Fire and Water (and crocodiles)

190315_PetrolDrum

Storage drum

March 13 – One of the town as we lived in while I was a boy in Africa was called Clonsilla, a suburb of the town of Gwelo. My parents had rented a house there and in the yard around the house was a well-built shed where Dad stored his travel supplies, canned food, bicycles, and a 40 gallon drum of petrol (gasoline) that he used to fill the containers that he took with him on his tours. One evening he sent his helper out to the shed to fill a can with gasoline.

Because it was getting dark, the boy took along a kerosene lantern to light his way. Setting the lantern down beside the drum of gasoline, he begins siphoning gas into the can he had brought along. Very shortly he became aware of the dangers of this procedure, for suddenly the can he was siphoning into caught fire! He began trying to beat out the fire but it just ran up his legs and then jumped to the drum itself and with a loud roar the fire shot to the ceiling in a powerful jet. The drum did not explode but it very shortly had reduced the whole building to charred ruins.

190315_BurnedSHed

[ All burned up ]

For hours afterwards we could hear the canned goods exploding now and then. My almost new bicycle was destroyed, along with many other things. The odd-jobs boy did not maintain his employee status for very long after that. I think he may have had some other problems as well, as one day he became excited over a strawberry he saw in our garden and grabbed it up and bit it while loudly exclaiming “stukwane“, the African name for an evil spirit.

The town of Gwelo got its water from Whitewater Dam, a few miles out of town, and it was a nice place to go for picnics, fishing, etc. It would have been nice to have had some of that water to put out the fire!

In Africa one should not venture into ponds or pools as a rule, because one never knows what may be lurking there. Crocodiles have a habit of wandering overland at night, sometimes far from their river home, and will often take up residence in a farm pond or damn for a while and feed on whatever fish may be living there or on whatever animals come to drink.

190315_Crocodile

[ Not gonna argue with this guy! ]

Therefore, it was not surprising when one day when some African women were washing clothes at the foot of the spillway, over the edge of the dam wall and down the concrete spillway came rushing a crocodile! In various stages of dress and undress the woman fled shrieking and arrived at the home of the official in charge of the dam nearby and reported what it just happened. The official took his rifle and destroyed the crocodile, but no doubt they were others still lurking behind the damn.

As it turned out, a friend and I one day had been at the dam and wanted to get over to the other side quickly so just threw in a couple of large tree limbs and used them as supports while we paddled over in the deep water to the other side. This was before the spillway incident, so we are not acting as cautiously as we should have. I guess we were lucky! – DALE

NOTE: none of the pictures in this post are of the “actual events” described

Advertisements
Posted in Africa, Animals, Childhood | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Water, Water Everywhere (?)

March 6 – Early Monday morning about five o’clock AM, I heard a strange sound and wondered what was going on! Not having heard anything but that first sound, I didn’t think it was necessary for me to get out of bed and check out the problem, if it were a problem. However, about breakfast time, as we had just sat down to eat, Dale asked, “Did you hear anything unusual a couple hours ago while we were still in bed?”

“Sure. At least I thought I did. I didn’t want to ask you about it because I knew you would think that I never even heard anything!”

190307_Trickle

[ Only a trickle ]

Now we knew that both of us had heard a strange sound. But what was it? We found out very quickly! When I turned on the water in the bathroom, ready to wash my face and hands, I noticed that just a small trickle of water came out of the faucet. That made me wonder about the other faucets in the kitchen and down in the basement, so I rushed down the stairs and off to the wash room. I got the same answer as earlier up in the kitchen. Just a tiny trickle.

Since Dale is the “fixer-upper” when anything doesn’t work, I hurried back upstairs and asked him to forget the food until he had fixed whatever might be broken. (Sometimes after I have asked him to take care of a zillion problems, mostly minor, he is not too keen on being the one who knows what to do—always.)

By the time we had inspected the faucets in the bathroom sink and tub, then in the kitchen, and downstairs once more, he felt that we couldn’t make any repairs, so phoned Janice, our neighbor who reported that she had no problem. After filling the bathtub, and the kitchen sink, right up to the top, he decided that we might as well turn off all the faucets, and use what we were saving.

