The Apple Tree.

joe_dotDot was telling me about her first crush, when she was in high school.  She said that he’d walk by her house everyday at the same time, so she’d go out to the apple tree closest to the road and pick apples just so that she could get a glimpse of him.  After a few months of flirtation via apple tree, the boy finally built up enough courage to walk up to her front door so that he could ask her parents for permission to ask Dot out on a date.

When Dot saw him walking up the steps toward the front door, of course she took off running toward the house so that she could eavesdrop on their conversation from the kitchen.

Dot’s dad answered the door.

Suitor:  “Good Afternoon Sir, I was wondering if it might be okay for me to take your daughter, Dot, out on a date sometime…?”

Dot’s Dad:  “No.”

Suitor:  “If you don’t mind Sir, would you mind telling me why not?”

Dot’s Dad cleared his throat:  “I’ll let her Mother explain it to you.”  He called for Dot’s mom to come to the front door.

Suitor:  “Good afternoon Ma’am, I was wondering if I might be able to ask your daughter, Dot, out on a date, and your husband told me ‘no’, and now he wants you to tell me why…?”

Dot’s parents gave each other a look like, “what should I say?”

Dot’s Mom:  “Well Son, you seem like a very sweet boy, but see…we are a Catholic family.”

Suitor:  “That’s ok, I like Catholics!”

Dot’s Mom:  “That’s very sweet of you to say.  But the problem is not whether or not you like Catholicism; the problem is that Catholic girls aren’t allowed to go out with Lutheran boys.”

Dot’s heart was crushed, and her Suitor looked like he wanted to cry.

Suitor:  “That just doesn’t seem right to me, but I will respect your wishes.”

Her suitor looked defeated as he walked back down the front steps, and poor little Dot went into her room and cried and cried.  She said that she never did discuss it with her parents; she just trusted that they knew what was best for her.

Me:  “Awww, that’s so sad!”

Dot:  “It just wasn’t meant to be.  I read in the paper a couple of weeks ago that he and his wife were celebrating their 60-something year anniversary, and they were celebrating it at the Lutheran Church, so apparently he went on to marry a nice Lutheran girl, and I went on to marry a nice Catholic boy, and that’s the way that it’s supposed to be.”  She patted Joe on the leg and said, “Isn’t that right, Joe?”

Joe laughed:  “All I know is that that guy must’ve thought that you really liked apples!”

Sweet Potatoes Part II.

c4966565240f8b946921653Lois is sweet enough to let me go to church on Sundays (I stay with her for 48 hours straight on Saturdays and Sundays) as long as I pick her up a cheeseburger and strawberry milkshake on my way home.  I ask her every week if she’d like to go to church with me, and her response usually goes something like this:

Lois:  “Do you know how exhausting it is for an old lady to get ready for church?  I’m too old, and God understands that.”

Usually she takes her morning nap while I’m gone and when I get back I wake her up for lunch.  When I got back from church this morning, however, Lois was waiting for me at the door…

Lois:  “There’s something wrong with Baby!”  (Baby is the most spoiled feral cat on the planet.  She lives in Lois’ basement and only comes up to eat, which is about 5,000 times a day, and Lois obsesses over her CONSTANTLY.)

Me:  “Why do you think there’s something wrong with Baby?”

Lois:  “She must be sick because she refuses to eat anything!”

Me:  “Well I fed her half of a can of wet food before I left for church this morning, so she can’t be too hungry.”

Lois:  “BABY IS STARVING!  SHE’S BEEN UP HERE MEOWING AND MEOWING AND MEOWING!”

Me:  “Okay, settle down, I will put some food out for her…”

Lois:  “I ALREADY PUT FOOD OUT FOR HER AND SHE REFUSES TO EAT ANY OF IT!”

By then I had managed to step into the house and I was able to see that there was a plate on the floor with mashed sweet potatoes on it.  I made my way into the kitchen, and all together I counted 6 plates of sweet potatoes that were set out for Baby.

Oh boy, here we go again…

I picked up the plates and set them on the counter.

Lois:  “Baby can’t get to her food if you put it up this high!”

Me:  “I think Baby just needs some fresh food, so I will open up a new can for her…”

Lois:  “I JUST OPENED UP A CAN!  DON’T BE WASTEFUL!!”

Me:  “Okay Lois, let me explain something…this is not cat food on these plates.”

Lois:  “OF COURSE IT’S CAT FOOD!”

Me:  “It is actually our leftovers from dinner last night.”

Lois:  “We had CAT FOOD for dinner last night?!”

Me:  (deep breath) “No, we did not have cat food.  We had baked chicken and mashed sweet potatoes, and what you put on these plates for Baby is the leftover sweet potatoes.”

