Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rainy, Chilly Fall Weather

Cloudy, drizzly, rainy weather makes me want to stay home and inside. Gerald switched us over from AC to heat in the house last night because of this pre-taste of the climate to come. Down in Georgia, Gerry said there was rain and chill there too, and so Geri Ann’s tourney game was cancelled today until tomorrow.

I am grateful Brian has our crop in and grateful that Gerald finished up some of the “junking” he has been doing to clean up excess metal stuff that had been cluttering back fence rows. I think he paid for it with a sore back and so declared yesterday he was through working. He took off for lunch with his brother Garry down at Dixie Barbecue—our famous eatery in my hometown of Jonesboro. But this morning he was busy tightening up both our front and back doors to work better at keeping the house warm this winter. I didn’t expect his “not going to work” resolution would last long.

Everyone seems to be making chili or soup for supper these days. I made soup Sunday night, but I still haven’t stocked up on chili ingredients. The local food writer gave us an interesting article today with anecdotes and recipes for chowder made from Big Muddy River buffalo fish—like her daddy used to catch with his handmade net.

We had delicious fish from a vendor at a lake in Kentucky on Sunday when our church had its annual fall fish fry after morning services. Everyone was saying the fish and hush puppies were the best ever. (That may be like every year we think our Christmas tree is the prettiest we ever had.) Regardless, the fish and all the side dishes and desserts carried in to go with it were delicious. Again I was so grateful that those with servant hearts cooked up this feast for us. The weather was wonderful, and I was glad to have a out-of-town daughter and granddaughter able to be present to enjoy it with us before they began their long drives home in opposite directions. Katherine also enjoyed some of that fish for her lunch yesterday.

I took a couple small bags of tomatoes into Katherine’s aides yesterday. Until recently, the dry spell we had reduced our over abundance of tomatoes to just enough for our own table. When production started up again, the bottoms of the fruit were broken with ugly black cracks that had to be cut off. Gradually the newer tomatoes are in better shape. The vines are loaded, and I even made a bit of juice and stuck it in the freezer for that upcoming chili. We will have more than enough tomatoes now until frost, which may come sooner than we'd like.

Tomatoes and melons were all that Gerald planted this summer—but plenty of both. We had cantaloupe to share as well as tomatoes and really enjoyed indulging in them until the vines quit producing. I was very grateful when I heard about the cantaloupe deaths that we had not had to buy any from the store. I am not sure I want to know how those melons became contaminated.

Phone calls are not as frequent in today’s world, but we have had two from long-ago friends that pleased us. The first on the answering machine on Sunday afternoon was from our dear long-ago neighbor Joyce Combes, who was back in town for a high school reunion. We were sorry we missed our opportunity to have her visit us before she flew out back to Virginia. Gerald was here but did not hear the phone ring. I was visiting Katherine as I do each Sunday afternoon.

Our nephew Bryce, our great nephew his son Lex, and our great great niece Bryce’s little granddaughter Josie were here visiting that afternoon, and Gerald was perhaps too enthralled with Josie to hear the phone. As usually happens as families keep expanding with new generations, it is impossible to see one another as we did back in the day when we were the only older generation.

It is hard to realize that all those nieces and nephews have grown up and many are grandparents themselves. Although she lives in a nearby town, I have only seen Josie a few times during her lifetime—the last time at her Gma Opal’s house--but she thought when she came here that she was going to get to play with “Gma Sue.” Since I know Bryce and Lex would have called me Aunt Sue, I don’t know why she was calling me that—but I was honored. And a little jealous that Gerald had the pleasure of her companionship as she explored our great grandchildren’s basket of toys in the family room.

Today Gerald was lying on the floor fixing that kitchen door when his cell rang. Brad Jowers, who grew up in the Crab Orchard community before his parents Bobby and Katherine Sanders moved the family to Texas, was in Portland, Oregon, getting ready to fly to California and from there to New York. He wanted to know who Gerald was going to be yelling for tonight when the St. Louis Cardinals play those Texas Rangers. I bet Brad’s days as a Cardinal fan when he lived in Southern Illinois makes him feel a tad torn. At least it inspired his phone call to Gerald, and we were glad to hear from him.

Not so pleasant was a call yesterday and another today wanting me to change my credit card interest rate. I had finally got on a do-not-call list for those bothersome calls, but evidently that only lasts so long. Both times I clicked the number to talk to an operator and asked for the calls to stop. Unlike the last time I went through this routine, there was no courteous response—just a quick click when I expressed my desire to not have my life needlessly interrupted.

Well, I think I better go fix another quick bowl of soup for go with our supper sandwich again tonight. That game will be starting soon.

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