Throughout history and across different cultures, nations and peoples, the bleak midwinter has been a time for celebrations. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christian, Jewish, Pagan or secular, the darkest and coldest parts of the year are full of food, drink and dance. December in particular is lousy with holidays where revelry is expected.
At first glance this seems odd. Springtime is where the fun’s at. It’s warm, it’s bright; and plants, animals, and people are making baby plants, animals and people. True, springtime holds its share of celebrations but nothing compared what happens when the days get shorter and the nights grow longer; where people have little to do but sit around and try to stay warm. But therein lies the beauty.
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I do not know how to make fried green tomatoes and I have mixed emotions about this. Part of me is glad I didn’t know. If I knew then the following experience never would have happened and I would be missing an important defining story in my life. The other, larger, more honest part of me wishes I had known so that I could have skipped this moment because stories are over rated.
My one goal was to bring back a contribution to our community’s weekly potluck meal. The theme this week: southern food. The menu included chicken, cornbread and beans. So basically someone with no idea what actual southern people ate designed the menu. Because I am originally from the great state of The South it was my moral obligation to bring some authenticity to the night.
The problem is, I didn’t and still don’t own a deep fryer. Thankfully, not a mile from my house sits a restaurant that serves as my Southern consulate. Despite being located in Tacoma Washington, as soon as you pass through the doors of the Southern Kitchen, you might as well be crossing the Mason Dixon line. That is to say, it serves fried catfish for breakfast and the lemonade comes in massive mason jars.
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“Squirrels hate robots.” He says it with such earnestness that it catches me off guard.
“I beg your pardon.”
“Squirrels. Hate. Robots. It’s really not that complicated.” The five year old is right. It is not a complicated concept to comprehend and yet, I have questions, not the least of which is, ‘if squirrels hate robots, do robots in turn, hate squirrels?’ “I could draw you a picture of it if that would make it easier for you.” I’m not a fan of his condescending attitude.
“How do you know this, about the robots and the squirrels and what not?” I say this while looking for a pencil and paper. As much as I want to smack him, if I’m honest, I also really want him to draw me a picture of squirrels hating on robots.
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