After looking up the telephone number, he talked with Russell, of the Cass County Water District 5. Fortunately Russell was already in the area checking on another problem. He would be back to our address as soon as possible. While we were waiting for him, we went from the sinks to the bathroom and wash room in the basement.

190307_Digger

[ Digging out the bank ]

Just outside the big front window, we could see a stream of water, bubbling and bubbling as it made its way down the bank and off to the road. Now a few things were being understood. Neighbors Bob and Rob were moving on down the road with the tractor all loaded with big hay bales ready to be taken to the cows for breakfast. We saw them as they stopped to check out the bubbling water as it continued to shine in the area that needed to be cleaned up.

Later that day Russell stopped to give us the good news that Tyler and Nick would soon be there to help, to make plans for just what they planned to do. Half an hour later, the trio team was pulling up along the side of the road, all ready to start work with the bobcat that was soon to leave the trailer. By this time, as I looked out the window, Tyler and Nick were measuring here and there right in the area where they had dug deep enough to give the water a chance to move out to the road. Russell tried to explain to me just what they would be doing and why, but I didn’t catch on.

190307_InHole

[ Down in the hole! ]

I was just glad that I could tell them how much we appreciated the work they did! When they were down deep in the hole, with the water swirling around, I remarked to Nick and Tyler that they must be pretty cold as they worked in that icy place. “No, not really,” one of them said. “What about your hands?” I asked. “Oh, when they start to get wet at a job like this, I just take off my gloves till I leave the area!” I told him that I follow this idea, too. When I go outside on a really cold day to take care of burning the papers and carrying out the garbage to the big heap under the trees, I hardly ever wear my gloves.

Needless to say, it was an interesting day today, trying to get our usual work done while keeping track of the workers who were taking care of that problem out so near to the road. A big thank you to Russell, Tyler, and Nick and I hope you weren’t overly tired when you got home! – CHRIS

Posted in Around the House, Home Improvement | Tagged | Leave a comment

Slides, Snows, and Cats

190224_Slides

[ Slides on the viewing tray ]

February 24 – Years ago 35mm slides were all the thing, and Chris literally took hundreds and hundreds of them. We have them stored in trays and boxes.

Unfortunately, our projector died out and we ended up throwing it away. Since these projectors are no longer available, we now have the slides but no projector to view them with! I think some intelligent manufacturer should come up with projectors again…

190224_DaleSlides

[ Checking out old slides ]

We do have a slide sorter, and I have been putting slides on the sorter, which has a light bulb behind it, and we can view the slides at normal size. Many of them need to be enlarged, however, in order to see them well, and we are not seeing them well.

Chris has been spending time downstairs lately, cleaning up and tidying things in general, and should probably be thinking up a new blog too. I should run down and see how she is doing, as I can hear the vacuum running. That sweeper is probably about full of dirt but if I take off the lid to dump the junk out, the filter will doubtless fall apart, for long ago it was worn out and only held together by cord or a rubber band.

190224_Snow

[ Any snow is too much snow! ]

With all this lovely (?) weather lately, I’ve been needing to go out and shovel snow out of our driveway so we can get to town. However, my snow-shoveling days are obsolete, and some warm weather would be ideal to take care of it for me. Our truck has a load of stuff in it that we need to take to Pleasant Hill for the thrift store. Thursday was our usual town day but the weather hasn’t been cooperating much lately.

So why is Thursday our town day? (1) Thursdays are garage sale days in warm weather, and (2) at the thrift store things are discounted 50 percent to senior citizens, and that includes us. Because of many snowy and icy days, we have missed going to church for two or three times already this month and may soon forget how to get there (although we did make it today!).

Cat still feels the need to go outside for a few minutes even in the cold, but possibly she will want to stay out for a long time and we will have to call and coax endlessly at bedtime to get her to come in. Once she does come in, she is usually content and wants to be petted and praised for several minutes.