Lois:  “Baby doesn’t like sweet potatoes.”

Me:  “I know she doesn’t.  Most cats don’t.  So how about you let me open up a fresh can of cat food for her, okay?”

Lois cracked up:  “Well NO WONDER she wouldn’t eat!”

Me:  “Yep.  No wonder.”

Lois:  “Who the HELL thought it was a good idea to make cat food out of sweet potatoes?!”

Me:  “You got me, Lois.”

Lois:  “Well by golly, that’s about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of!  Since when does a CAT enjoy eating POTATOES?”

Me:  “I really don’t have an answer to that…”

Lois:  “What brand is that cat food anyway?”

Me:  “It’s ‘Fancy Feast’.”

Lois:  “Fancy Feast MY ASS!  What’s fancy about a sweet potato?”

Me:  “There is absolutely nothing fancy about a sweet potato.”

Lois:  “DARN RIGHT!  Potatoes are the poor man’s food.  Well, I guess I’d better call Baby upstairs for lunch…BABY?  BABY?  BAYYYYY-BEEEEEEEEE!”

Nobody Feeds Baby a Sweet Potato.

The Priest and the Acorn.

Father John delivers Communion to Joe and Dot’s house on Saturdays since it is becoming too difficult for them to go to church on a regular basis.  Now that my schedule has changed, and I no longer work on the weekends, Dot enjoys keeping me in the loop about anything funny that happens during Saturday Communion.

This week, Dot met me at the door because she was so excited to tell me about Father’s latest visit.

Dot:  “You’re never going to believe what happened to Father!”

Me:  “Oh no…what is it this time?”

Dot:  “Well, he got out of his car and started walking toward the house, and a nut fell from the tree and hit him right on the top of his head!”

I cracked up laughing because I could just picture the whole scene taking place.

Dot continued:  “It just about scared him half to death because he didn’t know what it was that hit him at first.  He thought that some kids were throwing rocks at him, so he held his Bible above his head and started running!”

Dot and I both just about fell out of our chairs laughing at that point.

Joe walked into the kitchen, grinning:  “What are you ladies laughing about?”

Me:  “Dot just told me about the acorn hitting Father on the top of his head!”

Joe laughed:  “I don’t remember hearing about that?”

Dot:  “Yeah, it happened this Saturday.  Father was scared because he thought that someone was throwing rocks at him.”

Joe did a deep belly laugh:  “So the nut clocked him right on the top of his head?!  What are the chances of something like that happening?”

Me:  “Well it’s never happened to me.”

Dot:  “Me either.”

Joe:  “Well he’ll probably never come back here again!”

Dot:  “Of course he’ll come back, Joe!  It was only a little old acorn that hit him.”

Joe:  “Yeah, but he might have thought it was the Devil!”

Dot:  “Oh Joe, he doesn’t think it was the devil.”

Joe:  “How do you know?  Priests only think about 2 things:  God and the Devil.  So if he doesn’t think that God threw the nut at his head, then who does that leave…?”

We all cracked up.

Me:  “That’s a good point, Joe.”

Joe laughed:  “Well, if nothing else it will help him to remember to put on his hat before he leaves his house in the morning!”

 

Funeral Mass

I was in the middle of cooking lunch the other day when Dot came running into the kitchen to say: “We’re going to have to have a late lunch because I just remembered that one of my friends died and her funeral starts in half an hour!”

Leave it to Dot to tell me these kinds of things at the very last-minute.

Of course, both Joe and Dot needed to change into their best clothes, brush their teeth and comb their hair before we left the house. On a good day these tasks can take them both an hour or more to do, but of course we did not have an hour; we had around ten minutes.

Joe was a pretty good sport about the whole thing; letting me whip his shirt off over his head and put a new shirt on just to have Dot tell me, “Not that one! THE RED ONE!” In fact, Joe didn’t even ask where we were going until we were almost to the Catholic Church.

Joe: “Where are we going?”

Dot: “To a funeral.”

Joe: “What the Hell are we going to a funeral for? They won’t even be happy to see us anyways…since they’re dead!”

Dot: “Watch your language. We are about to go to church!”

Joe: “Church?! I thought you said we were going to a funeral?? Since when did they start burying folks in the church!”

Me: “Joe, listen. We are going to the church for the funeral service, and then afterwards they will bury her in the cemetery. We will all need to be quiet while we’re in the church, and we will all need to be on our BEST BEHAVIOR, okay?”

Joe: “Well of course we have to be on our best behavior if we’re in CHURCH! God hears us in there, you know…”

Dot: “Actually Joe, God hears us all the time.”

