Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Birthday Grandma Hat

Today would have been my Grandma Hattie's 109th birthday. She died 18years ago a clear-headed, full-hearted and physically broken old lady. No one thought she would survive my Grandpa's death in 1978. They were too close. They did everything together, including the housework. I often saw Grandpa in an apron, or folding sheets with Grandma out under the clothesline. They were in love with each other. They said the rosary together on the front porch every single afternoon of their sixty-odd year marriage. But Grandma thrived for another 10 years after Grandpa died. She lived alone in the house in Kewanee, Illinois, never missed a birthday of her far-flung grand and great-grand children, and was undone only by a fall down the stairs.

I don't have a digital picture of her, but I would post one if I did. I have a framed photo of her in our bedroom -- wispy gray hair, rosary in hand, sweater buttoned crookedly, alone, and I imagine, thinking of her husband. I think of her that way every day and somehow it makes a better husband and father of me. Happy Birthday Grandma Hattie, and thank you.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

It Slices It Dices


I have also heard that you should never buy your wife a kitchen appliance as a gift, but mine is adamant that she wants a food processor for Christmas. She really seems to mean it. What do you think -- is this a trick?

-Wavering in Dallas

Snap out of it, man! Run away from this as fast as you can. Not because it is a trick. I'm sure your wife really does want this thing. Do it for your marriage. Electric food processors are the worst thing to enter the kitchen since ceramic wall fruits. They have dozens of small parts that all require cleaning if you even show it to a vegetable and every moment you save up front will cost you three in the back end clean up. Also, the razor-sharp rotator blades crouch at the bottom of sudsy sinks and dark dishwashers like saber-toothed gophers waiting to pounce on your fleshy fingers. The unit with all of its accessories will not fit in one cupboard and will soon become permanently separated including the little cap that keeps garlic and basil from spraying out the top unless you hold your hand over it. You will grow to hate this appliance. She will grow to resent you for your lack of support. Your marriage could be the thing that ends up sliced and diced. Get her a knife set and a sharpening stone. And some earrings. I mean it.

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