Friday, December 01, 2006

Apple Bread Memories

I have a complicated family tree.
It’s not any more complicated than your family
But it seems extra-complicated, because all of the extended-extended-extended family still stays in contact

True Conversation (after a funeral).

Uncle P: Yummy! Who brought apple bread?

Me: It was one of the Wisconsin people.

Jaime (who, at that time, was newly married into the family): You mean you didn’t know who she is?

Me: I *DO* know who she is. She is one of the little old Wisconsin ladies that I’m related to somehow.

Andy patiently explaining: It’s hard to keep track of the whole family. The third cousins of great grandma’s brother could easily be here today - there's just too many relatives to keep them all straight.

Uncle: [Peaking out] into the lobby. Oh! That’s XXXXX

Me [for Jaime's benefit]: How are you related to XXXXX

Uncle: Do you remember Cliff and Alberta? She’s Alberta’s sister.

Jamie: Hey! That's not sooooo complicated!

Me: Now ask how we’re related to Cliff and Alberta!

Andy : [laughs]

Uncle: uuuhhhhhh

* * * *

I’m still not sure how we were related to Cliff and Alberta.
But they were terriffic people!
They had a real live farm - - and every once in a while we’d go visit them!

I LOVED the farm
I LOVED Cliff and Alberta

Every time we went to the farm, Cliff would let the kids throw dried corn cobs to (at?) the pigs.
(Throwing corn at pigs might not sound like a lot of fun -- but to this suburbanite kid, it was one of the funnest things in the world!)

Alberta was a great cook
She was also the old-fashioned farm wife who believed in four FULL meals a day (plus lots of homemade snacks!)

* * * *

My first visit to Clif & Alberta's farm happened when I was a baby
I don't remember anything about it, but the story has become one of those infamous family legends.

I was still very young (probably two-ish) and during the four hour drive to Cliff & Alberta's they'd been quizing me on farm animals. ("What does the cow say?" "What does the pig say?")

Shortly after we arrived, Cliff took us all to the cow barn, and my parents said, “Hey Julie, what does a cow say?”
But I’d already become intriuged by a barn cat.

* * * *

For the record, kitties are much more interesting than cows.

* * * *

So Dear 'Ole Dad, Mom, Cliff and Julie are in the cow barn.
Mom says, "Hey Julie what does a cow say?"
Without missing a beat, Julie replies "Here kitty kitty . . ."

These random memories/stories are brought to you in part by the Apple Bread baking in my oven. Yummy yummy apple bread. Just like Alberta (and her sister) used to make!
The End