Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Oatmeal, crochet and fishing..or how to be odd while pregnant!

I am one of three sisters. I have many step-siblings and one half brother, but for the most part it was myself and my two sisters together as we grew up.
One sister Gwen, lives in Missouri at the Lake of the Ozarks and she and her husband own a bar/grill by the name of Possum Holler. Yes really that is the name of it!! My sister is also married to our step-brother..don't go all shocked, there is no blood relationship and actually he and my sister were married before my mother and step-father. They have been married almost 45 years!! They have 4 children and 5 grandchildren. Gwen has very severe rheumatoid arthritis, but you would not hardly know it to see her take on that kitchen when it comes time to cook for the customers. Her husband Bill aka Possum is the brother that has cancer and is undergoing treatment for a relapse of that cancer.
My little sister Cherry Lee was killed in an auto accident in Tucson back in 1986. She had 2 daughters and would have loved her 4 grandchildren to pieces.
When my mother was pregnant with Cher, as she preferred to be called, she had strange cravings as many women do at that time. I still think my mother's was the strangest I personally ever saw. She craved raw oatmeal straight from the box! I mean the woman could eat a ton of it every day! Dry, dusty and pasty as it was she gobbled it all day long!
As kids we did not really know how poor we really were and many of our meals were either hunted or caught. To this day I can not stand the taste of most game animals. Squirrels belong in trees and not in my stew or frying pan and rabbits should be only cute and delivering Easter eggs, not simmering on the stove. I came to completely hate pheasant and was shocked to find out it was served "under glass"!! Dear Lord, how could pheasant be so expensive, we had it coming out our ears!!
But one thing I still love the taste of is a good sun perch. It has such a sweet buttery taste to me, all fried up and golden.
We used to go fishing almost every warm, non-rainy day with my mother. We went to a little pond (now long gone) back in the field behind Shorty Well's milk barn. We called it Shorty's Pond. You had to trudge through the cow patties to get there.
Come those early nice spring days back in 1954 when Mom was pregnant with Cher, off we would go a fishing! She would have two toddlers in tow, blankets, fishing tackle, her oatmeal and crocheting. Our tackle was usually just a long twig with a fishing line and a bobber. But wow could we ever catch the sun perch!
All the while Mom sat on the blanket eating her oatmeal and crocheting. Oh my how her fingers flew as she crocheted with that tiny little hook and that thin thread. She made a doily in no time flat and a bedspread in just a bit longer than no time. She used no patterns either, it was all in her head. I was always totally amazed to watch her fingers move so rapidly..a feat I can now master myself. I now know she used what is called tatting thread and a size 12 crochet hook! If you know anything about the crochet world you know that is a very small hook and a very thin thread. I do not know who taught her how to crochet, but I think it must have been either my Great Aunt Myra or my Great-grandmother Torrey as they were quite artistic and my grandmother was an educator and had not much time for things like crafting or sewing.
After my mother passed way, we found many of her crochet tools and projects she had in the works. I was lucky enough to inherit those things as my sister does not crochet too very often. Sadly I did lose most of them in the fire.
I know my love of crocheting came from my mother and I know she was proud of me and the many awards I have received over the years for my crocheting. She once looked at one of the christening gowns I made and said she could never do anything like that..but of course I know better. The woman could make a huge pineapple doily from her head for pity sake!! But it made me proud to have her say that.
You know when I close my eyes sometimes I can still see her fingers flying over those doilies and the box of Quaker oats next to her or resting on her full pregnant tummy and yes I can still taste the sun perch!
Have a blessed and productive day!!

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