It’s More than a Big Meal

Thanksgiving was a very special time this year.  In recent years Rock and I had been entertained at our oldest child’s home, bufamily dinnert this year I wanted to do the entertaining again, and so, the ritual of preparing for Thanksgiving dinner all came back to me.  It’s more than just a Big Meal, it’s all the memories that go with it… all pleasurable.

For starters, on Monday of that week I finished the grocery shopping and mixed up the yeast rolls.  It’s a refrigerated dough that will be baked on the Big Morning.  The moment I measured the salt I smiled.  Salt is measured in a cupped hand at my house.  Decades ago, as a girl I had seen my grandmother do that when measuring salt for a pie dough.  “You didn’t measure it,” I complained to this lovely, endearing grandmotherly type.  “I don’t have to.  I just know by looking.”  She was a sweetie, with rosy cheeks, white, white hair, full matronly figure and never wore a pair of slacks in her life!  Always had on a housedress.  Boy, could she cook!

Tuesday I prepared the mashed potato casserole that also would be refrigerated until the Big Morning.  Several mashed potato moments came back to me, but mostly I remembered the first time I tasted this recipe.  It came from a good friend who was in a women’s study group with me.  The group was having a  Christmas gathering at a new member’s house.  We all took dishes to share and most of us arrived in two cars at about the same time.  My friend was driving one and she pulled into a driveway, climbed out of the car with her casserole and approached the front door.  We all followed.  The woman who opened the door was certainly surprised to see eight of us standing there with dishes of food.  It turns out our hostess lived on the next street. We spent that evening laughing at the look on her neighbor’s face as she looked out at two carloads of strangers bringing food!

Wednesday I made a cranberry Jell-O and two pie crusts   All went into the refrigerator, the later were unbaked.  Again, they would be filled and baked on the Big Morning.  The turkey was moved from the freezer to the refrigerator. I grimaced at that overloaded appliance and wondered what in the world I would serve Rock for dinner that evening.  Something quick!

On Thursday morning the day began early.  I filled the pie crusts and while they were baking I kneaded, rolled out and shaped the dinner rolls.  My thoughts drifted back to many earlier Thanksgiving mornings.  When I was growing up our tradition was to have the big meal at noon then head off to the football game against our school’s long-time rival.  My brother was six years older and finally, by the time he was a senior, was big enough to play football.  But, he had been exposed to tuberculosis and though he didn’t have it, he was not eligible for the team.  Nevermind, he had played in the marching band for years and now, as a senior, he could sit in the back of the bus (going to the away games) with the older boys and the cute girls.  But that year the band was very small and some junior high kids plus two sixth graders who were taking music lessons were enlisted to swell the lines, even though their music abilities were not yet up to par.  I was one of those sixth graders.  I’m sure my brother thought I would tell mom if I saw any hanky-panky going on in the back of the bus.  l would have, too.  Poor brother!  Still, the memory brought some chuckles.

As the yeast rolls came out of the oven that morning I brushed them with melted butter.  I had rolled the dough into two circles and cut twelve wedges in one and 13 in the other.  The 13th wedge was for our youngest.  Oh, how she loved sopping up the last of the butter on that hot roll.  I ate it for her, since she was on the other side of the country.  Another smile, another happy memory.

I had been missing revisiting those and other happy memories that come with preparing the Big Meal.  I think Rock and I will host Thanksgiving dinner again next year.

Postcards in My Life

Somebody said this was “Postcard Sunday.”  So I thought about it and recalled three postcards that support some facets of my life.  Not all, of course, for I am a multi-faceted person (!).  (Sorry, that should have been a smiley face.)

So, first of all, I love to travel in my travel trailer.  My husband drives it, for I do not tow well.  One of the trips west we took crossed the Oregon Trail.  What a thrill to walk along trails those intrepid pioneers took.  So, here is the first postcard.  Kind of funny, we thought, when we bought it.

Rush Hour

 

Another of my all-consuming activities is the historical society in my community.  The Society owns an old house that’s on the National Register.  Among the postcards that were made locally from 1909 (which seems to have been a banner year for postcards) is this one.  We love the message, “Here I am in Fairview taking in the sights.”  The sights, as you can see, are a few businesses along one street. Houses and churches filled the secondary streets.  Not much has changed, except that now the road is paved.

Here I am

 

Finally, a long-time activity of mine is writing a comprehensive biography of a showman who wintered just down the road from Fairview.  He was the biggest thing in show business (circuses, actually) for about 20 years in the mid 1800s.  One of the cities that loved him was New Orleans.  Well, I found this postcard in an antique shop; the explanation on the back indicated that the house had been there for nearly 200 years. As I bought it I thought to myself, “I’ll bet my guy walked these streets, stopped into this house and visited with the folks who lived there.”  I like to think so, anyway, and it gives me a closer connection to him somehow.  Someday I hope to finish this biography and find a publisher!

DR postcard

 

And now, as you can see, fellow bloggers, I’m trying hard, and barely keeping up with the assignments!

