Posted: 11:05 am Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
On a recent Sunday my sister and I got together with an old friend, Kevin, who came to town unexpectedly on business.
Kev grew up next to us, he was a few years older than my sis, DeAnna, and a few years younger than me. His older brother, Dallen, was our brothers BEST friend. His “person” as I like to say. From the moment we moved into our home when they were 12, Matt and Dal were nearly inseparable. Dal was always our families “plus 1.”
Kevin, age 7 proposed to DeAnna, age 5, through an enclosed culvert that ran under our driveway. In the winter it was full of run-off from the big hill we lived on. In the summer it was full of hot wheels, marbles, and innocent childhood proposals. “DeeAannnahhhh…. will you marry me???” came a voice at one end. “Yessssssss” came the echo-y reply from the other.
They laughed about this Sunday. Their relationship as children did not involve holding hands or sealing their engagement with a kiss. They rode bikes together, made mud-pies out of rotten grass clippings at the nearby cemetery and decorated them with discarded plastic flowers. They chewed the wax from the top of Kevin’s mother’s homemade jam and made “teeth and lips.” They caught snakes and bugs and discussed in-depth things like how much garlic juice to mix with rotten milk to make a good witches brew.
Matt, Dal, and I were often not very friendly to Kev and Anna… In a nearby stand of alders some of the trees had been marked with orange paint (my guess is these were meant to be thinned.) We told them that it was tiger blood and the tigers liked to eat children under the age of 10. They argued in disbelief, but doubt lingered and frightened them. We were gleeful.
We “ditched” them at every opportunity to go play big-kid games like building a “real” matchbox city, climbing the big hill where they weren’t allowed, and planning and executing a backyard carnival where we could milk other neighborhood kids out of their paper-route money. (Success!)
I’m not too hard on myself about it, the two of them “ditched” baby brother, Tim and friend, Doug, just as often…
Every evening in the summer about 12 neighborhood kids would gather in a vacant lot to play kick-the-can. We huddled, we separated, we talked and talked and talked our way through childhood times, school woes, and family injustices – until it got late and dark and the mosquitoes were eating us alive and our parents called us in.
We reminisced over dinner over what a blessed and beautiful time and place we grew up in. Doors were open, cookies and watermelon slices liberally distributed. We were allowed freedom but expected to be industrious and responsible. Our families weren’t perfect; there were demons being fought in each home, but we had each other, which made all the difference in the world.
Childhood, in all honesty, is idyllic for no-one but it is my hope and prayer that when my kids are grown, they can look back at any difficult times and find comfort from rich experiences and relationships formed during what is a tumultuous time for all.
I am very glad that I can!
An Evening with Brian McKnight
Oh how I wish I could play ONE musical instrument… any one; I’d settle for mastering the ubiquitous 4th grade recorder, but alas…
Brian McKnight has no such woes, the American R&B singer-songwriter, arranger, producer, and musician plays a whopping EIGHT instruments including piano, guitar, bass, percussions, trombone, tuba, flugelhorn, and trumpet. Whatever a flugelhorn is… I bet he looks fabulous playing it!
And what a voice! Described as one of the most “consistent and versatile falsetto’s,” in short, it wows. His single, Everything, is a beautiful example:
McKnight has been writing, playing, and belting out the tunes for nearly three decades and has 16 Grammy nominations. His new album, An Evening with Brian McKnight, comes out on the 23rd and is a lovely compilation of his best melodies, performed live without auto-tune or other such nonsense.
Pure, raw, emotional, Brian McKnight.
I took a look at Brian’s Facebook page and admired this quote from him:
“There is nothing better in the world than giving of yourself. The music I share lives deep within me and that, I give to all of you.”
His music is indeed a gift, and I encourage all of you to give generously of it to yourselves. In the meantime, I’d like to give away a number of An Evening with Brian McKnight DVD’s to you! Click HERE and tell me why you’d like to have a copy before September 28.
An Evening with Brian McKnight will be available on Blu-ray, DVD, or digital download on Friday, September 23. It will make a fabulous addition to your musical library! Get yours at Amazon.
Buffalo Pulled Pork Fettuccine | Moore’s
It was time for some of our swiney friends to say bye-bye, and we now have a lot of fresh pork at the farm. I was looking for some good recipes and found this one at my friends, Moore’s Marinades and Sauces web site. Doesn’t it look scrumptious?
I like to season my pork roasts with Moore’s marinade and put it in the oven at about 200 degrees right before I go to bed at night. By morning I have the most tender, moist, and delicious roast to ‘pull’ and use in all kinds of ways. Here’s one:
• 1/2 lb pulled pork
• 1/2 lb fettuccine pasta
• 4 oz cream cheese
• 1/3 cup chicken broth
• 1/2 cup whole milk
• 1/2 cup Moore’s Buffalo Sauce
• 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1/2 cup bread crumbs
• fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Cook pasta according to package directions: drain and set aside.
Melt cream cheese in sauce pan over med heat; add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Turn heat to Med-Low and simmer, stirring occasionally (do not scorch) for about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat; add pork and sauce to large mixing bowl, combine thoroughly.
Pour into a prepared cast iron skillet or casserole dish.
Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake 20-25 minutes until bubbly. Top with parsley.
Here’s the LINK to this recipe – Make sure to go to Moore’s to find more great menu ideas and to get your $1 off coupons for Moore’s Marinades and Sauces!
From the mailbag:
This is Eileen. I’m twelve and I’m the middle out of nine children. I’ve talked to you before on the phone (by talking I mean screaming in surprise!) but I wanted to share a story with you about my little sister.
My little sister and I were reading some of your Newsletters, and I had told her about Point Hope and how you help all those people, and my little sister jumped up and ran to her room then she came back holding up her piggy bank and said “Here! Give them all my money they need it more then me!”
I smiled and told her to take it to my mom so we could donate it.
Thank you for sharing your story! Your little sister’s heart is in a beautiful place. I’m so glad you encouraged her to take her piggy bank to your mom so they could make a decision together about any portion of it to donate to Point Hope.
I hope you liked my story in this weeks newsletter. My little sister and I grew up to be best friends – sounds like you and yours will too! Thanks for keeping Point Hope and it’s people in your heart. This is what it means to Love Someone.
Tomorrow is the first full day of Autumn. Love and blessings to you, Eileen, and all my readers. Have a fabulous fall!