190224_CatBlanket

[ Cat under the rug]

Then she will lie on the rug on my side of the bed, and loves to have the rug thrown over her. So warm and cozy, she may stay there until we go to bed, and then she will jump up on the old dresser beside the window, where there is a pillow lying just for her pleasure.

She will look out the window for a long time, enjoying the moonlight. When she does decide to jump down we can always hear the thump as she lands on the floor and scampers off to have a snack or change her resting place to the old rocking chair in the living room. Good night for now! – DALE

Posted in Animals, Around the House, Photography | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

When “Nap” Was Still a Bad Word

190219_SkeetsMom

[ Skeets and Mom all grown up ]

February 10 – One of the things I really hated when I was little was to take a nap. Mom sent both Skeets (my younger sister) and me to bed in the afternoon so the house would be quiet for a change. The older kids were at school, and that gave her a few minutes to have a little time to finish up some of her projects that were set aside till we two girls were not on hand to bother her.

Well, I sure had a hard time even trying to go to sleep. Skeets just covered up under one of the warm quilts Mom had made, started to suck that horrid thumb, and was off to sleep, almost immediately! I tossed and rolled around from one side of my space to the other while Skeets continued to snore and roll around. All I could think of was how I would ever go to sleep and how much I would rather be off that bed and in to a lot nicer place, like in winter when I could slip behind the old heater and soak up the warmth.

But during the hotter months when the others were still in school, we tossed off the quilts. Who had ever heard of air conditioning in those days! It was really hard to lie quietly when it was so hot outside.

Would you believe that I even tried, from time to time, to suck MY thumb to see if it could work its magic for me as it seemed to do for Skeets? No hope. When Mom came in to tell us we could get up, I almost beat her to the door, leaving Skeets behind and still half asleep! – CHRIS

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Childhood | Leave a comment

Go With God…

January 29 – As those of you who follow our blog may know,  I was only 25 years old when I left my home in Pennsylvania for a long journey to Africa where I would be teaching. My mother wrote me the following poem as a farewell-and-God-Bless.

The ship on which I sailed was the African Crescent, and the end of the tale is that I met Dale while in Rhodesia, and you all know where THAT ended up!

2019-01-29 african crescent

[ The African Crescent ]


Help Me to Say, “Go with God

Lord, give me strength to stand today and learn Thy courage too, I pray.
As I in sorrow lift my heart, Lord, quench my tears before they start.
She must no know how deep my grief; I fly to Thee for sweet relief.
My eyes are wet with bitter tears; Thou knowest, Lord, my dreadful fears.

So far from home the ship will sail. Oh, Father, do not let it fail
To reach the distant lands afar; be Thou the Gracious, Guiding Star.
My hopes were centered in my lass, yet Thy plans, Lord, must come to pass.
If in my weakness Lord, I weep, forgive me, for my grief is deep.

And yet Thy will not mine be done; take her, dear Lord, the battle’s won.
Let me say yes; I’ll pay the price; like Abraham, my sacrifice.
Must now upon the altar lay;God give me strength each coming day.
And when the last good bye is said, wilt Thou Thy loving arms outspread?

Hold her whom we love oh, so much, in Thine embrace and gently touch
Those anxious feet that yearn to walk those trembling lips that fain would talk.
Those little hands that wish to serve, that loving heart that none can swerve
From duty’s clarion bugle call, and keep her, Lord from every fall.

Help me who fain must stay behind Thy precious promises to find;
Help me, dear Father to be true, and find some task for me to do.
Stay by my side these endless days, and keep me faithful in Thy ways.
That if on earth we’ll meet no more, I’ll see my Sis on yonder shore.

  • Louise Christoph in 1952

Just something different from our normal posts! – CHRIS

Posted in Africa, History, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Peacock Memories

January 22 – As you no doubt have read about in previous blog entries, for several months last fall we had two peacocks living here in our yard, having come over from our next door neighbor’s place to enjoy our company.

190122_peacocks2

[ Big birds for the bird feeder ]

They grew tamer and tamer over time and finally came to spending much of their time in our garage if the door was open. They would recline under the truck and do much preening while they were molting. We collected a lot of beautiful feathers, and Chris took many pictures.

