Saturday, October 21
A normal day? It’s hard to remember what a really feels like because I have so few them these days with all that has been going on in my life. However, occasionally one will pop up and take me by surprise.
I talked to my Cousin back in our little home on the phone last week and asked if they would like to come down for the weekend. We have jam session on Saturday nights and her husband, Wally, plays guitar. When she asked him if he would like to he was almost giddy about it. Wally was anxious to join the group for some good ole country music. Well, we play more than country. We do a little blues, some old school rock and roll and usually can’t end the night without a handful of gospel songs. “Will the Circle” is one of my favorites. Nanc and I wanted to share some family pictures and papers seeing if we can’t pull together information that has gotten lost, forgotten or simply misconstrued. They would be arriving just a little bit before four p.m. which was when dinner should be about ready.
In planning the day, I called next door to my daughters and reminded my grandson that he should come over early in the day to practice his drums a little before session tonight. He is a self-taught drummer at the moment except for a few things Johnny has taught him. After his practice he mossied out to the kitchen where I was just about to put the chicken in the fry pan just to semi-cook it.
Now, keep in mind that this young man of mine is just nine years old. Okay, he will be ten in December. Gosh they grow up so fast. Anyway, he watched me for a bit then asked if he could help with the chicken. I said I thought I’d better do it better do it because I was running a bit late with my preparations but there was a lot of other things he could do.
“Like what grammie? What do you want me to do? he asked.
“First off, how about helping get that table cleared,” I replied, adding, ” Most of that can just go in the computer room from this end of the table because it’s all paperwork I’m working on. The other end is mostly fabric and sewing supplies so it can go over on the other dinning table or the sewing room. Just put it where it will go best.” He started right away, but made a side trip over to take peek at my chicken.
“Sure smells good. I could probably stay for dinner if you wanted me to grammie.”
I laughed saying to him,” That would be entirely up to your mom. How about chores at home, do you have any?
“Yes, but just one. I can have it done in a few minutes. I’d better just go do it now.” and off he went running home.
I put the chicken casserole in the oven, punched the bread dough down once then went to freshen up before anyone started arriving.
Just as I finished and headed back to the kitchen I glanced out the windows in the living room and there was Nanc and Wally coming up the driveway. I had timed that just right. I went to the door and was surprised to see Jaden greeting them and inviting them in.
“What a nice young man you have here,” said Nanc as they all came in. “My how much he has grown. First thing we need is restrooms! That’s a long way to get out here!
“Right over in the hallway of pictures, I said pointing in the general direction. We all made it back to the kitchen. I shaped the dinner rolls and put them in the pan that was waiting prepared with some oil for dipping.
“Okay twenty minutes to raise these, then twenty minutes to bake. The chicken will be done by the time they are raised and every thing else is ready as soon as I finish the corn.”
“Can I set the table grammie and can we use the Halloween napkins? It is that time you know.
“Sure, I’ll get the plates for you and you should be able to handle it from there.” Off to work he went setting the table making sure he had everything just right.
We had a wonderful dinner and some great conversation finishing just in time for the guys to start showing up for jam.
Jaden took me aside and asked quietly, “What about the pies?
“Oh, well, we might have to have pie tomorrow, is that okay? I asked him.
“Sure it will be.I think there are cookies when I get home anyway. I’m going to play drums now.”
Jaden played along with the rest of the guys. I popped in when they were doing some of my favorites and sang with them on a few but mostly Nancy and I sorted through some of my papers, copying some for her to take home to talk with her mom about and copied pictures she had brought enlarging them so we could see them better. My gosh, some were of the three cutest little girls I ever saw.
Sunday, Oct 22
We were all up early. Nancy and Wally had to be on the road by seven in order for them to be back to town in time for him to sing and play his guitar at church that morning .After they got gone, Steve and I sat with our coffee talking, in between naps that is, about what a good time we had the night before. Somewhere, around noon I think, we decided we better pull ourselves up out of our chairs and try to get something done. I myself had pies to make.
Now, I don’t know why but with a simple box of pudding mix and simple instructions I have never been able to make chocolate pudding (or Pie!)and have it come out right. I was going to try again. I promised Jaden. The other would be Lemon meringue.
I made the chocolate first, leaving out a half cup of the milk hoping to make sure it got thick enough. It dawned on me,while I was stirring it over medium heat to make sure it didn’t stick or boil over, that I had not cried all day. In fact, I was actually singing as I was cooking the pudding. The weekend had been good for me. I took the pan off the burner, let it sit a minute then covered it with Saran. Then I made the lemon. I always use less sugar than called for because I like mine tart. It cooked up faster than the chocolate. I let them both sit for a bit and called Mary to see if they all wanted to come over for pie after dinner. It was all set.I put the puddings into the pie shells, mixed the meringue, then putting everything into the fridge and Steve and I pulled out the leftovers, heated them up and ate. As we cleaned up the boys showed up. Mary got the pies out.
“Ummm, I think there is a problem with this chocolate unless the plan was to drink it.” she said and then added,”the lemon looks fine.”
“WHAT! But I cooked it just right and it was thick when I put it in the shell! Oh crap, why me, why can’t I ever get that right. That is so stupid and disgusting and just down right makes me mad. Without saying any more I got out three small bowls and a sugar scoop and dished up a tiny bit of chocolate. Steve got out the whip cream and put a dollop on top of each bowl. I cut the three small pieces of lemon and put on a plate. We sat it all down in front of the boys and you would have thought it was something extravagant. The enjoyed it throughly,gave hugs and said Thank yous and goodbyes, then headed out for home to get showers and be ready for school tomorrow.
Me, I headed straight back to that kitchen. Okay, talking to myself, if I put some cornstarch in the pudding it should thicken. I put a little, then I put more. I put it back on the stove to cook, stirring constantly. It cooked, I stirred. Finally, it was thickening. Ahhhh, that couldn’t, just couldn’t get thin again. Feeling exonerated I sat the pan on the back of the stove to cool some. I got ready for bed so I could just sit down and relax with Steve for a bit before it was time to go.
We both dozed off several times while trying to watch the news. We got up then and put the dogs out for one last time. I went to check on my pudding and pour it into a bowl for the fridge.
“What! Oh, Crap!” I wasn’t a happy camper that’s for sure. I got a plastic container with a lid and sat it on the counter. Picking the pan up again I cut through the solid mass as best as I could lifting it out into the container a piece at a time. Tomorrow, I will get a container of cool whip and mix it and the pudding together, if I can. But…I’m not going to keep you folks hanging around in suspense waiting to see if it turned out. Use your imagination and think of the worst thing that can happen here as I try once more to reconstruct this so-called pudding concoction and you will probably be right…..and while you are at it, smile and keep in mind, that I was, at last, able to have a fairly normal day , because this kind of stuff “is normal” for my life. It feels good.