Monday, May 01, 2017

Tornadoes and memories

I hope it’s an omen that May came in with such gorgeous weather. The spring storms we were threatened with never did hit us, though they did great damage east of Dallas. That area around Canton, which was so heavily hit, is one dear to my heart. I had good friends, both now gone, who had a guest ranch in Ben Wheeler. My family and I spent many happy days and nights there. Mostly we enjoyed Aunt Reva’s cooking, eating on the porch of their house which overlooked one of the large stock tanks/small lakes on the property.

But sometimes we went to the neighboring town of Edom to eat at The Shed, a down-home café which had become sort of an institution. They featured fried catfish on Saturday nights, and often had lemon meringue pie. I remember Charles (uncle to my children) telling me there were no calories because it was all air. And when I told him he was overlooking the custard part, he said, “Shut up, Judy.” The Shed inspired the Blue Plate Café of my mystery series by that name.

I’ve lost touch with that family now that the parents are gone, except one daughter who faithfully called me when she was in Fort Worth, and we had lunch. Marsha had been blind from diabetes since about the age of twenty, yet she went on to get a graduate degree in anthropology (with the help of her radiologist father), and I much admired her. I got word recently that she had died unexpectedly, and I felt at a loss because I didn’t know who to contact to express my sympathy. It got me to thinking once again about how things change and life moves on, and we go with the flow. It’s no good being stuck in the past, but I grieve for her.

Today, however, life seemed to stand still. For me, it was a no make-up, no shampoo day when I was in my jammies until four o’clock. Not that I didn’t work—I cleared up all kinds of things: a bill paid to the wrong health care providers (I’ve now paid the right ones, and I want a refund from the other); Amazon accounts—it appears I had five, and now I have only one. That kind of busy-ness can wear you out. I did some odd but creative (I hope) marketing for my books, and finished reading The Last Chance Olive Ranch by Susan Wittig Albert. Great book that kept me spellbound—and also taught me a lot about olive oil.

I didn’t intend to be so lazy today. I thought son Jamie was coming for the day, and I was looking forward to our traditional breakfast at Ol’ South Pancake House. He has a Dutch baby and I have corned beef hash. When I emailed last night to ask if I was still expecting him, he said no, it was always Tuesday. Now, I know that child (45, but he’s still my child) is wrong. I have Monday on my calendar and in my head, but he was adamant. So that gives me one more day of nice anticipation. And I did make good use of the day.

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