Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas cards

I recall my dear mother sitting at the dining room table late at night addressing Christmas cards. She had all her addresses in one book, and in that book were pieces of paper, or rather pieces of envelopes, that had more addresses that she hadn't written down in her address book. She never seemed to lose any of those pieces of paper.

I recall that she mumbled and grumbled about the chore every year, and finished it up a couple of days before Christmas Eve, just in time so the USPS would deliver the cards by Christmas.

I remember loving to help her with this chore by licking the envelopes -- the glue tasted good. And sticking the stamps on the envelopes -- the glue on the stamps also tasted good.

I mention this because I am sitting at my computer and there are "monsters in the closet." Those monsters are unwritten, non-addressed Christmas cards.

I never sent out Christmas cards until Alan decided to run for our community board of directors and then he asked me to send a Christmas card to each household in the community (that would be 166 cards). I (at that time) knew most of the folks who lived in our neighborhood. That has changed somewhat in the past 10 years. People have passed on, and others have moved on. But, there are still a good number of residents who have been here for the 10 years we've been here (Is it 10 years already?) and so I decided since Alan is once again running for the Board I should send out Christmas cards to at least the people we both know.

So this pile of boxes of Christmas cards stares me in the face every time I enter my office and I feel guilty because I haven't written up the cards yet.

I have a friend who, of course, has written all her cards up already. In fact, she had them finished way before Thanksgiving. There's always a friend like that, isn't there? I probably have a niece or nephew's wife (the women address the cards, not the men) who also is so organized that they have written out their cards for this year already.

So, if you get a card from me, count yourself privileged. If you don't get a card, don't think I wasn't thinking of you, because I was. You know who you are -- those I'm thinking of. Maybe when it gets closer to Christmas I'll just write a list of all those I'm thinking of and let it go at that. In the meantime...

Does it count that I bought the stamps?


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another saying of my father's

I have posted so many sayings we Drexlers had when I was growing up. Well, last night, I thought of another one, and my one hope was that I would remember it until today (Tuesday). I did!

That saying from my father was one word which was uttered most often when he was trying to open a package or a pill bottle with the child-proof lid. He had arthritis very badly in his hands and so anything that needed extra work to be done with his hands was painful and usually had to be passed off to my mother.

Anyway, folks, are you ready for it? Family: are you ready? Do you remember?

The one-one expletive was: Dagnabit. Pronounced with all short sounds on the vowels: dag nab it.

I remember it well!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

New post at RRR

Runnemede Remembered Recipes, November 7, 2010 -- new posting.

Love my new knives. I bought a ceramic knife and one of those new Yokio (or whatever) knives. Boy do thy work great. I love a sharp knife. And while I take good care of the knives I do have, I only have a couple of other ones that I use frequently.

One is a knife I received from my mother for a wedding shower gift, and it is the sharpest large knife I own. I also have two of her knives -- handed down to me after she died, both are small paring knives, but they are great for pealing skins off peaches or apples, and cutting celery into small pieces. But they are not good for smashing garlic or slicing meat. They are too small, but I do love them.

They were always in mom's knife box, which hung on the wall of the kitchen cabinet right next to the sink. The cabinets were blue -- a blue that came to be known as Williamsburg blue. Who knew we were in style before it was the style to be in style. And the knife box was only one row deep, but it hung on the wall and each slot had it's own knife and boy did we hear about it if we got the wrong knife in the wrong slot.

No such luck in my kitchen. I'm still waiting for my knife magnet board to be put up -- it's only 5 years. No nagging in this family!!!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Election Day

We always had election day off -- a school holiday. How wonderful. I don't remember much of what I did during those days, but I remember the reason why we had a holiday -- the schools were used for voting places.

Well, when we moved to Ohio, I found out -- after keeping my kindergartner home from school on election day -- that in Ohio they didn't close the schools, because 35 years ago, they didn't use the schools for polling places, or at least not in our community.

However, that has changed. I found out this year that after all those years of either teaching on that "holiday" or sending my children to school on that holiday, that, in fact, Ohio finally caught up with other places in the USA and made election day a holiday. Lots of offices were closed also, which makes voting NOT AN OPTION as far as I'm concerned. If you don't have to work on that day, you have absolutely no excuse for not voting.

Yes, I voted....

And.... let's reminisce.

In 1994 I received a phone call at 2:00 a.m. (the morning after election day) which woke me up and I was told by the election board that I had won as Representative to the Ohio State Board of Education from the 3rd District (that would be Cincinnati and a few of its neighboring towns, approximately 1 million people). After doing the happy dance, I went back to bed, but didn't sleep. I received a phone call the next day and was invited to attend the next meeting of the Ohioe SBE in Columbus and would I be there-- they needed a head count for lunch!

That said, I was remembering that campaign. I campaigned in Warren county with John Boehner -- and I'm sure he remembers me (NOT). And I campaigned in Cincinnati with both Rob Portman (new US Senator from Ohio), and Steve Chabot, newly elected Congressman from Cincinnati west -- taking over a Blue Dog Dems seat. Yeah!

I have to say that all three men were back then fiscally conservative and consistently received high marks from the government waste people -- high meaning good, so they might actually have received low marks. Whatever. They got the marks for being cheap!!!!! Don't you love it?

All three are back in Congress. I campaigned with those men, and can honestly say that I think all three men are good men.

I recall the children of Mr. Chabot and Mr. Portman being tiny, almost babies. Now they will be almost 20. I recall Mr. Portman rushing from the airport to a rally, being greeted at the rally by his then two-year-old, him picking up his son, and keeping him on his shoulder for most of the rally.

I have to tell you it brought tears to my eyes. I have always loved to watch the interaction of men with their sons, no matter the age. Men being kind and loving to their sons.

So, election day passed, and since I was thinking of the "holiday", and while it's a bit late to be getting this entry posted, I needed to reminisce about that "holiday" that I don't remember, except that it was a day off from school, and probably cold, and most likely rainy.

My job as an SBE rep? I loved it. I did what my constiuents asked of me. I had a two-day turn-around personal agenda. If I got a request, I determined to settle the matter in two days, for the good or bad. Mostly good. I loved that "job." I loved serving the people, working hard for no pay (except for actual meetings) to keep anyone who called me happy. Best job of my life.

I think I've said that before (best job of my life). Seems I loved most of my jobs, didn't I?