Joe: “Oh He does not!”

Thankfully, we had arrived at the church and I’d parked the Buick, so that I could easily put an end to the bickering by announcing, “We’re here!”

Joe: “You’d better be good, Dot. We’re at CHURCH you know…”

Dot rolled her eyes.

We went through the back entrance of the church and found a place to sit on one of the pews on the far right; near the pianist and worship leader. Dot slipped into the pew first, and Joe followed her close behind. When I sat next to Joe, he grinned at me and said, “Do I know you…?” I just shook my head “yes” and grinned back at him.

I was actually amazed by how well Joe behaved during the service; especially considering that it was one of the longest funeral services I had ever seen in my life! From beginning to end it lasted more than two hours. Joe was getting pretty restless once we hit the first hour mark, but he managed to stay quiet.

That is, until Communion…

The Priest performed the blessing and then of course invited the Congregation to come up to the front to partake of the bread (the Body of Christ) and to drink from the giant goblet filled with red wine (the Blood of Christ). One of Joe and Dot’s friends had (unbeknownst to them) asked the Priest to bring Communion directly to where Joe and Dot were sitting, since she had noticed that they had not waited in line with the rest of the Congregation. When she (the friend) returned to her seat next to Dot, she told Dot that the Priest would be coming over in a moment to offer them their Communion. Dot looked over at me and rolled her eyes.

It was not that Dot did not want to take part in Communion; it’s just that she knew that the entire church would be watching them since they had all received their blessings and had gone back to their seats. When the Priest began walking over to us, I found myself holding my breath…

The Priest gave both Joe and Dot their pieces of bread and reminded them that it was the Body of Christ.

Joe: “The WHAT of WHO?”

I heard a little bit of stirring in the Congregation.

The Priest repeated patiently that it was the “BODY of CHRIST”.

Joe: “Oh, okay. I guess I’ll take a piece.”

The Priest just smiled and looked over at me.

Priest: “And bless you for taking such good care of our dear Brother and Sister here. I have known them both since I was just a little boy and we all love them dearly.”

My face turned bright red, I’m sure. I smiled at Joe and Dot and said, “I’m happy to do it.”

After the Priest had blessed them both, he asked Dot: “Would you and Joe like to receive the Blood of Christ today?”

Dot shook her head “no” because she didn’t want to press her luck with Joe’s good behavior so the Priest smiled at all of us and began to walk away.

Joe: “The WHAT of WHO?!”

Dot whispered: “Joe, be quiet…”

Joe: “Hey wait a minute! Is that WINE in that giant cup?!”

Dot whispered loudly: “Joe, be QUIET!”

Joe: “Well why did you tell him that we didn’t want any wine, Dot? HEY!”

The Priest turned back towards us.

Joe: “I’ll take a SWIG of that!!”

At that point, most of the congregation could no longer suppress their giggles. I could tell that even the Priest wanted to laugh, but instead he pretended like he didn’t hear it and just went right back to preaching the funeral service.

Joe looked at me with such a sad expression and whispered: “But…how come we didn’t get any of that wine?”

I whispered back: “I will give you a glass of wine when we get back home. Don’t worry, Joe.”

Joe smiled at me and then whispered to Dot: “Who is that girl I was just talking to?”

The rest of the service went by without a hitch and when it was over we all headed back out to the car. Several people came over to give Joe and Dot a hug before we left, which I thought was very sweet. Dot explained to Joe once we got in the car who the people were.

As we were driving home, Joe asked me: “Why were we just at the church for so long?”

Dot: “Because the Priest did a full Mass.”

Joe: “That wasn’t no MASS!”

Dot: “Yes it was a Mass, Joe. That’s why it took so long.”

Joe: “That wasn’t no GODDAMN MASS!”

Dot: “JOE, we were just at CHURCH!”

Joe: “So what?”

Dot: “So you should watch your language.”

Joe, much softer this time: “All I was saying is that it wasn’t no goddamn Mass, Dot. It was a FUNERAL!”

I patted his knee and said, “You’re right Joe. It was a funeral.”

God and Binders.

I just watched the Presidential debate with Joe and Dot.  Well, mostly just Dot because Joe slept through the whole thing and whenever he woke up for a brief moment, he’d just look at the TV and say, “Who’s doing all the YAPPING!  YAP, YAP, YAP…”

Dot is extremely political, so she watches everything on the news that she can possibly find about this election, which I don’t mind at all because of course I’m interested in it as well.  Dot usually keeps her comments and beliefs to herself, but tonight when I was tucking her into bed, her mind was racing.

Dot:  “I think that people are worried about Romney being Mormon.”

