The Kid’s Table

Let’s see a show of hands. How many of you remember the kid’s table? …At Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and family gatherings.

Adults sat in the dining room, discussed the usual.  Was it pass to the left or right?  Nobody ever gave an answer–because, from that point they would be regarded as the family etiquette expert.

“Where did you get all that energy?  My how you’ve grown.  What grade were you in school?  Did you like school this year?”  Questions answered with poker faces, shoulder shrugs, and “I don’t knows.”

Older kids served themselves.  Younger ones had plates fixed by moms, grandmas, aunts, older brothers, and sisters.  “Eat something else besides mashed potatoes.  Take some of these green beans.  No dessert till you’re finished.”  Lots of laughter prevailed, subdued, so, as to not draw attention from the adult table.

Everybody had a cousin Ralphie–or, someone like him.  Cousin Ralphie balanced green peas on his knife, ate disgusting food mixtures–pickled beets, mashed potatoes, and milk.

“Cousin Ralphies” turned their eyelids inside out, to disgusted “ewws” and “ahs” at the kid’s table.  “What did he need ketchup for?”  A self-appointed gastronomic virtuoso, Ralphie shared his secrets on holidays.  Ketchup made everything more palatable.  It was rumored, Ralphie subsisted on ketchup sandwiches at home.

Mid-afternoon, after dishes were cleared, washed, and put away, the oldest adults were first to leave.  Early evening, tears flowed from the eyes of younger ones, that wanted to stay longer.  Moms, sisters, aunts comforted.  Dads weren’t as patient.

Lots of Good Wishes!

A non-specific bout of upper respiratory distress has affected both my wife and myself.  The timing could not be worse.  A long journey lies ahead.

I suspect it has a lot to do with extreme changes in weather.  Warm one day and cold the next.  The body hasn’t had a chance to adjust.  I’ve heard spring peepers the last two mornings.

Most people wouldn’t complain about it being 75 at nine on a December morning.  Two-hundred fifty miles north of here, it’s thirty-something degrees.  Icy Upper Midwest winter weather has already delayed the trip.

By the time I return, Christmas will be over for 2016.  Hopefully all will be well by that time.

To everyone that follows my miscellaneous ramblings, have a Merry Christmas–a safe and happy Holiday Season!

 

“Merry Christmas from Charles Claus, the Christmas heron”–image, http://wwwlynnjordanphotography.com/

If I’m Lying, I’m Dying (Stop Me If You’ve Heard–Or Don’t Like Really Long Titles)

There’s comfort in the familiar.  On every trip “home” for the Holidays, GPS insists on routing through Mississippi, Tennessee, then Kentucky.  I ignore it for the first part of the journey–it’s been a tradition for several decades.

Four hours to Birmingham, two more hours to Nashville, then another five hours.  Rest stops, unforeseen traffic delays, add another hour or more.

Why, now, have rush-hour delays in Birmingham and Nashville become unacceptable?  Except, for the first 45 miles, it’s all interstate highway.  Google maps promised to cut an hour off the trip. The prospect of new routing at 4 am departure time is less than thrilling.

Leftovers from Thanksgiving: Why did three major St. Louis Metro grocery chains not carry my favorite orange juice with pulp?  Yes, I like my orange juice lumpy and pulpy.  Different strokes.

The same three major chains did not carry “Grands” frozen biscuits–the pre-formed, patted out kind, unlike the ones in a tin.  They taste better, have a more flaky texture–almost like the ones grandma made from scratch.  Maybe I’ll take my own OJ and biscuits with me next time?  That’ll show ’em.

Jonathan Livingston Seashell

How much is that froggy on the window?  Searching for frogs, toads, and lizards is my two dogs regular evening ritual.  If one of them finds something, the other one is right there.

It’s the celebration of the long Labor Day weekend.  I hope most of you are lucky enough to commune with Jonathan Livingston Seashell, and others like him, on the beach this holiday.

I’m sure some of you know the anxiety that can come with blogging.  One day loving it, the next day considering how to give your blog a proper send-off and burial.  Not getting upset about it, feels so much better.

Weekend, holiday revelers are beginning to congregate.  Got to run for some takeout–a regular Friday thing.

 

–Image, http://www.frankabbottphotography.com/