There is enough for everyone
Saturday night was the Cherokee Volunteer Fire Department annual barbeque/fish fry. There's some local country and western performers for your listening pleasure. A man and a woman dancing would make some of our old timers blush. Cherokee is not your Sex and the City scenario. It is interesting to think that some people have no one to compare there spouse to. Kind of reminds me of people who live all their lives on some warm Pacific island, they don't know what they are missing.
There was barbequed sirloin, pork chops, and fried catfish. You serve yourself. Usually plenty for seconds. Cherokee is one of the dwindling places were local women provide the sides and the desserts. Castell has all their food catered. They've got more modern, chic women over there. With shopping, cell phones, facials, manicures, pedicures, yoga, hair remodeling, trips, social events, and picking out colors for the bathroom makeover, those women spend more time looking at mirrors than they do cooking. At my age, a woman with a dessert in each hand is quite attractive.
I like a woman that can make things to eat. Mothers used to say, "I made you some fried pies," or "I made you some soup and cornbread," or "I made you some onion rings." It made you feel special. Don't think today's mothers say, "I made you ....," near as much these days.
And speaking of making, you won't find a better chicken fried steak than what Janiece Duggan does at The Ice Cream Station on Thursday nights. Janiece cooks one meal each night. Thursday morning she drives over to the butcher in San Saba and has the steaks cut fresh. She prepares local fresh vegetables and uses as much as she can in the salads. Everything has flavor. I go with the oven baked new potatoes, green beans and pinto beans. Janiece makes fresh biscuits to top the meal off. Being in Llano or San Saba counties on a Thursday night and passing on Janiece's chicken fried steak is like walking through the Cistine Chapel and not looking up.
Janiece is a preacher's wife. I like preacher's wives. Usually a lot more than I like preachers. I would find a book about preacher's wives a lot more inspirational than a book about preachers. Janiece spent several years as a house mom at the Cherokee Children's Home. Besides cooking, she also sells Avon. I'm just a guy, but it seems to me that women who use Avon look as good, or better, than the chic women who use the high dollar stuff.
The Ice Cream Station is just across the road from Kim Barker's Nursery. Kim is as big a color freak as I am. Right now her place is real showy. She is always bringing in some new arresting tropical. I fall in love with them all. But they are high maintenance come winter time. I have to keep telling myself over and over to look for something that has long term relationship potential.
Speaking of relationship, my uncle forwarded me an article about Jewish history in the southeastern corner of Texas. My great-great-great-grandfather Mordecai was mentioned as an itinerent peddler in the 1840's. Wow, I didn't know he was a peddler. Didn't know he was Jewish either. I just thought my family was always fried catfish eating, bacon grease gravy sopping, Christian fundamentalists.
I decided maybe I needed to know a little more about forefathers and foremothers so I went to the Mormon genealogy website. That thing is awesome, but just make sure that when you start digging up graves you are ready to find skeletons. It turns out Mordecai started off as a Yankee. And just not any ole Yankee. Mordecai was a New York City Yankee. Guess this is one story I won't be telling at the next White Knights meeting.
And it got worse. Seems that in 1837, Mordecai married Elizabeth Cardinal in Vincennes, Indiana. Oh brother, another Yankee. Oh well, Cardinal, that's okay. I'm thinking two-syllable card-noll, like you find in St Louis or Phoenix. Wrong! This is a three-syllable, r-less, caw-di-nawl that you say through the nose. Elizabeth was born in 1810. Her parents were Jean Baptist Cardinault and Genevieve Campeau. We're a bunch of Frenchies!
You've heard of the French and Indian War? One of my ancestors was at Fort Detroit and died there in 1763. Fighting for the wrong side! Oh the shame. (Besides, anybody wants Detroit, I say let 'em have it. Ain't worth fighting over).
My uncle and I talked it over. The only way to maintain our family's elite, southern red-neck status is to tell everyone that Grandpa was illegitimate and that we have no idea who our ancestors are. No need to just throw away what generations of rednecks have achieved.
You might notice that Elizabeth was 27 when she married. That was pretty old to be getting married in those days. And she wasn't the only foremother to get married pushing 30. Either Mordecai wasn't her first, and there are no other marriage licenses, or she wasn't the prettiest possum in the tree. That explains a lot about the family. Still, Mordecai was a Jewish peddler, so we can assume that he recognized good value.
Today I dropped my old dog Bonnie off for her semi-annual clip and dip. Then I took the new mower that doesn't work back to Walmart in Marble Falls. Walmart is really nice about returns. Just make sure you empty every bit of gas out before you bring a mower back. Bonnie was a different dog when I got back. It is amazing how a clip and dip seems to perk up any female.
As hot and humid as it is today, summer is definitely over. Our first cool front will be arriving during the night. Around here we always mark the end of summer by the pallets of deer corn that show up in front of the Super S and all the convenience stores. This little town will move close to a 1,000 tons of deer corn each year. That's almost 2,000,000 pounds of deer corn. That does bother me some. I know that deer no longer have the competition they once did and are not hungry. But I also know that people in Darfur are.
Drove home via county road 407. Got really close to a couple of grey foxes. They were---let's just say they were preoccupied with each other.
Saw my first lavender gayfeather blooms of the year. When gayfeather is gone, it is winter. Don't matter what the calender says.
Snow-on-the-mountain is early this year. Sunflower has made it all through the summer, now it can just enjoy the fall. Duranta has been flowering for a while, Crepe Myrtle has been blooming almost as long as sunflower. Noticed some tiny wild violets Sunday. I have never noticed violets flowering this time of year. I admire a flower that will bloom even if no one notices.
Camphorweed is everywhere, but not so showy. I love the crushed fragrance. I take a hit and it is 50 years ago. My grandmother is rubbing Camphonique on my leg. She says that it will make my leg feel better. Maybe it was my grandmother, maybe it was the Camphonique, but I would feel better.
I stopped atop Robin Hill, as I often do. I looked due west across three miles of valley to Deer Mountain and the larger Smoothing Iron Mountain beyond. I have never seen so much hay. It is everywhere. It makes the world look generous. But the last three years of drought teach that blessings are meant to be shared.
I think one of the reasons I enjoy the Cherokee barbeque and fish fry so much, as well as the upcoming one this weekend in Pontotoc, is that they are like harvest celebrations in a world that no longer celebrates harvests. Harvest celebrations teach us, if only for a moment, that there is enough for everyone.
This time of year there are no strong colors to distract your attention away from varying competing shades of green. Because it was so wet the trees, shrubs, cacti, grasses and flowers are strong and proud. They are part of the life force on a small planet telling a huge mass of exploding hydrogen and helium to give them its best shot. Just amazing how a little rain give plants a lot of spunk.
I am listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing the song, Simple Gifts. There are certainly many who would say that if it is a gift to be simple, I am well endowed.
Perhaps they are right.