives so the honey was manufactured just off the path along the pasture behind the garden.  Because there was a black walnut tree right there the honey was a deep brown, almost black color and oh mercy was it good.

Then there was dessert, usually pie, two kinds, and you could often wheedle a taste of each onto your plate.  Grandpa always had an orange and three prunes after supper--before dessert and coffee.  In the summer when lots of uncles were around, the old hand-crank ice cream freezer would be in the basement set in a washtub filled with salted ice that was covered in two burlap sacks and the men would stand around smoking and cranking and talking about work.  None of us were patient enough to wait for it to firm up so you had to eat it fast before it melted.  Grandpa always got the dasher to clean off; that's the paddle thing in the middle like the beaters of the mixer.  (Aunt B, do you remember the peach ice cream that Dad made at our house late one night after you and Mama canned the almost-rotten peaches he brought home?  That was the best ice cream I've ever had.)

I don't know how I got off on this tangent but it's been fun strolling down memory lane.  Moving on.

March 28--Pavel Janak, Coffee Pot.  The sun glittered on the swath of broken crockery and spilled coffee.  Deb stood half bent, her hands like claws as if she could rewind the last minute.  Her lips were pressed into a tight line and all the color had drained from her face.  It had happened to fast, her fingers touched the side of the hot ceramic pot and in an instant her grip loosened just enough for the pot to plummet to the floor.  She couldn't believe she hadn't been scalded by the just-brewed coffee or cut by flying chips of earthenware.  It took her an hour to clean up the mess and she wept over breaking Babe's favorite pot.  The black and white Art Deco piece had stood on the shelf over the stove as far back as she could remember.

I need to get my nails done today and I think Durwood and I are going to Sam's later.  Maybe the sun will shine.  Maybe.  Fingers crossed.  Look!  Daffodils!


1 comment:

Aunt B said...

Oh how well I remember that peach ice cream!! Some memories stay alive long past the event -- and that's one of them. How many times have we all recalled that wonderful peach ice cream? I think it's a standard that will never again be met!!! So glad you have all those nice times at the farm to call up on a cold day! But yay for daffodils!!!