Random Thoughts: Reunions and Things







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You WILL Go Home

Again



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It’s been rather crazy around here. Much, much traveling with back-to-back trips. One trip was to Georgia so that Mr. Fix-It could do some training while I got to spend time with my precious Aunt Lois and Uncle Ed and see the new cottage that they are building. It is next to what will be their daughter’s home. They are in a retirement home right now and all I can say is that I am THRILLED that they are getting out of there and into their own place. I am not lying. I felt 90 years old when I left that retirement home. No smiles. No laughter. No sound. No nothing. Very dismal. It is so gratifying to see how my cousins are willing to give their parents the support, encouragement and help that honors the sacrifices that my aunt and uncle made for their children over the years.


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We stopped in Tupelo, MS to see Elvis Presley’s birthplace and historical exhibit



Of course, if one is in Georgia during peach season, one MUST buy peaches and that is exactly what Mr. Fix-It and I did at the most enormous peach orchard I’d ever seen. There was no end to the peach trees and it just made me tired to think of all the work that goes into dealing with that many peaches. This family-owned orchard also supplies homemade peach ice cream to perspiring customers who brave the heat and humidity to purchase baskets of huge fruit. And what fruit it was! “Like candy,” comes to mind.


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There were acres and acres of peach trees as far as we could see



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Mr. Fix-It was lured by the big ICE CREAM sign!



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The peaches were huge and beautiful



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On our way to the peach orchard we saw a covered bridge that was built by a freed slave before the civil war, using only wooden pegs instead of nails. Just amazing.



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The magnolias were in bloom



Mr. Fix-It and I came home to an even hotter Oklahoma of 110º – 114º days with no rain. We watched as grasses dried to a crunchy carpet of brown and trees slowly died, even though Mr. Fix-It diligently watered everything as best he could. Fires raged in nearby areas and the thought of leaving again was not really an option. But I had a high school class reunion to attend and I am sure that y’all can imagine that Mr. Fix-It was chomping at the bit to attend it with me!! This reunion, I am willing to admit, was my 40th year shindig. Yep. My classmates are all old. I’m not old, but they are! Fortunately, we Okies got about an inch of rain to alleviate any fears of leaving home to the fires and so Mr. Fix-It got his wish to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to a party where he was to converse with people he’d never met, didn’t know and who played absolutely no part in his world.


As for my part, I agonized over what to wear. You know: “What outfit will make me look like I stepped out of Vogue even though, I don’t know what Vogue is or how one steps out of it? What jewelry will give the appearance that the Queen of England felt obliged to give me the crown jewels? Sandals or dress shoes? Heels or flats? Teeth whitening or ventriloquize through closed lips?” And my Thyroid Eye Disease tends to make me look like I’m either drunk or shocked at the sight of everything – wide, red, watery and exaggerated – how was I going to downplay that? Let me tell you, if you make it to your 40th reunion, you no longer care what the guys think. You simply want the girls…er..women..er…mature females…to look at you and gush, “Oh MY! You haven’t changed a bit! Why, you are just as cute as a bug’s ear and pretty as a peach,” while thinking, “Oh my gosh. I’d have never known her without a name tag. Her hair is platinum (remember?! We don’t say gray!) and I thought she used to be thin! I’m thinkin’ she’s eaten one buttermilk pie short of a bakery!!” And so I chose my wardrobe carefully to reflect only half a bakery and settled for a raid on James Avery for jewelry. There was nothing to be done about my eyes, except to keep them closed – along with my lips.


The trip was uneventful – 15 hours of driving through drought-stricken Oklahoma and Arkansas and a stop at Trader Joe’s in Nashville, Tennessee. Trader Joe’s is my favorite. I’ve begged them to come to Oklahoma but was told by a number of their young, geographical geniuses that it isn’t possible to get over the Oklahoma mountains. What part of “wind comes sweepin’ down the PLAINS” do they not get?? We rolled into Knoxville to the home of our dear friends, Clyde and Mary, and settled in for the evening.