Me:  “Yeah, I think that you’re probably right about that.”

Dot:  “They’re worried that he’ll be too strict and make everyone stop drinking caffeine and alcohol because Mormons don’t participate in those things.”

Me:  “Well, yeah maybe…”

Dot:  “Well I’ll tell you what, I’d sure be mad if someone tried to tell me to stop drinking coffee…but Mormon or not, at least Romney’s got a little God in him.

I tried not to laugh, but I had to chuckle a little:  “You don’t think Obama’s got God in him?”

Dot:  “No, not Obama.  He doesn’t even go to CHURCH and I think that’s just TERRIBLE!”

She was saying all of this as I was trying to put her eye drops in, and because she jerked every time she emphasized a word, she ended up with saline solution all over her face.

Me:  “Has Obama said that he never goes to church?  I don’t remember ever hearing him say that…”

Dot:  “Well, I don’t think that he’s such a bad guy or anything.  Maybe he went to church before he was President, but now he’s afraid to go to church because someone might shoot him for being black.”

Once again I tried not to laugh and encouraged her to relax so that she could get some sleep tonight.

Dot:  “Oh I won’t be able to sleep tonight, I just KNOW it!  I won’t be able to sleep until Romney is elected President.”

Me:  “You aren’t worried at all about his binder full of women?”

Dot:  “Huh?”

Me:  “Remember that part where he said that he believes in equal pay for women, and then he went on to say that he had his advisers go out and make him a binder full of women so that he could hire a couple of them?”

Dot:  “Oh yeah, but that was pretty nice of him to make sure that they got home at night to make dinner and spend time with their children.  I think that’s very thoughtful of him.”

Me:  “Yep that’s pretty thoughtful all right.  Okay, try to get some sleep now.”

Dot:  “I will.  I’ll try.  But wait, Whitney…?”

Me:  “Yeah?”

Dot:  “Just remember that Romney’s the one that’s got a little God in him.  That’s more important than binders…”

Me:  “Okay, I’ll try to remember that, Dot.”

Dot:  “Okay then.  Goodnight.”

Me:  “Goodnight.”

God and Binders.

I just watched the Presidential debate with Joe and Dot.  Well, mostly just Dot because Joe slept through the whole thing and whenever he woke up for a brief moment, he’d just look at the TV and say, “Who’s doing all the YAPPING!  YAP, YAP, YAP…”

Dot is extremely political, so she watches everything on the news that she can possibly find about this election, which I don’t mind at all because of course I’m interested in it as well.  Dot usually keeps her comments and beliefs to herself, but tonight when I was tucking her into bed, her mind was racing.

Dot:  “I think that people are worried about Romney being Mormon.”

Me:  “Yeah, I think that you’re probably right about that.”

Dot:  “They’re worried that he’ll be too strict and make everyone stop drinking caffeine and alcohol because Mormons don’t participate in those things.”

Me:  “Well, yeah maybe…”

Dot:  “Well I’ll tell you what, I’d sure be mad if someone tried to tell me to stop drinking coffee…but Mormon or not, at least Romney’s got a little God in him.

I tried not to laugh, but I had to chuckle a little:  “You don’t think Obama’s got God in him?”

Dot:  “No, not Obama.  He doesn’t even go to CHURCH and I think that’s just TERRIBLE!”

She was saying all of this as I was trying to put her eye drops in, and because she jerked every time she emphasized a word, she ended up with saline solution all over her face.

Me:  “Has Obama said that he never goes to church?  I don’t remember ever hearing him say that…”

Dot:  “Well, I don’t think that he’s such a bad guy or anything.  Maybe he went to church before he was President, but now he’s afraid to go to church because someone might shoot him for being black.”

Once again I tried not to laugh and encouraged her to relax so that she could get some sleep tonight.

Dot:  “Oh I won’t be able to sleep tonight, I just KNOW it!  I won’t be able to sleep until Romney is elected President.”

Me:  “You aren’t worried at all about his binder full of women?”

Dot:  “Huh?”

Me:  “Remember that part where he said that he believes in equal pay for women, and then he went on to say that he had his advisers go out and make him a binder full of women so that he could hire a couple of them?”

Dot:  “Oh yeah, but that was pretty nice of him to make sure that they got home at night to make dinner and spend time with their children.  I think that’s very thoughtful of him.”

Me:  “Yep that’s pretty thoughtful all right.  Okay, try to get some sleep now.”

Dot:  “I will.  I’ll try.  But wait, Whitney…?”

Me:  “Yeah?”

Dot:  “Just remember that Romney’s the one that’s got a little God in him.  That’s more important than binders…”

Me:  “Okay, I’ll try to remember that, Dot.”

