Since I can remember there has always been a holiday of sorts when my Aunt and her family came “home”. Christmas was defined as when the J’s could be there or not. My Aunt, a nice gal from Kankakee and her family traveled the world while Uncle C was in the Air Force. When she wasn’t able to get home she sent the best gifts!! I still have a purse from Mexico, wooden shoes with my name on them, and all sorts of treasure from all over Europe.
When she would come visit or we would visit her, amazing and exotic things would happen in the kitchen. Baked Alaska, Goose, Brisket, Salmon…things we 5 lbs of hamburger family never dreamed of. I kinda felt a kinship with her from a young age. I think we have always had a lot in common.
Aunt V is kind, brave, strong and fearless and adventurous! Everything I wish I was.
I went and stayed with her in Nebraska when I was 16. She sat outside with me and talked to me for a long time. I will admit I am bad at details…But I remember this… We were sitting in the hill in her back yard and she told me of a wife, an Air Force wife who had just moved to a different country, I got a picture in my head of boxes, chaos, rollers and a do-rag and a dab a Sally Hansen on the ‘stache, Her Hubs comes in, opens the door and yells, “honey I’m home!!! and I’ve got company” …enter the General, big wig, Grand Pu-Bah type… “We are here to meet you and have dinner…”
There is horror in the kitchen…FISH STICKS…. she just flew to the PX …..all she has is fish stick….panic!
She makes the fish sticks and what ever else. Before she goes out to the dinner table, she said a prayer and made a vow…this would be the best meal that man has ever had….
The fish stick wielding woman went out and served the meal with an extra large helping of kindness, confidence and hospitality. It worked!!! The Boss and her family had a lovely meal he talks about to this day….
I have never forgotten that story, it made such an impression on me. I have used this and quoted this and crossed stitched this on the pillow of my mind. In the hustle and bustle of every gathering or event I take a moment and remember.
Who cares what you make, make your guest feel welcome and important and you will be a success!
Thanks Aunt V for the moment, the memories and the mantra~