Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
Most of us grew up either having lullabies sung to us, or singing them to our children. One that I sang to my boys was "Tu ra lu ra lu ra...tu ra lu ra li...tur ra lu ra lu ra...hush now don't you cry. Then repeat the tu ra lu ra stuff and end by singing "tis the Irish lullably."
Another one that I sang to the boys was "Hush little baby don't say a word...Mama's gonna buy you a Mocking Bird."
Then, of course, there is the infamous "Rock Abye Baby." The only problem with that one is that the baby doesn't come to a good end!
My Mother sang all of these wonderful songs to me but she didn't rock me. All of my life my Mother suffered with extreme Vertigo. One thing she could not handle was rocking. She had a rocking chair that she sat in, but she didn't rock.
One day she told me she was going to the hospital to see my little cousin who had had surgery. Her spine was crooked and back then they did this surgery where they broke both legs and put a cast on up to the waist. This was supposed to take care of the problem. It was a horrible surgery and it was weeks before the cast was taken off.
My cousin was at Children's Hospital in Knoxville. When Mother came home she told me about a little baby who was in the hospital with Spina Bifida. When Mother walked by her room she was in a crib all by herself. Mother asked about her and the nurse said that the little girl's Mother had brought her there and left her. The Mother never came to see her.
After that encounter, my Mother started going to the hospital on a regular basis to rock this little girl who had no one. I said, "but Mother...surely you don't actually rock!" She said that yes...amazingly the Lord had released her from the vertigo just for that short period of time.
One day my Mother went to the hospital to rock the little girl and she was gone. She had died and gone to be with Jesus during the night.
A sad story? I don't think so! I can still see that little girl curled up in my Mother's lap while Mother sang a lullaby and rocked her.
While baking our Christmas dinner this year I broke the handle off two of the measuring cups
I had bought when we moved to Knoxville. I had a set at our place in Elizabethton, but left them there. I will definitely be getting them the next time we are there!
The measuring cups I left behind, were my Mother's. I wonder how many meals were prepared with those measuring cups? After she died, I got those cups, plus her measuring spoons. I have the spoons in Knoxville already. I don't know why I left the cups behind!
It seems strange to me that the brand new cups are already broken. The cups she used all those years are over 80 years old! She probably had them before I was born though, so it may be closer to 90!
I have always been drawn to things that were around in the early 1900's. There is a reason! The things we buy today don't even last one year, much less 80!
Hello you wonderful people! This is Prisha's son, Jason Amos. I post my mother's stories for her and just love doing that! It's like opening a box of Cracker Jacks and getting that secret toy surprise! This is January 9, 2022 but you'll notice she has another Christmas post.
Sometimes I'll go visit my family in the heat of summer and in the middle of their playlist that is most always playing in the background) a Christmas song will pop up. It's pretty much Christmas all year long at my parents house. It definitely always has that cozy, welcoming, "I'm home now" feel to it - with or without the decorations.
I've always been jealous of Catholics because, in my opinion, they celebrate Christmas a bit better than Protestants do. They actually celebrate the famous song, "12 Days of Christmas" and dwell on the birth until January 6 (Three Kings Day). Then they come back to it on February 2 (The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord). I know the commercialism can be overbearing, but I just can't get enough of the season and do my best to acknowledge these post-Christmas Day events.
That was a ridiculously long setup for today's post. I tend to do that. It was simply to say that it's okay if she keeps posting Christmas stories on here! The season never ends at the Oaks household!
Today presents another guest blogger! Prisha's cousin had her own thoughts and experience with the famed Christmas Pudding that was featured a few posts back. Here is Judy's story:
I was reading your Blog and I just had to send you this:
Your Mom’s Christmas Pudding……
I have a little story to tell you about your Mom’s Christmas pudding. (I don’t think I have told you this before).
Several years ago, you told me about this cocoanut pudding that you make every Christmas. I always admired your mom’s cooking, so I couldn’t wait to try her recipe. Bill and I were visiting Barb and Joe in Kingsport after Christmas and I decided to make this for dessert. One little problem with the recipe, however, was that the copy you gave me did not mention that you used already prepared, shredded coconut. Remembering that your mom always used the freshest ingredients, I purchased a whole cocoanut at the grocery along with other ingredients and began preparing the cocoanut for the pudding. I used a hammer to crack it open and drain the coconut milk and tried unsuccessfully to use a kitchen knife to pry the coconut meat from the inside of the shell. I resorted to using a screwdriver to finally release the cocoanut from the shell. Then I, very carefully, used the knife to trim away the hard dark lining that came off with the meat. Next, I shredded the cocoanut by hand. About three hours later, I began to assemble the pudding, and the cooking and assembly required about another hour. Finally, late in the afternoon the pudding was ready to serve for supper dessert. Everyone admired the beautiful creation and began to eat. Tactfully, no one mentioned that it was a bit difficult to chew. However, everyone diplomatically ate their share since I had worked most of the day on its preparation.
I would like to mention, however, a couple of cautionary suggestions, or maybe these would be useful comments in some circumstances. First, if you are having digestive issues after all the heavy eating of the holiday, you will not need to purchase Dulcolax or Exlax for some time, and second, I do not recommend that you leave the house for a day or so after eating. Other than that, it was delicious!
(Disclaimer – the exact times mentioned in this message may not be precisely accurate.)
Unfortunately, the last couple of blogs have not been a paid sponsorship!
Dear friend of the Oaks family, "Awesome Audrey", sent her own Vanilla Wafer story to Patricia this past week. We thought we'd share it today! Perhaps you have a Vanilla Wafer story of your own? (p.s. Happy New Year!!)
I hope you are doing well. I read your blog today and thought I would share my vanilla wafer story with you. When I was a little girl, I spent nearly every weekend at my Nanny and Pawpaw’s house. My Nanny and I were very close- I even took her with me to have my senior pictures taken (the advertisement said you could bring your best friend, so I brought my Nanny).
Anyway, while I was watching The Brady Bunch or Scooby-Doo, she would make me a snack of vanilla wafers with peanut butter and a glass of her infamous sweetened sun tea. I always associate peanut butter and vanilla wafers with sweet memories of my Nanny and your blog flooded my brain with thoughts of her.
I hope you are well and that your week is going great.
I have a treat for you the next time I see you.