Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Marie Memories

There are a few things that I am looking forward to when I go home for Christmas, one of those being Sunday family dinners with Grandma and Marie.

I got the news last night that Marie passed away that afternoon.

I can't believe Marie won't be at Sunday dinner when I go home.

She was 93. I'm just glad she can be with her husband, Duke, again. He passed on February 2, 2002. You may think it's random that I remember the date, but it was 02/02/02, it was the date that I celebrated my 18th birthday, and it is also Marie's birthday. Oh, and plus, Groundhog Day.

Indulge with me in a short walk down memory lane. I feel like I may never find an appropriate time to recall such memories, so I might as well do it now.

Duke used to sit out on his porch smoking his pipe, watching over the neighborhood. We would wave every time we passed him, and he would always inform my father when some of my friends would drive in an unsafe manner up to our house. Duke would bring over rib bones in a bread bag every once in a while for our dog Sadie. She loved him. Whenever Sadie would get out of our yard, we could usually find her over at Duke's. When she passed away, we buried her on Duke's property. Duke would come over and shoot the breeze with Dad while he was outside working. He'd always call me Trouble, and he was basically right.

After Duke passed, my family started inviting Marie over for dinner on major holidays. Then it became every Sunday. Marie was a very independent woman, full of spunk and drive. She would walk to her church meetings no matter the weather, she could be found climbing ladders, or trying to move something that was way too big for her.

My last memory with Marie took place on a warm Sunday evening in July, the time right after the meal when we are all sitting around on the veranda basking in the happiness of satisfied hunger. We were discussing my imminent move to Chicago, and Marie mentioned that she had spent some time in Chicago. She moved to Chicago by herself to get a job, and because she had been there, and done the exact thing I was about to do, she gave me some advice. First, when you get there, just walk into a business and tell them you are good at typing, and you should get hired on the spot. Second, if you ever get lost, just sit down, take a moment, and find Wells Street. You'll know once you find Wells exactly how to get home.

I had really tried to get the year that she was in Chicago, but every time I would ask, she would just say, "Oh, that was a very long time ago." My guess is that she was here in the late 1930's to early 40's. Anyway, sometimes I think about her when I get lost or when I cross Wells.

Another memory I like is from last Easter, when she found Mary and I in her garden hijacking her blossoms when she came home from church. She didn't mind sharing her blossoms, and it didn't phase her to see us on her property at all. Instead, we had a good conversation about the Risen Lord and what that means to us.

I can't help but contrast this memorial with my Great Grandmother's memorial. Maybe I could have done a better job with Great Grandma's memorial. I do indeed have many memories of her.

I feel blessed to have had the past couple of years to live with my parents and experience all that came with it. I got to know my family better, and I got to know Marie much better as well. Marie lived across the street from me my whole life. She watched me grow up. I guess the point that I'm trying to make, if it is possible, is to become family with your neighbors, and try and have your neighbors be your family.

What do you remember about Marie?

Monday, November 22, 2010

McDonald's Signage

Being highly susceptible to signage, I noticed the local McDonald's had changed their sign, and it now reads, "Iced hot chocolate now available!"

1) I looked it up on the McDonald's website and I can't find that this beverage exists.

2) In the middle of November? It's freezing outside.

3) So...that's basically chocolate milk, right?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pie Season

Recently I've had a higher pie need than usual. Maybe it's because it is pie season. I've determined that pie season is semi-annual. One during the holidays, the second when the summer fruits ripen. Right?

In my great quest for pie I came across the sweetest little shop ever. Well, it’s not so little, but it is sweet. They offer cookies and cupcakes and cakes and pie! This place is called Sweet Mandy B’s and it is delicious. I ordered apple blueberry and key lime pie. That’s right! Key lime in November! I obviously couldn’t pass that up. The crust was perfect. It was just the right amount of crumbly to be picked up by the not too sweet creamy key lime filling. I’m salivating in the refreshing memory of it.

The apple blueberry pie was equally amazing. I took one bite, and experienced so many wonderful complementary flavors. I tried to figure out what spices they used, but I couldn’t. No one spice stood out. It was a delightful medley, composed to make one delightful pie. The bottom crust was the right density to support the heavy fruit, and the top crust was full of nooks and crannies, offering the juices handy little places to hide. How my mouth rejoiced when those hiding places were discovered! 

Happy pie season!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mystery Bread

FOUND: One half-ish loaf vanilla scented bread.

Does this belong to you? On Tuesday I found this in my kitchen. I asked Amanda and Shermeka if it belonged to them. It doesn't. Today we saw Becky, so we asked her about it. It doesn't belong to her, either.

So how did it get here? Why is there only a half left? Who does that loaf pan belong to? Is this from a med student, trying to woo me? You're going to have to try harder, buddy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hot or Not: Doctors

Around here, when a female describes a male and he happens to be in med school or PA school or is, in fact, a doctor, this fact is mentioned last, as a grand finale. "Oh, yeah, he's really cute, and so charming, and, get this: med school. Makes him hotter, huh?"

Um, no. Why would this make him hotter? Because... he's busier? Because he has gone to a lot of school and is still going to school and he's 29? Because it is a profession with the promise of a lot of money? Because we are assuming he is smart? Intellectual? But no one ever says, "Oh my gosh, he's really cute, and so charming, and, get this: reads books and newspapers!!"

I have not yet shared this opinion with anyone around here, because I feel it will go the way of my dislike for cheesecake and Halloween traditions. People (women) will be shocked into silence. I will notice underneath their frozen smiles that they are trying to understand me. How is it possible that I'm not smitten by med students? HOW??!?!?

I am a complicated machine.

Granted, I have been told that I must be very hard to woo, but knowing some guy is at some hospital doing rotations just doesn't send my attraction level through the roof. 

So what do you think? Hot or not?

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I was sitting in church today, thinking of the Heavens, when suddenly I realized it was time to start labeling my blog posts. This secret anti-label thing I've had going is simply foolishness, and must cease immediately.

So, today I've started labeling. I have put my label cloud to your right. Please, feel free to check it out. I have only made a small dent in my great labeling project, which is obvious. If you have any label suggestions, I would love to hear them. I would continue labeling, but I'm tired and want to take a nap. So... see ya.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy November!

Tonight we made turkeys!

Yeah, you are looking at that turkey and thinking how labor intensive it must have been. Well, it was a bit time consuming, but well worth the effort. Not only was it cute, it was delicious.

People who saw me making my turkey later asked me where it was. I told them I ate it. Never before have I seen so many shocked faces. What else was I suppose to do with it? Stare at it? Try and transport it home? Keep it forever? Yeah right. Take a picture and move on, people. Specifically, move on to eating your turkey. You will be glad you did.