On October 29 our neighbor stopped by to ask if we could come up with some way to corral these birds so he could take them back to his place. After a little thought, we backed our vehicles out of the garage and threw in a little dry cat food to help lure the peacocks in. Carefully I urged them in and once they were several feet inside, I motioned to Chris who was looking in via the small side door, to push the close button. She did, and down came that big door, and the birds were trapped.

Our neighbor then came over with his truck, a big wire cage a net, AND three assistants. In they went through the side door and after only a brief period of flapping and running around, both peacocks were captured and put in the cage and taken off to their rightful place. We were all surprised at how easy things had gone. For many days afterwards we looked out, half expecting to see peacocks in our back yard, but they were apparently locked safely in some kind of enclosure, experiencing a different environment, faces, food, etc.

190122_peacocks1

[ Waiting on the back porch ]

Of course, this was a little hard on both Chris and me since they were so friendly by the end of just a month and would sleep during the day in the garage. When we came back from church or shopping, we always found them resting on the back porch. Not once after they decided they would wait for us in the same place until we got home did we ever find them anywhere else. But when they heard the garage door going up, off they came to welcome us home.

And that’s the way they were when the neighbor and his crew came to pick them up and take them back where they really did belong. Since they are fenced in and can’t get out of their enclosure we don’t expect to see them again.

With all this cold weather and white snow lately, we thank you, peacocks, for letting us enjoy your colorful beauty close at hand for all those weeks! – DALE

Posted in Animals, Around the House | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Snake in the Laundry Room

January 9 – In late December, Dale had gone downstairs to get something that he needed to use to get the lid off a jar full of canned tomatoes. When he came back up the stairs, I was finishing off the supper preparations and I had my back to him so was quite surprised when he called “Look at this. I sure was surprised to see that garter snake lying on the rug right in front of the washer!”

190109_dalesnake

[ Inquisitive snake ]

Well, when I heard the word snake, I became more interested! Now don’t think that I am like most women who seem to have been afraid of snakes since they were born, because that would be far from the truth.

Sure, I don’t think of them as something delightful, and I could easily get along if I never saw another one. But many of them are really beautiful and I really like the way they slither around, usually not moving in a straight line, but getting off to where they want to go as soon as possible.

This particular snake was about a foot and a half long, and was probably the same one I saw the other day. How it got into the basement I don’t think that we will ever find out. But we do have some pics, maybe five or six to help us remember. I took some of the snake while Dale held it and kept trying to get its head in the right place so it would be a little easier to see.

I wondered as I took the pictures if the snake might be the same one I had seen several weeks ago when I was working in another area of the basement. As I bent over to pick up something on the floor, I was just a little startled when under the small back window I saw a snake coiled up. I wanted Dale to see it before I got rid of it, so up the stairs I ran—yes, ran! Ever since I knew him, and that’s more than sixty years ago in Africa, Dale would be checking out those animals but by the time we got back to the basement, there was no snake in sight!

190109_catsnake

[ Cat and snake together ]

But this time, Dale wanted some pictures, so as he held it in various positions, I took several. Then Dale laid it on the floor for the cat to play with. She patted it around and enjoyed a few minutes of exploration before giving up and walking away. When she glanced back over her shoulder, she decided to give the snake one more chance at being friendly. No way was that garter snake pretending to be anything but a wild creature. It didn’t move much as the cat investigated, but when there was no point left in their trying to be friends, the cat moved on.

Dale picked up the snake once more and carried it down to the basement. I was more than surprised to see him start down the stairs with the snake, rather than open the back kitchen door and let it move on outside.

190109_dalesnakefi

[ a calm snake ]

When he came back, I was standing at the back door ready to ask my question. Since he probably figured I would ask about where the snake was, he beat me to it. “I couldn’t put the snake outside right now. It’s really cold out there, and even in the basement he felt pretty cold.” Who knows? Maybe by the time spring or summer arrives, “our” snake will move back outside. I doubt that he will be able to tell the full story to his cronies. Oh, well they wouldn’t believe it anyway!


