Happy Friday, dear readers! (And Happy Saturday to my readers in Australia and NZ!)
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to comment on yesterday’s post, whether it was on the blog or on Facebook. Writing it was very difficult for me. I grew up with Darbi, and condensing twelve years of love, laughter, and tears into a few hundred words isn’t easy, to say the least. She was a wonderful person in so many ways, and I wanted to pay her a moving, appropriate tribute, but I was nervous about selling her short or making it too much about me. So thank you so much for your support! It means the world to me. I am so lucky to be able to write this blog, and doubly lucky to have such incredible readers and friends.
Last week’s exercise was to write about your childhood lunches. Kudos to kungfusinger and Kim, who both posted evocative paragraphs on the subject. And if you did the exercise without posting the results, please tell us how it went! As promised, I’ll say a few brief things about my own memories of lunch.
I hated sandwiches as a kid. Nothing was less appealing to me than soggy bread with some watery filling, which posed quite a challenge for my mother. She discovered that I would eat the odd thing that came in a bun, buns being able to resist the power of sog more effectively. But for the most part, I challenged her creative talents.
My mother came up with a brilliant invention. Remember those little juice boxes, the ones that came with the useless tiny straw that would break more often than not when you used it to puncture the silver foil? She froze my juice box, thinking it would defrost during the morning, thereby keeping my lunch chilled and resulting in a cold drink at noon. It didn’t quite work out the way she planned. My lunch was cold, but the juice box never completely thawed. Instead it became a grape juice or fruit punch slushie.
My classmates were insane about those slushies. They would trade almost anything for them. There was a girl named Tanya in my class who used to draw incredible unicorn pictures (I think this was in Grade Five). Her drawings were so sought-after that kids would pay her two dollars for a picture, which was a lot of money for a ten year old back then. But even Tanya succumbed to the lure of the frozen juice box, and I still have her artwork. As a child, I always wondered why no one else figured out that all they had to do was put their juice box in the freezer the night before, but it suited me fine that they didn’t!
Another sought-after item in my lunch bag was moose jerky. My father is a hunter, and every year he’d bag at least one moose, and make steaks, sausages, and jerky out of the meat. My mother refused to touch the stuff, but I loved it. It was much more flavorful than beef. My classmates would trade anything for a piece of my father’s smoked and seasoned moose meat, and if their offer was good enough, I’d cave. After all, there was plenty more at home. My father would make roasting pans full of it. The first time I actually had to buy jerky in a store I was shocked at how expensive it was. My dad was churning out hundreds of dollars worth of it every year when I was a kid, and I had no idea.
The lunch I remember most was one that I never got to eat. It was filled with the very best of the leftover Chinese food from dinner the night before, especially my favorite item–dry garlic ribs. Unfortunately, someone stole that lunch from me, and I was heartbroken when I went to my shelf and found it gone.
Today’s exercise takes place on the bus. I’m hoping everyone has taken the bus at some point, whether it was public transit, a cross-country Greyhound, or the school bus. Buses are great places for people watching. I’ve seen the best and worst of human nature on a bus.
Tell me about the most memorable person or event you’ve witnessed on the bus. Or tell me about a bus trip you took that has some meaning to you–how old were you? Where were you going? How were you feeling at the time?
Have fun, and as Anne Lamott would say, “Give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft”. This is just for fun and to get those creative juices flowing. Absolutely no pressure! Remember what I said about being a stickler for spelling and grammar mistakes? All those rules go out the window when it’s Fun Friday. Misspell with wild abandon! Dangle your participles! See if I care.
Have a great weekend, my friends. I will see you on Monday.