Tut tut, or should I say gobble gobble? Its almost Thanksgiving, and you still haven't let me know what it is you want me to bring for dinner next Thursday. If its fruit salad or my homemade persimmon cookies, famous as they are, I may balk, because right now I have a sore right shoulder (from picking up a too heavy bag of rotten deck wood, I think) so chopping and stirring does not appeal. How about ice cream?
Little did I dream forty some years ago when you were my still-wet-behind-the ears waterfront assistant at the Yakima YWCA camp (what a poor excuse for a camp that was) that Lee and I would eat so many turkey dinners with you and Stace, and that our friendship would endure over four decades. We have seen each other through a lot of holidays, indeed, including many silly ones, like the scene above. This coming Thursday, incidentally, would have been Lee's and my 54th anniversary. Inaccurate as I am about some dates, as you correctly point out, I'm not in error on this one. Besides, your perceptions are not always without error. Remember the whipped cream you raved over that was really Cool Whip?
So to set the record straight, as you accurately corrected me following last week's blog, Aunt Celia could not have been conscripted into the Army in 1918 and served three years in the trenches of France because the war ended in 1918! Regretfully I threw out all her memorabilia a couple of years ago so I was fudging on my inadequate recall and not checking the data. Like you, I am gifted with a great imagination, and sometimes mine runs away with me. In twenty years when you catch up with me in age perhaps you'll do the same.
Checking Google, I find that within weeks of the US declaring war against Germany on April 6, 1917, the American Red Cross dispatched a ship to Europe loaded with medical personnel and supplies, carrying 170 surgeons and nurses. So I wonder if that was the ship Celia was on? I suppose the list is somewhere in the Red Cross archives, but since I'm not writing a novel it really doesn't matter to me. What does matter is that I might have inherited some of her risk-taking genes. The other thing that matters is that the "e" on the end of my last name is attributed to her, for like the rest of my father's family, she was born a Cross, not Crosse. I do know in the army she was called "Crossie" because I saw in in her old letters. Its said she took on French Aires in Paris, and ordered her brothers to change the spelling, as it would be more elegant. Only my father conceded. Of course, if YOU were writing the story you would get all the facts documented, whereas I am content to live on my own fantasies. To my credit though, I have not missed a week since I started my blog on April 1, which is probably more writing than you, the educated one with a passion and gift for writing, has produced. If you think this is another gentle nudge, right you are.
Tonight just before I started this meandering saga something wonderful happened to soothe my wounded ego, no thanks to you.
The door bell at the locked front gate rang. Dark as it was and ignoring Kodi's frantic banking I turned on the the patio lights. I could just make out the UPS driver with two big boxes from Omaha Steak. With relief I thought I recognized him. (How many ebony skinned delivery men have to duck to clear my iron gate, and still prance around in brown bermuda shorts in November?) Indeed, he was the driver who witnessed my car wreck last June, and was so helpful in calling the police, ambulance, fire, etc. He carried the heavy boxes all the way to the kitchen. Then he inquired what had come of the accident. (He'd been a volunteer witness, seeing the whole thing.) When I told him the other driver planned to hire an attorney and sue me, he wrote down once again his name and phone number. "I'll be there" he insisted. He swore the other driver was delerious, totally lost, and was even unaware he had been hit, and that the accident was not my fault. He attested to my innocence and praised me for my driving skills. I told him the other driver, legally, had two years to sue, but I doubted that it would come to that. Still, I felt a big smile of gratitude deep inside, and his thoughtfulness will long stay with me. Besides your presence to tease, I have one more gratitude for Thanksgiving.