In Maine We’re Committed, Come Hell or High Water
Sunday, we had a birthday brunch for our Dad, over to Irene and Jimbo’s. She made the “Egg Dish” (there’s only one) which is something our mom used to make involving about a dozen eggs, butter, bread, milk, and cheese. How can you go wrong with that combination, right? You whip it up the night before, and the next morning it bakes up nice and light. I brought along some fruit salad and cranberry nut bread, and Jimbo fried up a whole mess of bacon. As far as we’re concerned, if there ever was a “the food of the Gods,” bacon is it.
Charlie and me picked up Dad from Mahoosuc Green. They had already done a birthday celebration for him there on his proper birthday, which was Friday. Dad loves being surrounded by family — he’s always teasing us and laughing. Somehow, though, he didn’t seem quite his usual self. The minute he unwrapped his last present, he said, “Alright, then.” That’s Dad’s signal to wrap things up. He does this on the phone, too. “Alright, then,” and he was in the truck before Charlie and me could get our coats on.
Later, Irene calls me, “I don’t think Dad was feeling too good.”
“He’s not,” I replied. “He didn’t even touch his bacon.”
“Really. I wonder if it’s his sugar.”
So I called Dad that evening, and he was sick in bed with some flu-type thing. Sounded awful, too. “Mon Dieu!” he says. “Been coming out of both ends.”
“When did that start?”
“Gees, Dad! Why did you come to brunch if you didn’t feel good? We could have rescheduled.”
“I wanted to see you girls, and I know you’d fussed, putting the brunch together. Besides, I made a commitment.”
There you have it: our family in a nutshell. We have driven in blizzards to go to events that were canceled on account of the weather. It never occurs to us that someone might cancel something once it’s planned. We show up “French early” to parties no matter what shape we’re in: bad backs, headaches — doesn’t matter. And usually we bring a hostess gift. If we say we’re going to the gym or walking or out for lunch, you can bet dollars to donuts that we’ll be there. I mean, the Apocalypse would have to be in full swing before we’d break a commitment. Yes, we are loyal and stubborn to a fault.
Me and Irene joke around about it. “So, I’m on my way to the book club, right? Hanging my arm out the car window, when somehow, it get’s lopped off. But do I got to the emergency room?”
“You do not! You put a tourniquet on it, and go to that book club.”
“Yes, I do. ‘I’m here,’ I say. ‘Just ignore the spurting blood, and tell me where to put these cookies.’”
The good news is you can always depend on us. The bad news? If we’re sick or exhausted, and really should stay home, we don’t. It’s something I have to work on. It took me years to realize that the world will not come to an end if I do not go to a Tupperware party given by the cousin of a friend.
Family, though, is a different story. Through sickness and in health, it’s nice to know they’ll always show up. Happy birthday, Dad!
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to Ida's podcast by clicking here)