My Mid-Life Crises

I think I am having a midlife crises. I have done something that I never thought I’d do. And I’m having a hard time feeling any remorse.

What have you done? you may be asking. Well, there are two Christmas trees already up in my farmhouse. Not yet decorated, but positioned and ready for ornaments.

In my past, never would anything remotely Christmas have gone up before Thanksgiving. I thought people who started decorating for Christmas as soon as their Halloween decor was jerked down were, well, just that: Jerks! I would look down my nose at them and shake my head.

Last year I was not in the mood for Christmas; not the commercial side of it. This year- half my shopping is finished, I’ve made the first batch of pralines, and Gesu Bambino just came out of my alto mouth, while I was unloading the dishwasher.

And now these Christmas trees -tinsel no less- one new, one vintage-have shown up in my farmhouse. I’ve heard of people going through a mid-life crises who will purchase out of character things: bass boat, motorcycle, sports car…new spouse, ahem!

For many years, only a real tree bought at a local tree farm adorned the little living room in another lifetime. That’s all there was room for; one tree. In my farmhouse, with nice big rooms, multiple trees can have a spot.

My youngest saw the trees today.

“Oh, brother!” he exclaimed. “You’ve become one of those people who rush Christmas.”

“No, they won’t be decorated till after Thanksgiving,” I defended my purchases and myself.

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Okay, so I did put a few bubble lights on the Shiny Brite tinsel tree from the mid-century. Please don’t judge. I’m having a Christmas mid-life crises.

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Tea and Bacon Bits

It is Lent on the church calendar. Mardi Gras was Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) and at my mother’s small Methodist church, to prepare their hearts for Easter, they meet for a meal and to listen to a speaker. Most speakers are pastors from area churches, but sometimes it will be someone in local government. I think that’s where she learned about the recycling program (see Bread Pudding:the Best Kind of Recycling). So, on Mom’s kitchen calendar each square for Wednesday has a short list of what her contribution will be for the week.

My mother is the “Tea Lady” and makes three gallons each week for the Lenten Lunches: two of sweet and one of unsweetened. Last week, Mom made old fashioned tea cakes, too. The kitchen table was covered with these simple, but delicious cookies Tuesday night. The next day she brought home very few tea cakes and only half a pitcher of unsweetened tea.

Later in the month, she’ll make red beans and rice one Wednesday and then on another jambalaya. There probably won’t be left overs on those days. And I will be sad about that. The last Wednesday of Lent all Mom has to take is the tea, of course, and Bacon Bits. I believe they will do a salad bar that day.

The Lenten Lunches foster a connection in the church and in our small Southern community. It’s tradition to do these luncheons and can be counted on like Spring following Winter.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.14553918598621673971736