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Friday, November 28, 2014

French Toast or Stuffing?

Tuesday Haiku

A storm is coming
Thanksgiving is coming too
French toast or stuffing?


Think about it.

--from 11/25/14

Two days before Thanksgiving the weather forecasters predicted a storm to hit our area the morning of the day before Thanksgiving.  Of course, since they are based in New York City, at first they said rain, possibly mixing with some wet snow with no major accumulation on the roads, some accumulation in the higher elevations well north and west of the city (us!).   I don’t know what happens where you live when a winter storm is on the way, but around here most of the population panics and runs to the supermarket to stock up on bread, milk and eggs.  I used to work at one of our local supermarkets and so I can attest to this first hand.  I do not understand this phenomenon as unless a major blizzard is expected we are really only inconvenienced for a few hours by unplowed roads, generally 18 hours at most. People stock up like they’ll be snowed in for a week at least.  So it was that I got to wondering if the stores would have enough bread to supply everyone because turkey stuffing is made with bread, a snowstorm staple it seems, and with one on the way perhaps there would be reports of a bread shortage and then people would have to choose which to have—French toast during the storm or stuffing on the big day? I watched the news anxiously the next day, and kept an eye on social media but there were no reports of a bread shortage.  Two of my relatives reported, however, that Tuesday evening there were only a couple quarts of milk left (skim, to boot!) by 7:00 and a few loaves of bread.  No report on the eggs but I’m sure there were enough to go around.  Of course if the holiday had been Easter the eggs might have been in short supply and folks would have needed to decide between coloring hard cooked eggs to color for Easter baskets and egg hunts or their snow French toast.  One of the aforementioned relatives also reported that another supermarket’s parking lot was full with cars waiting for spots to empty out.  That much business usually happens the day before a holiday as well as before a storm so I can only imagine how busy they had been all day.  I also heard anecdotally that the day before Thanksgiving, in the height of the 8” or so of heavy wet snow we received, the local supermarket was not busy at all.  See, we (around here for the most part) are wimpy in comparison with places such as Buffalo, NY where our 8” probably made them laugh because they had about 7 feet last week. Around here, it’s a big deal and I watched a town pickup with snowplow attached get stuck in the snow on my street the other day.  He finally backed down the hill to the highway and went up a street he’d already successfully cleared before making a pass down our road.  Last year two plows got stuck at the top of my street on the corner; a big snowplow was the first to get stuck and then the pickup tried to help and they were stuck facing each other a few feet apart.  That was something to see at 5:00 a.m.  They were stuck at the top of my street and I was on my phone with my husband who was stuck in his car at the other end trying to get out onto the highway to attempt his 40 plus mile commute to work.  A man who lives in the house at that end came out with a shovel and made a path for him to drive his car through the snowbank to get onto the highway.  There really was quite a lot of snow last year.  I’m hoping this year will not be quite as snowy.  Although I’m sure the grocers and suppliers of bread, milk and eggs wouldn’t mind!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Where Love Lives

Did you ever go to someone's house and just know upon walking in that this is a place where love lives? One of those houses where there's nothing fancy or terribly expensive, just comfortable furniture; a house decorated with family pictures both ancient and new, where there is a pleasant mingling of odors from food cooked, candles burned and floors mopped. It is a house where you just feel as if you are on a little vacation from your worries; you're being refreshed and all you are doing is sitting in the living room talking, and eating a bowl of canned pasta with a grilled cheese sandwich. You're in the presence of people whom you know have disagreements yet don't allow those to fester into life altering dissatisfaction with each other. Because they respect each other and care deeply for each other; each celebrating and sharing the other's uniqueness and accomplishments with the universe. I know of such a house and family. I am blessed to be related to them and they bring that feeling of peace I feel when at their home with them to mine and where ever they go. I think they would be surprised to learn all of what I've just related because they are that humble. Love lives in them, it can be seen in how they treat each other, it can be felt when they are near in how they approach life with wonder and enthusiasm. Love lives in them in such abundance that it spills over, touching whoever is near.