Saturday, July 31, 2010

Best in Show

Meet my MIL. She is so precious to me.

She gave me the Man. And he is precious to me, too.

She is loving, kind, generous, honest, just about the best person I've ever met. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

We sat outside a few nights ago and just chattered away for a couple hours. The weather was perfect - a light, warm breeze with just a touch of cool to it, clear skies with just a few small clouds floating by, and a cup of coffee at the picnic table. We gave the birds in the yard a run for their money. I think we made more noise.

We talked about our childhoods and our memories of family and friends now gone. She told stories about Aunt Elsie and Uncle Jessie and I told stories about Aunt Mae and Aunt Bessie.

My grampa lost his mother and father when he was three. He was in an orphanage for awhile until one of his sisters was able to get him and the other little ones out. As an adult, Grampa used to visit his brothers and sisters just about daily. He had eleven of them. He didn't see all of them every day, but some of them. He was the one who kept in touch with everyone. When my sister and I came along, he would take us on his "visits" and we would get all kinds of treats - candy, sometimes money, cookies, soda, always a little something from each of them. We loved those visits with the great-aunts and great-uncles.

Both of us lost our mothers fairly young in life. We were grown, but that doesn't matter. You miss your mom no matter what age you are.

But I have something she didn't have.


Mom had a brother who passed away. His wife came and lived with us for a while. Dad didn't really like Mom's brother but he did the right thing and took Lina in after she lost her husband. He knew of someone who needed a live-in housekeeper and brought Lina down there to live. After Mom passed away, Lina showed up, all dolled up with make-up on and looking to move in and marry Dad. My father was so gracious to her and said, "Lina, right now, Sis and I are doing just fine. But thanks for the offer. Oh, and you have some things that you left upstairs when you moved out. Make sure you take them with you. I want to make sure you have all your things."
Mom knows how I feel sometimes. She knows when I get sad thinking about my mom and she puts her arms around me and gently squeezes. She assures me that it's okay to still be missing my mom, even after 21 years. She still misses her mom, too, after 60 years.

She loves to talk about her mom and dad and brother. Her mom was a terrific cook, especially when it came to baking. Mom talks about all the yummy things she ate as she was growing up. She has one of her mom's recipe books and she lets me look through when I ask.

Here's a recipe from her mom:

Fluffy Mocha Frosting

1/3 cup butter
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 1/2 tsp cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup strong coffee
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup broken walnut meats

Sift sugar, cocoa and salt together. Melt butter and add sugar mixture gradually to butter blending after each addition. Add remaining sugar mixture alternately with coffee. Beat after each addition until smooth. Add vanilla. Sprinkle nuts on sides or top.

And another one, this one for a cold:

Dr. Durgin's

4 oz glycerine
2 oz whisky
2 tbsp lemon juice
sugar and mix

Take two teaspoons every three hours.

My Nana made something like this. She called it "the mixture".

I'm going to make these little sweets for the holidays since they sound like sugarplums. And now they're dancing across my head.

Fruit Pastilles

1 lb dates
1 lb raisins
1 cup English walnuts

Pull all through grinder twice and roll in balls. Then roll in granulated sugar, press flat and put a walnut on top. Keep well.

So that's my show and tell for the week - Mom.

She is the bestest mother-in-law ever.


1 comment:

  1. "Lovely," I say, with tears welling over to my eyelashes.