Speaking of snakes, I have no problem remembering a number of snake stories from the days we spent in Africa, so I asked Dale to tell one for me. He did, and here is his retelling of the tale:

It happened when we were living in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Chris and I were out walking one day near the mission with our dog Blitz, when suddenly up ahead a snake reared up, in alarm because of the nearness of the dog. With its spread hood, it was obviously a cobra. There was a black band across the front of the hood, telling us that it was a spitting cobra. Blitz did not see the snake, and soon it dropped down and headed for safety towards a hole in a nearby termite mound.

190109_spittingcobra

[ Spitting cobra ]

To prevent its escape, I rushed forward and seized it by the tail, which was all that was not in the hole. The snake held firm and would not release its grip for some time. In the meantime, Chris was rushing around, trying to find a good strong stick with which to hold the snake’s head down until I could seize it by the neck to prevent its turning to bite me or spit venom on me. Every stick that Chris found was rotten or had been chewed on by termites.

Eventually the snake grew tired and released its hold on the hole wall, and came out, with me still holding onto its tail! To prevent its turning its head towards me so it could spit its venom, I began whirling it around my head and centrifugal force kept the head facing away. Eventually Chris gave up on her stick search and so I was obliged to just swing the snake’s head hard against a tree trunk and kill it. All ended well for all…except for the snake.

Lots more stories along that line, but not for now! – CHRIS

Posted in Africa, Animals, History | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Thanksgiving III

December 31 – And the final Thanksgiving installment, on the last day of the year!


Finally it was time for David to drive us the 50-mile trip to our home. First he drove us around the area showing us where he faithfully walks five miles every night. I always enjoy hearing about different areas in his neighborhood. “Now when I call you while I’m walking, you will have some idea where I am.” The very next day he did phone and told us he was at that time walking the “cement road.”

As we neared our home, I wished that David wouldn’t have to drive those fifty miles back to his. Just before I got out of the car, I checked my left pocket, to be sure that bridge was there, especially since there is a rip in the other pocket! After we carried the empty containers and the coolers into the kitchen, along with food that Darlene had sent for us, it was time for David to leave after we had finally convinced him that he should have taken the frozen strawberries out of the container back at his home! So we finally convinced him to take them back with him this time.

However as often happens, I remembered something:

“Oh, just a minute, David, I’m having a computer problem that I know you can fix for us!”

“But, Mom, I need to go home and walk my five miles yet tonight!”

“I know you will fix it and it always slows me down!”

”OK, wait till I put these strawberries down. From what you said earlier, I can probably fix it easily!”

And yes, five minutes later the problem was solved, and we were standing in the driveway waving to David as he left.

At first I didn’t give one thought to the bridge, but later as we were getting ready for bed, I realized that it wasn’t in its box near the bathroom sink. So what?

  • I would just check out the kitchen counter to see if I had put it there. No.
  • On the dresser in the bed room? No.
  • Finally I thought of my jacket pocket. It wasn’t there either.
  • I even checked the torn pocket and the area below it. Nothing!

181231_Wastebasket

[ Kitchen wastebasket? ]

Then I began praying that I would find my bridge somewhere, but I wasn’t quite as worried as I should have been. What did I do? I looked in all of the places it might be. Bathroom sink area, kitchen shelf, and no point in looking in the wastebasket in the kitchen because I saw Dale checking that, and I told him I never was near that area. So how crazy was I was by that time? I turned on the light above the driveway and with a flashlight in my hand; I crept around the area checking each small, each tiny pile of leaves, until I was just ready to lose hope. Again I checked each area where it might be, even going back to my jacket to see if I might have missed it the several times I had searched.

Finally, when I was just about ready to check the wastebasket, even though I KNEW it wasn’t in that container, I asked God once more to find that bridge! And from the trashcan I pulled out a plastic bag that was covering something white. And under that white? I am almost shaking to think of the answered prayer.

181231 PaperBridge

[ Guess what’s in here? ]

Yes, under that white bag and folded napkin just like the ones we had at David’s home, and just like the napkin in which I had wrapped my bridge! That’s all I could think of for a long time that night and first thing in the morning. It told me once again, that God is not only solving the big problems, but also the smallest ones as we ask Him for help.