My Photos, an Explanation

Hello, Fellow Bloggers, Readers, Musers, Curiosity Seekers, Photo Lovers, Et Al,

Would you like to see the whole picture I have included in the background of my site?  Okay, here it is.

Sunset over Lake Erie

Sunset over Lake Erie

 

And then there’s my Gravatar…romsus

 

Actually, it is taken from a larger one.  The artist made us look like Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn, don’t you think? Yes, he’s my significant other.  When we first met he had a lot more hair!

Cariacatures

Lastly, here’s my “brand” photo…Curtiss JN "Jenny" c. 1918

“I can understand the Gravatar” you might be saying, “and why you cut off half the photo, after all, this blog is about you, not you and your mate.  And the photo of the sunset?  Well, that’s the end of the day, which might suggest that by the end of the day you (Sabina) have caught up,” you, the reader, might be saying.

“So, what in the world is that photo of two old byplanes supposed to mean?” you might be asking.

“Well,” I answer, “I’m crazy about old planes… I had the opportunity to write a biography of a local early pilot, using his family photos, letters and journals.  It was a grand time, writing that story. It resulted in my book Cloud Busters, which sold quite a few copies in my area.  I first had submitted the manuscript to a few publishers, but was told the story was too local, so I self-published.   And I’m glad.  What I did was create a reference to early aviation in my region, which is how my book is now regarded.  Since I am so into history, that was enough for me!  (I would have liked tons of money, but had to settle for being a good reference.)

The photo also can be interpreted as one pilot trying to keep up with the other, so there is a small and somewhat tenuous connection to my theme.   Anyway, I like old planes and wanted it there.

“That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it,” someone (I can’t recall who) said.

College Days

My last post was about the big game.  Ohio State vs Oregon, that is.  It was not something I was going to write about originally.  Due to circumstances, I barely was able to watch it, as was described in the post.  My loyalty to OSU is huge, but still, I wasn’t going to write about it.

And if I had, it would have been more along the lines of sentimental memories, seeing snippets of the campus during the commercials – the Oval, the Student Union, the Library where I earned money to buy my books, etc.  I would have talked about Mirror Lake into which my boyfriend/pinmate/husband was thrown two or three times, as dictated by a tradition in his fraternity when a guy committed to a girl. Funny, I don’t ever recall a sorority girl being thrown in under similar circumstances.  Hmm.  Food for thought.

But, one of the requirements for my course in Blogging 101 is to write a post about a comment I made on someone else’s blog.  Expand on it, so to speak.  (You should know that I am barely keeping up with this course.)  (And it’s because I am barely keeping up with my blog that I enrolled in this course.  You should know that too.)

So, in expanding on my comments I could not do a repeat on the other writer’s blog, thus you, Dear Reader, learned about my struggles to see the game.

Maybe there’s a morale to my story.  Life is a constant struggle.  Sometimes we get ahead, sometimes we slip back.  Yet we keep on trying, keep on moving and hope that our movement is forward. Basically, as you can guess, I’m barely keeping up!

As for the other post, have a peak at http://www.afinedayforanepiphany.wordpress.com.

 

 

In Sports, a Perfect Storm

I really don’t watch sports on television, with one exception: Ohio State football. I’m a graduate of The Ohio State University, met my husband there and married him just before our final year. While there I attended the football games, though I may not have appreciated the availability of those tickets at the time.

Ever since OSU football has been shown on TV we’ve carved out the time to watch it, ignoring children, boiling over and burning food, phone calls and just about everything short of hair on fire.

This season we missed some of those early games because our latest mix of television programming did not include a sports-dedicated station. As the season progressed the games were broadcast on the network stations, so it we were able to see the important ones. Then came the playoff for the Conference, (on ABC) then the playoff between #1 (Alabama) and #4 (OSU), also on ABC.

Uh oh. The really, really big, last game of the season for the national championship was only going to be shown on ESPN. So, on Friday before the big game I ordered the entertainment package offered by my TV provider.

But wait! My big, slim, fairly new TV was hiccuping. Off, on. Off, on. What’s that about? At first it did this when it was warming up, then it started doing it when it was several hours into operating. Oh, my. This could be a disaster. We MUST see the game!

In the meanwhile, the DVD player did not work, the other television sets in our house were tiny, tiny and would not satisfy us. It was an electronic nightmare! It was a perfect storm! Of course, it must be a plot, maybe to keep us from seeing that all-important game.

My husband suggested we leave the television set on from Sunday night forward, letting the big set work its way through all the hiccups so that by Monday evening it would have settled down and run as it should. Great idea. It worked.

The Ohio State team went into the game with odds against their winning. After all, the quarterback was from the third string. How could they win? But, oh, boy, they did! We were screaming, moaning, rolling on the floor, jumping up and down. More exercise than we usually get in a week! Had anyone shown up with his/her hair on fire, we would probably had pushed him/her out into the snow.

The game was everything we hoped for, all the better for the effort we made to watch it. Now, next year….