Dot:  “Okay then.  Goodnight.”

Me:  “Goodnight.”

 

 

 

Lois's Cake Theory.

When I came back to the house after church this morning, Lois was waiting for me at the door.

Lois:  “Did they serve refreshments at your church today?”

Me:  “Yep, they always offer coffee and treats after the service.”

Lois gave me a sly grin:  “Did they serve Devil’s Food or Angel’s Food cake?”

I grinned back at her because I could tell that she’d been waiting all morning to lay this joke on me:  “Nope, I don’t think so…”

Lois:  “Oh that’s too bad, cuz you can tell a lot about a person by which of those cakes is their favorite!”

Me:  “Is that so?  Which one is your favorite then?”

Lois:  “Well don’t be silly, Devil’s Food of course!”

I laughed:  “And what does that say about you?”

Lois thought about it really seriously for a minute:  “It says that I love chocolate.”

Me:  “Is that all?”

Lois looked confused, like she was forgetting something:  “Yep, I think that about sums it up…”

I tried to help her remember her joke by giving her a hint:  “Nothing about devils or angels or heaven or hell?”

Lois looked at me like I was crazy:  “Well don’t be silly!  It’s only cake!”

Tater Tot Casserole.

I made tater tot casserole for dinner tonight and it was a big hit.  Dot acted like I was the best cook in the entire land, and I told her that it was a really simple recipe.  Dot asked Joe if he liked the casserole.

Joe:  “What casserole?”

Dot:  “The casserole that’s on your plate.  Do you like it?  It’s good isn’t it?”

Joe:  “Well I ate all of it, didn’t I?”

Dot:  “I’m just asking you if you like it.  It wouldn’t kill you to give a compliment once in a while…”

Joe:  “It’s a compliment that I sat here and cleaned my plate.”

Dot thought about it for a second:  “I guess that’s true.  Do you want a cookie?”

Joe:  “Sure, I’ll take a cookie.”

I gave each of them a cookie.  Dot ate her cookie and left the table to go watch the news in the living room.  Joe just sat there looking at me.

Me:  “What’s new Joe?”

Joe:  “I don’t know…nothin’.”

Me:  “Did you get enough to eat?”

Joe:  “Not really…”

Me:  “Would you like more casserole?”

Joe:  “What casserole?  That stuff with the taters on it?”

Me:  “Yep, that.”

Joe:  “No, I’m full of that…”

I got him another cookie:  “Will this help?”

Joe grinned:  “Yep.  That’s more like it.”

Joe and Dot’s daughter, Shelly, drove here to take Dot to church tonight, and when she walked into the kitchen she said, “Ooohhh.  You guys had tater tot casserole for dinner!  Wow, that brings back a lot of memories…”

Me:  “You’ve had tater tot casserole before?  Your mom said she’s never had it…”

Shelly grinned:  “Mom made that casserole at least once a week when I was growing up.”

Me:  “Well no wonder they both loved it so much.”

Shelly:  “Oh yeah.  It’s one of their favorites.”

Joe:  “What are you ladies talking about?”

Shelly:  “That casserole that Mom used to make when I was growing up.  You had it for dinner tonight…”

Joe:  “Oh yeah.  Well anyway, the cookies are better.”

Magic.

When we went into town today, Joe insisted that it was his turn to drive.

I said, “I’m pretty sure it’s my turn to drive today.”

Joe:  “Is that right?  Well, okay then, but just don’t be such a hot rod…”

Me:  “I promise, I’ll try not to.”

Joe was skeptical:  “I really think that I should drive…”

Dot:  “No Joe.  The last time you drove, you backed out of the driveway and went right into the ditch and we had to call James (their son) to come rescue us.”

Joe:  “Is that right?!  Well by god, I guess we’d better let this lady drive then!”

When we arrived at our destination, Joe kept trying to open his door at the same time that I was hitting the unlock button.  He was getting super frustrated about it.  I said, “Joe, just wait a second!”

He let go, but not enough for the button to unlock all the way.  He yanked on the door handle and hollered, “Goddammit!”

Dot:  “Joe!  Watch your language!  The Catholic church is just up the road!”

Joe:  “I don’t give a damn where the church is!  I just want to open my door!”

Me:  “Okay Joe, I want you to totally let go of the handle.”

He let go.

Me:  “Now I’m going to count to three.  When I say ‘three’ then you can open the door okay?”

Joe giggled:  “I guess it’s worth a try…”

Me:  “One, two….THREE!”

I unlocked the door, Joe pulled on the handle and amazingly enough, the door opened!

Joe was impressed:  “How the hell did you do that?”

Me:  “Magic.”