Here are the emails we exchanged with David as he was driving home:

Just came in from searching the driveway. No luck. Dad said I told you I was searching for keys in my pocket. No. Teeth it was. I wonder if they fell out as I was getting out of the door. Sure do hope we find them.
Mom

Rejoice with us as the teeth have been found. Mom just discovered them in the wastebasket, wrapped up in a sheet of paper. She is very happy and is sorry to have bothered you. Dad

Glad to hear it. I am sure there was a bit of panic there for awhile.
Dave

One final note. David forgot the strawberries, leaving them on the sink top in the kitchen!

Happy New Year! – CHRIS

Posted in Friends | Tagged | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving II

December 27 – Yes, sooner or later I’ll get this story out there! As you may recall, my previous post started off at Thanksgiving. Here’s part number two:


181227_BigLetters

[ Big letters for Beckie, David, & Darla ]

I didn’t think I was at all hungry, but when I checked out the food on the counters in the kitchen, I changed my mind about filling up my plate! Roast, beautiful salad, cheese loaf, twice-baked potatoes, scalloped onions, homemade bread, and other items I can’t remember.

When we moved back into the dining room, I noticed that David had laid out big letters of the alphabet to show where we were to sit.

181227_Bridge

[ My small bridge ]

At first, we took time to say hi and how are you, but after a bit we couldn’t resist the good food, so we all quieted down. The delicious fizzy drink was delightful as it has been for so many years when we have food together. Recently our dentist put in a small bridge at the bottom of my teeth, and since I haven’t yet kept it in while eating, I wrapped it up in a napkin and laid it aside by my dish. The folks never said a word, but I’m sure they noticed; when we left the table, David slipped the napkin onto a nearby shelf.

I didn’t mention one of the very special foods which should have been mentioned with the roasts and salads in the last paragraph. Some of you who read our blogs have heard the little story about green beans. Remember? I’ll remind you quickly.

I first met Dale when I went to Zimbabwe as a single missionary. He had grown up in Africa but was at that time living with some friends about twenty miles from the mission where I lived. He stayed in the country while his folks were on furlough in the States and since his dad was my principal, he asked if their dog Blitz could stay with me at the mission till they returned. Moving quickly, now that you have the background, I’ll get back to the green beans.

181227_Blitz

[ Dog Blitz ]

After a couple months of visits from Dale, who originally ”came out to see his dog,” he began to visit me, while just giving Blitz a pat. Most of the time he would stay for the weekend with mission friends. At that time, there was nothing in the mission garden except green beans, one of my favorite vegetables. How did I manage with no potatoes or peas or corn?

Dale never said a word about eating those beans UNTIL the first night of our honeymoon! Finally, when the right time came, when we were sitting happily together, he said something like, “I just want you to know before you fix another meal for me, that I HATE GREEN BEANS, AND I HOPE I WILL NEVER HAVE TO EAT ANOTHER ONE!” Now if I didn’t know better, I would think he might be a little angry, but since he never is angry, all was well.

181227_BlitzDale

[ We packed up the motorcycle! ]

So why did I include that story in this visit to our kids for Thanksgiving? Remember the list of delicious dishes I mentioned earlier? Just because I have never seen Dale take even a small helping of green beans, EVER, after he told me not to serve him, even a small portion. Why did he choose to do so on Thanksgiving? He thought the topping of scalloped onions on the green beans looked as if it might be something he would really enjoy, and he did!

Everybody was so full of the first course with all of its vegetables cooked, baked, and in salads, that nobody was ready for dessert. (Those of you who know us didn’t wonder where the turkey and ham and other meats were. For you who don’t know, we are vegetarians.)

So it was off to the living room where everyone “did his own thing,” with little Chico entertaining each of us as he wished. The two young ladies flopped out on the couch where they used their phones to send messages back and forth. Funny stories and pictures brought guffaws now and again.

