Thursday, June 11, 2009

We Know How to Party

I can't believe I forgot to tell you about this. Yeah, yeah, I'm a few months behind, but it's only fair for all of you to see how truly exciting is this life that I live.

Community fund-raiser suppers are all the rage around these parts. I don't think they're quite as common in other, more citified parts. We have fish fries, haystack suppers (always "supper", never "dinner"), and until last year, this very same church hosted the fabulous Strawberry Supper, prompting Calvin to refer to the church only as the "Strawberry Church", forever and ever amen. I tried to tell him that we should really call it the "Noodle Church" now, but he won't hear of it.

This time around, my sister Keisha and my best gal Sarah joined myself and the kids. Sarah flirted with the noodle-scoopers (no surprise there) and I begged off repeated offers for assistance in carrying the food to the table. I was a little flustered in that moment, because Calvin and Ruby were both somehow free and I knew that Calvin would end up eating the church out of house and home. I wanted to just say, "Please, let me pay for him", but I knew they would think it was strange, so I didn't. I don't know why, but things like that always send me into a small, internal tizzy. I just like things to be fair, ya know?

Calvin ended up going back for seconds, thirds and fourths. (It's all-you-can-eat.) The blue-haired ladies could not get enough of him.

There was some type of miscommunication between Keisha and Ruby through which Keisha ended up eating Ruby's lime jello salad with pears. Ruby was not amused.

I nearly forgot to mention - the meal came with pie. Keisha and I both chose what we thought was the most divine looking slice of peach. The peaches looked SO ripe and the filling was thick and abundant. Only problem was - it wasn't peach. It was apricot. With pineapple tidbits mixed in, for good measure. It was basically fruit cocktail pie. Ever heard of it? Want the recipe? Me either. But in truth, it wasn't half bad. My dad would have been in heaven.

Following our life-on-the-edge supper, we came back home, put the kids to bed and sat down for a quiet poetry reading.

You think I'm joking, but I am not.

I had recently discovered an old book at an estate sale entitled, "Farm Ballads" (Will Carleton - 1873). Hello. I had no choice. It has turned out to be the most charming little book. I'm not all the way through it, as I like to save the poems for rainy days.

I'll leave you with a few lines from one of my early faves:

"Draw up the papers, lawyer, and make 'em good and stout;
Things at home are crossways, and Betsey and I are out.
We, who have worked together so long as man and wife,
Must pull in single harness the rest of our nat'ral life...."

"...And the next that I remember was when we lost a cow;
She had kicked the bucket for certain, the question was only - How?
I held my opinion, and Betsey another had;
And when we were done a-talkin', we both of us was mad..."

"...And one thing put in the paper, that first to me didn't occur:
That when I am dead at last she bring me back to her;
And lay me under the maples I planted years ago,
When she and I was happy; before we quarreled so.

And when she dies I wish that she would be laid by me;
And, lyin' together in silence, perhaps we might agree;
And if ever we meet in heaven, I wouldn't think it queer
If we loved each other the better for what we quarrelled here."

Sigh. Smile.

And best of all, the very next poem is called "How Betsey and I Made Up."


  1. that is the cutest thing that he now calls the church the strawberry church. Miss Ruby does not look happy at all with the jello situation. Love, love the poem, thanks for sharin you will have to inform us of "How Betsey and I made up" :o)

  2. In the city I live in we do call it "supper" as well, not dinner, but we really don't have these quaint church suppers. It looks wonderful, though!

  3. Looks like a fun night here in farm country ;) I think I like a good fish fry the best though...although, I'm not very keen on any type of all you can eat food. I'm certain any night with the kids, Keisha, and Sarah had to be a fun one though!

  4. This is such a cosmic entry! I was just thinking back to the farm ballads the other day and realizing you had never posted about them! And for the record: You and I had the poetry reading, I think kg was lot gone and disinterested.

    Also this randomly reminded me (the “forever and ever, amen” part) of when I used to pray over our meals in college, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6….” And so on) and yes, I did flirt a bit, call it what you will, but I have always found it’s easier to flirt with me either twice or ½ my age…it’s easier that way.

    I seem to recall Ruby loved my sugarpie. Also do you remember how I randomly busted out in tears as we were leaving the parking lot while we were singing hymns. At the time, I was in a fragile stage back then if you remember. : ) And speaking of that pic, I almost wore that shirt today and I’m liking my hair in that pic and I get it cut tomorrow (finally) after not getting it cut since seriously November 08!

    In another random comment: I absolutely love chicken and noodles and mashed potatoes, esp. how they served it up there. It reminded me of how they served it in high school (and jr. high) and how it was my favorite lunch and my friends would give me their extra mashed potatoes and I would be in heaven.

    I am looking at the length of this and realizing it should have been an email.

  5. ps. where's the editing function on this blog? I have two typos I want to correct. Or maybe the second is a subconscious typo. That reminds me of the time a couple years ago when I think for a long time I kept people on my blog guessing about someone I had fallen in love with and then one day I finally confessed it was me! ;)

  6. That poem brought tears to my eyes. Much the way an onion does. I love small town things like noodle dinners. That's the good life, for sure!

  7. Oh what a night, and what horrible pie.. ;(

    Correction SJS I did listen to the poetry as well as surf the web... AND watched that random Wakee film with you WHILE surfing the web :)

    I remember the frail shell SJS wore that night as life was ready to crumble.. oh can't time change a thing or two

    Sis, I too have pics of this night and the post has been written and ready to make a public statement later this month.. better late than never. Don't worry sis, none of my photos are at the dinner itself.. just the after math of your husband being our butler etc..

    It's nearly 4am and I'm trying to complete an address entry task before I go to bed.. I was way too lazy today. SOON and very soon I'll get mom onto your blog, I've not been on line much myself, even days have passed by 100% with out even opening my computer up. Sorry!!

  8. Sounds like a fine time to me! Calvin looks like an eatin' machine. I absolutely love the poem.

    I'm turning into a farmgirl addict. I want anything to do with a farmgirl life.

    Sarah Sanders comments were as enjoyable as your

  9. I bet some of the churches in Goshen can do killer Taco Suppers.

  10. That is too cute!! Some folks call dinner around here supper, even my Mom, I think...I believe I missed out on that gene, cause I don't say or serve "supper".
    Your children are so adorable. I just want to eat them with a spoon!!

  11. I saw the pie at Rentown last week and almost called you to see if you wanted me to buy it, but then I thought: "What in the world is she going to do with it NOW?!"

    We used to eat supper every night at home. We eat dinner at my house now. I always thought it sounded so vernacular and grubby, but you make it sound endearing now. Shame on me.

    THank you for the poem. So sweet!

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