Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Fine Eatin'

Source + recipes
In the backwaters of Louisiana, the place to eat was at Kalper's Kitchen, where unique and delicious fare could be found. Food was prepared by the man, Kalper himself.  He was always the force blowing full bore around his kitchen, letting no one and nothing get in his way. No one ever knew his secret recipe for award winning shredded beef and smoked ribs.
Not an easy person to approach, his manic brilliance gave new definitions to Southern fried catfish and smoked ribs.  AND all who knew Kalper also understood to stay out of Kalper's kitchen during these hours of inspired creation.

After other sous chefs--Alvin, Sanders, and Simon--got fed up and left, a short new sous chef, Whittier, joined the staff. Whittier was missing some brain cells, and stumbled into the kitchen whereupon Kalper promptly skewered Whittier with his newest blade, a nine-inch Miyabi Birchwood.

squelched scream gurgled. Hearing the thud,  Kalper's three brothers rushed in to grab Whittier by his sneakers, and drag him to the freezer. 

One muttered, “Damn! That’s the third one this month. Damn shame.""

They tossed Whittier onto the heap of Alvin, Sanders, and Simon. Soon they would finally be allowed in Kalver's Kitchen.

Wednesday Words was started by Delores, who closed her site.  Elephant's Child and at River along with other bloggers are providing pithy challenging words.These words were from 2015.

I took these words and using a dark humor hidden in my brain, put this into a new and unusual short story.

Great fun. 


Saturday, November 16, 2019

Someone Else's Home

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A house that once was, Illinois

The most difficult experience of going home to the source of one's beginning is realizing just how much home has changed. Where and when my life began was now someone else's home.

Traveling and living away from the hometown area meant that returning was more of a sadness. It seemed to me that while I have changed drastically, those places should have remained the same as if under a big glass dome, frozen in time.  The people I knew then should be the same ages, moving around the county while continuing those same bits of their lives as if I had never left.

In America farmland, houses and barns are made of wood, well made. They were homes for maybe three generations and then no longer occupied. The photos below are of those in Illinois, my home state. 

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Family farms disappeared when cities held more jobs. Children who grew up in those farms moved away, leaving the houses empty. Empty houses fell down. Towns once busy and thriving failed when elderly died and their progeny traveled on.

It is inevitable that lives change, people find other opportunities. That would be me. But, in the places of those farms and homes, there are new homes and barns, just down the road. Their story is yet to be written.

Pike County, Illinois Courthouse. Stone masons had recently moved from England and settled in the county. Their skill built this building.

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Things change, but then things remain the same.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Wisdom from Sunshine

Philosophy talk

Yesterday I held a sick child*** for almost the whole day.  ‘Sunshine’ had been sick with fever and vomiting the night before, and was staying home from kindergarten.  She lay across my lap while we rocked, and I caressed her face and hair.  In my grandma kingdom, this was a great day.

released in 2009
We watched a selection of Disney movies, starting with “Dinosaurs”.  We have watched this movie many times, but I have never been plastered in the chair by a five-year old with a fever of 101 degrees.

Usually, when Sunshine and I watch a movie, she gives me a running commentary on the movie along with her own unique insights.  You would be amazed by the perspectives a kindergartner has about life and theology.

The plot is straight-forward:
A dinosaur egg miraculously escapes many brushes with crushing, ends up hatching in the tree occupied by a family of primates.  They adopt the adorable newly hatched dino and name him “Aladar”. Then the meteor strikes, blows almost all away (except..d) They run and manage to escape. After that, life is difficult, but Aladar (who is fortunately an herbivore) develops friendships and family. 

There are some universal truths conveyed in that movie.  Go with me on this:

Everyone needs to love and be loved.

Everyone needs to know they are not alone.

Everyone needs to make conscious decisions for good or evil.

Everyone needs to be believed in and encouraged.

Everyone can change and grow.

Everyone has the potential to learn and the capacity to give to others.

Everyone must take chances, to make ‘a leap of faith’.

Everyone needs to trust and believe in something bigger than themselves, something they cannot see.

Okay, these are not a profound revelations.  I have never evaluated a movie for universal elements before, and I was struck by the way the movie displayed these characteristics. 

Then we watched “Night at the Museum (has a dinosaur)”, and “Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure (no dinosaur)”.  We both nodded off before Tinkerbell was able to repair the moonstone.  


***This is a repost from 2010. Sunshine was 5 then and is now 13. She still has a unique perspective on life and would sit on my lap if possible.