I was thinking of doing a blog post on pi. Since today is the day they post the list of who made the cut to get into MIT, of course we all have a need/want to celebrate the measurement of a circle. Then I was thinking, oh, I can use it as a take off about a blog about pie. Oh yum, berry pie! Seemed too easy. Get it, easy as pie?
Before I begin, yesterday, after yet another medical appointment, I stopped to buy a little something for a couple of grandgirlies I happen to know. Then I spotted (perfect word use here), a soft gray sweater, ideal for me! It has aqua colored polka dots all over and around it. I am sort of hoping that today, when I look at it, I will say, oh my goodness, how adorable and cute. Not, wow, so zany, what in the world was I thinking?
When I was a little girl growing up in Washington state, I happen to have a Great Aunt Bernice. She lived in a small town in the Eastern part of our state called Tieton. Her husband had passed away before I was born, so I only knew her as our Aunt who owned and ran an Apple Orchard. (later in life, I found out there were many threats against her), because she treated her migrant workers so well, the other orchard owners didn’t like to keep up. She always had a “full house” as she put it. She made sure there was a tutor for the children of the workers. She provided little mini houses with running water and plumbing. Not every orchard took care of their workers like that. She would tell us over and over and over, every single time we went there, treat people with respect. You will never ever regret it. Yep, she took it over and kept it going long after he passed away. She was a writer by trade. She wrote a weekly column for the Wenatchee paper. She wrote three cookbooks. She wrote poems and kept journals. Her best friend in the world was her sister. In those days, we always, and I mean always had to use a title to address an adult. Back when they were little girls, Aunt Bernice always teased her little sister and called her Toad. So naturally, my sisters and I called her Aunt Toad. Although, I never saw my aunt in anything but a floral print, ironed dress….. fancy for dress up, house dress for daily wear and always an apron. She was not what you would call lady like. She was tough & strong. She was honest and fair and was smart as a whip. She was an amazing cook. She had big huge bins that pulled out in her kitchen. She measured flour and sugar by the handful, not with a scoop. Before dining at her huge table, she would clasp her hands with her elbows on the table and say Grace. She always sat at the head of the table, even though her brother in law was usually there, my grandfather and sometimes other men. Meaningful and not the memorized “proper” way. She talked to God with respect and with kindness as you would talk to a friend. She was grateful as the day was long.
She laughed really loud with gusto. You know what I mean, a great big belly laugh. The other ladies in our family would never, ever be that boystress. She was. She and her sister traveled the world. LONG before cruise ship travel was in vogue. They would figure out a way to board a ship and pay to have one of the left over crew member empty rooms. She always made friends with the chef on board. She would trade recipes of hers to get some of theirs. She would remind us to always give a recipe before you ask someone to share one of theirs. She was like an adult version of Pippi Longstocking to me. She didn’t wear nail polish, although her nails were always neat, short and manicured. She didn’t wear make up, with the exception of lipstick. Always. You would never go about your day without lipstick? She was determined to look her best.
She collected metal bells from all the places in the world she had traveled. When we would go visit her, we would pick out a bell and bring it to her, she walked with a cane and did not get around easily, and she would tell us about that particular city or port. She had an amazing memory & could weave a mesmerizing story.
I remember going to Seattle to wish her and Aunt Toad a safe journey on one of their amazing trips. We were to say Bon Voyage. We felt grown up saying it. My sisters and I took them pictures we had drawn of a ship on the high seas. We were dressed up and actually on the ship. I remember by stomach being jumpy and tumbling. I was secretly hoping that they ship would pull away from the harbor with us still on it. We disembarked in plenty of time to wave goodbye. My grandfather was taking pictures. Then he would have to readjust and put a new flashbulb in. Those puppies were hot when he was done with one. We had to save them in our pockets or his pockets to throw away later.
While spending the night at her home one time, she called my sisters and I into the kitchen. It was evening time and we were already washed, teeth brushed and in our pajama granny gowns, with slippers and proper bathrobes of course. She had a HUGE black speckled roasting pan on the stove. We could hear the sizzle. What in the world was it? We each had our hands clasped and were so curious as she made us guess. We had no idea what was sizzling…………..wait…………….there was a pop and another and another and it started to get loud…………………….then without warning she took off the lid for us to see and POPCORN was popping out of the pan and onto the stove and the counters and the floor and high into the air! She was laughing and we were squealing and laughing and jumping and clapping! I remember peeking into the living room and seeing my mother and grandmother with looks of disgust on their faces. They were not happy with what was going on. Proper young ladies did NOT jump and scream and laugh and squeal like stuck pigs. …………………….Oh, but they do. For the first time in my life, my Great Aunt Bernice taught me a life lesson without even knowing it…………………………..being silly and happy and goofy and zany is perfect behavior for young ladies some times. We each got our own BIG, HUGE bowls of popcorn. Did not have to share. She poured melted, golden butter on each of ours…………while holding our bowls, I can still feel the liquid gold warming the bowl I was holding. Then she took some salt out of a wooden box and sprinkled it over the kernels. She said sit, sit…………..dig in girls………..this is what goodness tastes like.
So to all my friends out there in blog land………………God Bless us each and every one and for the sake of squealing little girls and boys everywhere across the land and the taste of PURE GOODNESS………………………Happy National Popcorn Day!