It was then, that my vanity reared its ugly head. (Yes, admitting one’s flaws is a direct road to continuing them without embarrassment.) I had taken my wedding rings off. I wanted to wear these beautiful gifts from Mr. Fix-It the next day, to prove to my classmates that I had really talked somebody into sharing his paycheck with me on a regular basis, but my ring finger knuckle had swollen twenty times its normal size. Not to be deterred, at 11:30 that night, with Mr. Fix-It and our host and hostess already in bed, I decided to make sure that I could wear the rings. I don’t know why. Don’t even ask me. All I know is that I was determined. I slathered a ton of hand cream all over my hand and finger and got the rings to the knuckle and then, with tongue stuck out between my unwhitened teeth, I forced them the rest of the way into place. There!! They were on. And as I happily looked at them, my finger began to swell more. Oh no. I knew that my finger was going to turn blue.


I tip-toed in to Mr. Fix-It, at midnight, and woke him up to inform him that my rings were stuck. You can imagine the sense of compassion and urgency he felt. He said, “I really wish you hadn’t done that. It’s midnight.” Long story short, he watched as I walked around the room with my hand over my head, stuck my hand in the freezer, ran cold water over my finger and tried another round of lotion to no avail. Clyde and Mary, stayed asleep, I think. By 12:30 am, the swelling had at least stopped and since my finger had not fallen off, Mr. Fix-It chose sleep over panic and I slept on the couch with my hand on the back cushions to keep it elevated. About 2 am, Mr. Fix-It came in to check on me, scared me to death and said, “I really wish you hadn’t done that. It’s 2 in the morning.”


The next morning, finger still immensely swollen, our friends recommended their family jeweler, Lamon Jewelers, for rescue and I was driven to a very painful experience of getting my rings cut off of my sausage finger. It hurt!!!! And when my precious jewelry had finally been removed, it lay in a bent and twisted heap of metal and jewels that looked nothing like a set of wedding rings. I didn’t cry, but I wanted to. However, this afternoon, I signed for a FedEx package that contained my repaired and glistening rings, shipped all the way from Tennessee and they look just like new. Thank goodness for skilled craftsmen!!!


The day of the reunion was full of fun, including a luncheon with a group of my former girlfriends and an afternoon spent with my friend, Robyn, traipsing through old neighborhoods to find the homes in which we had grown up. We found them and shot pictures of ourselves in front of the structures and even met the people who currently live in them. I found out that my old home is haunted – yep – that’s what they tried to tell me – and Robyn traded email addresses with the lovely woman who now calls her place “home” in order to send photos of the house from 50 years ago. The reunion was grand and I so enjoyed seeing the gang that I ran around with in high school, some of whom read this blog and were eager to meet Mr. Fix-It to verify that he is truly the wonderful man portrayed! They were in agreement. The trip back to Oklahoma the next day was also uneventful except for the moment that I came out of a restroom stop and calmly entered the car, wondering where Mr. Fix-It had gone, only to see him sitting in another car nearby. I was in the wrong car. He was laughing his head off. 1900 miles in four days is a bit rough, but it was worth it and I will treasure the memories of seeing so many people from my past.


I thought that I would show those of you who haven’t ever made a peach pie before, how I do mine if I am not using my homemade peach pie filling. That was the case with the peaches from Georgia. I froze them in slices and thawed a gallon to make a pie, but I also use fresh. I figure that I’ll be ready for the next reunion where they can say that I only look like I’ve been eating one peach pie short of an orchard. Much healthier, I think.


Easy Old-Fashioned Peach Pie



1 gallon sliced peaches
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 double pie shell
2 pats butter
cinnamon sugar


Printable Recipe



Make your pie crust. My recipe for multiple pie crusts is great for a quick pie.


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Put peach slices into a large bowl with flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and toss until pieces are coated.


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Pour coated peaches into an unbaked pie shell





Wet the edges of the bottom crust with ice water and lay top crust on top.


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Roll bottom and top crust edges together to form a coil around the edge of the pie.


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Flute the edges by using a floured knife end and pushing the pie dough into the pinched fingers of your opposite hand


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Cut slits in the top of the pie dough to vent the pie


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Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar over the top of the pie crust and dot with butter. Bake in a preheated 400º oven for one hour or until golden brown and filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack for an hour before cutting.





Serve plain, with whipped cream or ice cream for a fresh and tasty dessert.




