Monday, June 13, 2011

Candy and Stew

“Ohhhhh,” Jeff said with a big smile, his voice fluctuating this simple word up and down to sound like a simple melody.   I could see that in his mind one of his memories came to life.  “Keep going, keep going,” I urged him to continue.

“Grandma always had candy for us kids," he said. 

Oh, how nice she was, I thought.

“Yep, whenever us kids came over she would say, ‘You want a piece of candy,’ in her old rickety voice,” he continued; “But none of us would say anything.  We all just stood there looking at her.”

“Why?” I asked puzzled. It seemed odd that a bunch of children wouldn’t jump at the chance for a piece of candy.

“Because she kept the candy in her bra,” he answered, and then he said,

“It was all warm and melted.”

Right when he finished his sentence, I was putting a big bite of my salad into my mouth.  As the lettuce reached my lips, and as he ended with the word “melted,” my mouth lost all appropriate control over itself and emitted the salad back onto my plate.  “Ugh.”  I suddenly appreciated the invention of the candy dish, taking back every joke or negative comment I made about them over the years.  

“Tell her about Great Grandpa’s stew, Jeff,” Carrie chimed in.

“Well,” Jeff fidgeted, making himself comfortable for what I could see would be a story worth telling. 

Grandma and Grandpa invited me and Carrie over for a stew.  Grandpa had been preparing it, slaving over it all day long.  When we walked in the house to greet them, Grandpa was busy stirring the stew, so we all gathered in the kitchen for greetings.  “The stew is just about done,” Grandpa said as he stood over it, taking in the aroma through his nose.  But Carrie noticed something.  Was that something hanging from the tip of his nose?  Carrie stepped closer to be sure, and evidently, yes, there indeed was a something hanging from the tip of his nose. 

It was a drip.

Of snot.

Now what happened next is only for people who do not have tender sensitivies of the stomach.  Prepare yourself; brace yourself.  This is fair warning for those of you who are brave enough to read on. 

The drip became very, very heavy and full, and then to Carrie’s utter horror, the snot departed from Grandpa’s nose and, in slow motion, it traveled, ever so directly right into…


Carrie’s stomach queased as she lay witness to this dreadful occurrence. 

 And as Jeff spoke these words, my stomach queased as well.  I pushed my salad away from me, unable to finish it.




Time to eat.

Carrie sat at the table, her face as white as a sheet, staring at what she now knew was not stew, but rather Snot Soup.

“What did you do?”  I couldn’t handle the suspense, “Did you eat it?  Oh no, Carrie, did you eat it?” I looked at her, she looked at me, and then we both looked at Jeff.

She sat ill faced staring at it, and I knew I needed to come to her rescue, “Carrie,” I said as I finished a mouthful of stew, “Why don’t you go outside for some fresh air.  You don’t look too good.”

Silently she rose and headed out the back door. 

“She will be fine, " I reassured Grandma and Grandpa,   "She just needs some fresh air.”

They both seemed to be appeased with my reassuring. 

Then Grandpa asked me, “So how’s the stew?”

And I said, “Delicious, Grandpa.  The stew is fantastic.  Nice and salty.”

I smiled and continued spooning it into my mouth.

I was horrified by this story of my great grandpa and at the same time I loved it.  We all sat around the table laughing for what seemed like hours.  I smiled as I looked at Jeff, thrilled to meet my second cousin once removed. 

He definitely was a link to my past.


  1. Oh my gosh!!! LOL That is HILARIOUS!! I don't know how he could sit there and eat it!! Blech!

  2. I'll never look at stew without thinking of this story.

  3. Stories about our family are so precious. I could listen to stories about my grandparents for hours.
    And I love hearing yours, too. I love the way you tell your stories. You make it seem as though I'm sitting right there listening. =)

  4. Yuck!!! I have similar memories from my childhood with my papa! My stomach just had one of those familiar flips when I read this. I think I need to step out side for some fresh air with Carrie. Ugh! Thanks for the reminder !!!!

  5. I couldn't stop laughing the whole time I was reading this post.
    Thanks for sharing!

    PS on behalf of Motivated Moms Club we think you are award worthy - we listed you here: