Dad is enjoying becoming acquainted with the characters in Jan Karon’s At Home In Mitford. Thank you, Aunt Margaret, for recommending the Mitford series, and thanks to Mom for personally delivering the first three books. Although Dad’s usual reading fare consists of history and biographies, he says that this is a “keen” book, beautifully written.
The author’s description of the folks who reside in Mitford naturally lends itself to reminiscing about people that we have known and loved. When eighty-six-year-old Miss Sadie told Father Tim that her favorite thing to eat was peanut butter and jelly, Dad was reminded of his favorite snack: sliced apples spread with peanut butter. He attibutes his love of apples paired with peanut butter to Mom and his mother.
In a recent telephone conversation, Mom described eating apples and peanut butter with Grandmother in her east bedroom. When Mom arrived in Dension from Hugo on Thursday evenings, Grandmother always had supper on the table. Occasionally, Aunt Margaret would be there, too. They would eat supper, seasoned with a good deal of laughter and conversation. Next on the agenda was more visiting and laughing while washing and putting away the dishes. Then they would head to the east room to watch television. “We didn’t always have a snack,” said Mom, “but if Rachel had popcorn, she’d pop it, or if she had apples, then we’d have apples and peanut butter.” Each would have an apple and a knife to cut their apple into slices. Grandmother positioned the peanut butter jar on a small table between them. If it was cold, like today, they would wrap up in afghans.
One day when I handed Grandmother a jar of peanut butter, she told me about the first time her family brought home a jar of “crunchy” peanut butter. They gathered around to study the peanut chunks that hadn’t been ground smooth. The only thing that they could figure was that this batch hadn’t been made right, and even speculated that the peanut-crunching machine was broken. When they discovered that it was “nutty” on purpose, they all had a good laugh.
Dad’s oncologist quizes him regularly about his diet. “How about protein? What kind of protein are you eating?” he asks. When Dad replies that he eats apples and peanut butter almost daily, the oncologist nods approvingly.
Mom laughed when I told her that Dad credits her and Grandmother with his affection for apples and peanut butter. Mom exclaimed, “O! apples and peanut butter with Rachel in the east room is one of my fondest memories.”
The fun doesn’t have to end! Let’s plan to meet Grandmother in the east room of her heavenly mansion for apples and peanut butter. We’ll have lots of laughs and conversation as we celebrate life with Jesus forever!