Happy Traveling and Baking!



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MB
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18 Responses to “



Random Thoughts: Reunions and Things

  1. Annette says:

    The peach pie looks so good, I’ll have to get some peaches at the farmer’s market on Sat. so I can try your recipe. I laughed and felt bad about your misfortune with your wedding ring.

  2. Annette, the experience was a little ridiculous, but I brought it on myself! I hope you love the pie!!

  3. Jackie Cooper says:

    I love fresh peach pie! Never tried putting the cinnamon/sugar and butter on the top of the crust, I will have to try that next time. I sympathize about the rings. Finally had to get my wedding band sized as my fingers swell so much when it’s hot and humid.

  4. Barbara Luther says:

    There is no way I could let that pie cool for 1 hour ,after smelling it baking and then pulling it from the oven. I would have to have a piece right now,and yes I know it would burn my mouth.( I could put some ice cream on it?)I can nearly smell it now.
    Now a warning, if you ever break your left arm ,get those rings off immediately. A bee sting near that hand will make your hand swell ,too.
    Otherwise that must have been so much fun.Seeing all your old friends. Remembering all the old stories and pranks.
    I’m so thankful nothing burned up while you were goneI hope you get some rain from Isaac.

  5. Jackie, I just think that the cinnamon sugar makes the crust a little crunchier and sweeter. That’s the way my grandmother used to make her pies!!

  6. Barbara, I let my pies cool because then they set up and slice nice and straight instead of running all over the place. My granddad was one who said you didn’t wait to slice a pie. He’d jump right in just to assure that he got a piece before the rest of the crew dug in!!

  7. Herdog says:

    I knew you were a kindred spirit….wrong car…snicker snicker snicker

  8. snicker if you will, Herdog! I plead ‘hormones’!! :-)

  9. Diane Consalvo says:

    I just LOVE your adventures! You are so funny. Although I “hurt” with you on your rings. I only went to my 20′th reunion and skipped all the rest. And I am past my 40′th by a few years.

    I don’t think I have ever entered the wrong car though. Lost my car, but never entered the wrong one… :)

  10. I just thank you so much for being a reader, Diane! :-) It is a labor of love for sure. And I figure if I admit I’m stupid, then people will give me a break!! giggle

  11. Hawkeye says:

    Mmmmm! Looks delicious!

    (:D) Best regards…

  12. Brenda says:

    I was in hysterics laughing! I have never been to a high school reunion but I would have all those same thoughts. Maybe that’s why I have never gone! I’ve missed quite a few as I am 56 years old. What a shame about your wedding ring. I would have freaked out and gone to the ER. Your finger had to have been hurting badly. I have never had peach pie. It looks delicious.

  13. Nothing like peaches, Hawkeye!

  14. All’s well that ends well, Brenda. I have the rings on now and they look none the worse for wear. Good job by the jeweler!!

  15. Lynne Ann says:

    It’s peach festival weeknd here in Romeo/Washington Twp., MI. Though the fruit crop was reduced by a late freeze, we are celebrating the glorious peaches our Lord has blessed us with! I love them canned!

  16. Yay for you all, Lynne Ann! I love peaches any way I can get ‘em! :-) And you are entered

  17. Randy Rogers says:

    Hi MB. It would sound terrible to say I “enjoyed” your story about your rings and swelling fingers. I’m sorry that they had to be cut off, but glad you wound up at Lamon’s. Howard and Ann and their daughters are such very nice people and they do quality work. I know that your trip in for the reunion was probably a whirlwind trip but I’m glad you got to come back for it. I really enjoyed our 40th in 2009 and getting to see many people that I hadn’t seen since the last one. I was thinking about your Mom and Dad about a week and a half ago as we passed through Cincinnati on our way to Niagara Falls. I hope they are doing well and settled in. We went for a family reunion–Barb’s mom was Canadian. Sure had great weather the whole time we were there.

    I sure enjoy your website. Thanks for all the recipes and how-to pictures.

    Randy

  18. Thanks, Randy!! Lamon’s did an awesome job. You can’t even tell that the rings were damaged! And my parents are definitely settled in and happy. Hope you had an awesome trip!! And thank you so much for reading the blog.