Darla and David kept things going so nobody would go to sleep. After awhile Rindy became the servant taking orders for the sweet stuff. “OK, we have pie and shortcake and ice cream. Which do you want, or do you want everything?” Soon she had delivered the goodies to everyone, and all settled down to a second meal while continuing to watch a football game. Even Chico started going from chair to chair or couch to grin at the occupants (and hope for some snacks). Finally, though, he settled on Beckie’s tummy, a really restful location. – (part III will finish this up) – CHRIS

Posted in Friends, History | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving I

December 20 – Yes, this is being posted several weeks after Thanksgiving; please forgive!

181210_Pies

[ Yes, we had pumpkin pie! ]

Our recent Thanksgiving was special for Dale and me because our son David and his wife Darlene had invited us to their home near Kansas City to enjoy the day with them and their two daughters. That invitation, however, really changed our plans because we had already accepted the invitation of one of our neighbor families who were having a number of friends and relatives ready to sit around the big tables in the large dining room. This invitation and enjoyable visiting has always made us feel a real part of that family. However, even though we were disappointed because we wouldn’t be seeing those folks, we were more than happy to be part of our son’s Thanksgiving celebration.

This time David and Darlene came up with a list of foods we could add to the many dishes they would have ready when we arrived. They do not expect that we will arrive at their door with an entire meal, since, their two daughters, Beckie and Rindy, together with the parents, always come up with more delicious foods than two families could possibly eat.

181220_LemonSquares

[ Recipe for Lemon Squares ]

I was surprised that one of the items David wanted me to make was “Lemon Squares.” I have not made any of that dessert for years, and was not exactly sure how I would begin! I have so many recopies for that sort of food that it took me just about forever to find the one I wanted. Normally, since I have so many recopies that always turn out just as I want them to do, I don’t keep the directions, just the ingredients.

So I looked, and looked, and looked for the “Lemon Squares” which I was pretty sure was the recipe I wanted to use. Would you believe, when I finally had checked out over TEN little storage boxes, I finally found that “Lemon Squares” recipe. Judging by its looks, it must have been used many, many times. David says he remembers that he could spoon them into his mouth, swish them around a little, and then let them slide easily down his throat.

181220_Milk

[ THE condensed milk ]

As I read over that recipe, I happened to see that the first of the ingredients was “1 C condensed milk.” When Dale looked at the recipe, he said, “That should be good! You know how much I like that stuff.” I assured him that we had a number of tins of the sweet stuff and could make the squares. But he said that condensed milk in the cupboard was not the right kind. “It’s supposed to be SWEETENED. It tells you right on the label!” he said. I thought that maybe he had drunk the sweetened kind so much that he thought there was no other kind. As we didn’t have any of that sweetened stuff, I bought a couple cans when we went to the store the next day. I needed one unsweetened kind for the lemon squares and the sweetened milk for the orange squares because he didn’t think his family would like the lemon ones.

181220_Strawberries

[ A major ingredient for shortcake ]

Another dessert I usually make is strawberry shortcake, with homemade biscuits and plenty of beautiful red berries all chopped up with sugar, something I haven’t thought of in a long, long time! Since I was born in late June, strawberry shortcake was MY special dessert till I was in my late teens. I can’t remember as a kid ever having another dessert, although sometimes I would have ice cream if my folks could come up with the cost of that delightful food. Sometimes I would end up being sick because I had eaten so much dessert!

We also took some homemade tomato juice and frozen corn that we had made a lot of this summer. Just a beautiful color and the taste was great.

Chico 170429 Necktie

[ Chico Pup ]

Since Dale doesn’t enjoy driving at night and I am even worse at that delightful task, David arranged for someone in the family to do the job. Fortunately, Beckie, who lives several hours south of us, had spent some time in running with friends on a 5K in her town, and by the time all had been taken care or, she stopped along the way to pick us up. Her chihuahua dog Chico was with her, of course, as they are never separated except when she is working.

When we climbed the stairs to the upper part of the house, we were met by Chico who seemed to be enjoying the people around him. Chasing here and there in the living room, out to the kitchen, and dining room, and back, smiling all the way!  (more tomorrow) – CHRIS

Posted in Friends, Not Working | Tagged , | Leave a comment