When it came to cooking for Chuck, it was a pretty limited menu. Many of our texts consisted of options/discussions on what to have for supper. Here are just a few examples from 2017:
Me: Supper – chicken, pizza, eggs or soup?
Me: Supper – leftovers, pizza, eggs, soup?
Me: Salad and baked potato or bacon and eggs?
C: Bacon & eggs
Me: Supper – leftover chicken, leftover spaghetti or eggs?
I have been branching out the last few months, cooking a lot of new dishes. Some I have taste-tested on my brother and sister-in-law. They have been very gracious. But, as much as I’m enjoying my culinary experiments, I’d give it all up to make eggs or roast or burgers just for Chuck.
The above pictures were taken as we were preparing to enjoy our Thanksgiving meal in 2014. Just as we were about to sit down to eat, we got the call. Chuck and Danny’s dad was failing fast. They wolfed down some food, packed up and headed for Jacksonville, arriving just 15 minutes after their dad died. My father-in-law.
Now, six years later, I’ve lost three more. My mother-in-law (2017), my mom (2018), my husband (2020). Precious people who sat together for many Thanksgivings. Family who ate, told stories, laughed, loved each other.
Holidays can be hard. We miss the hugs at the front door, the smiles across the table, the hand holding, the traditions. But, we have to press on. No matter how hard a hand we’ve been dealt, there are still blessings.
Yesterday I had Thanksgiving in New Orleans with my daughters, Kat and Leah, and some of their friends. We gathered at Kat’s, and she is always the most gracious hostess.It was different, but it was good. Let me tell you about our little group.
Tim: a professional chef, Leah’s former roommate, who made the most delicious turkey I think I’ve ever had on Thanksgiving, plus some fabulous sides.
Candace: I hadn’t seen her since July. Having lost her mother to cancer, she was a big help to us when we were struggling with Chuck’s illness.
Justin and Leslie: Kat’s neighbors, California transplants, who made the best assortment of deviled eggs and laughed with us all day.
PJ: a friend of Justin and Leslie, who came in later in the afternoon with his precious Springer spaniel, Buddy.
Ruby and Poka: ever present underfoot, waiting for head pats and crumbs to fall.
We made sure to have some of our traditional family dishes: potato casserole- the recipe came from my brother’s mother-in-law years ago; a pepper cheese ball – Aunt Brenda’s recipe, miraculously made by Leah, the non-cook; Wassail; pickle tray; traditional and puppy chow Chex mixes.
For all those family we could not be with, I say in the words of Paul:
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Philippians 1:3
This year I will turn sixty. And then we’ll celebrate forty years of marriage. So, even though it’s a few months early, I planned a trip to celebrate. I’ve always wanted to see the Redwood trees and trees we saw. Lots of trees. And it never got old.
We flew into Medford, Oregon via Colorado in two pretty small United Airline planes. We spent two nights at the White House B&B, built in 1906, where Kathie was a wonderful hostess. Our room was comfy, even with no air conditioning – it wasn’t needed. Kathie had a pitcher of ice water ready when we arrived and made coffee fresh in the morning, which hubby brought upstairs to me on a tray. Her breakfasts were wonderful and kept us fueled up for most of the day. I’d never had a poached apple but now I want to try it at home. We had some good conversations at breakfast with Kathie, though she was pretty absorbed the second morning in the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing on TV. 🙂
After unloading and freshening up that first day, we headed to Edenvale Winery. We had a tasting and then enjoyed a glass of wine in the lovely vineyard. After that we headed to Porter’s for dinner, where I had a most delicious pork tenderloin. Porter’s is housed inside the old train depot and is beautiful as well as a great place to eat.
The next day we headed to Crater Lake. On the way we made a quick U-Turn to hit up a bookstore in Shady Cove. There hubby found another Michael Connelly fan in the store owner. She grew up in California but has been in Oregon for years and loves it. I can see why!
Crater Lake, Oregon
Crater Lake is gorgeous! I have never seen anything like it! We drove around the rim, stopping all along the way to enjoy the views. The blueness of the water reflecting the clear blue sky was absolutely breathtaking! I never knew there was so much beauty in Oregon.