Sunday, June 7, 2009

A School Lunch Story

When I saw today's comic For Better or for Worse I laughed and laughed because it reminded me of a real life episode in this former school lunch lady's career.

Back in the "old days" in school lunch we made most of the food on site, from scratch. Including the bread. And during this period in my career I started my job at 6 AM at a school about 50 minutes away. So that meant that I had to leave home in the winter before the radio station announced the school closings for bad weather. This particular day I made it all the way into the school and so did my assistant despite horrible freezing rain that coated the roads with ice. We had a discussion about what to do but since school hadn't been called off we started the day's menu. Including the bread. All the while we were worried about the weather and how we would get home if our day was canceled. So of course as soon as we had the bread rising we got the call that we could go home. We had a discussion about what to do with the bread dough - we wanted to get back on the road as soon as possible before the roads got any worse and so we made the decision to put the whole bowl into the freezer and deal with it later. Now we're talking about a lot of bread dough. My memory is fuzzy but I think we used to use at least 30 pounds of flour in each batch. A lot of bread dough. I bet you can guess what happened. The next day when we got to school we couldn't believe what we saw. That dough took long enough to freeze that it had time to rise and overflow onto the floor of the freezer where it then froze into a large immovable lump. The custodian got out his ice chipper and it took a long time to chip away the frozen dough even with his help (and teasing). We needed that bowl to make that day's batch too - so the bread was late in getting started for the day. And it took a long long time to live down the "thing that ate the freezer" stories.

And just because every post needs a picture - here's one of Abigail "walking" her baby doll.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Two Years Ago Today

My Dad died two years ago and I still miss him. Funny how anniversaries bring events and people to mind. Really, today is just another day in June but to me it isn't. About this time two years ago today we were gathered around Dad's deathbed singing Amazing Grace as he left us to go to heaven. I still can't sing that hymn without tears.

Dad was a gentle soul, a wonderful father and a faithful husband to my Mom. He had a grace about him even during trying times. He was a WWII and Korea vet, he served in the Navy working with radios and radar. He was a smart man, he went to college when he got out and became an electrical engineer and worked on computers when they were first beginning. But most of all, he was our father. I still catch myself thinking I've seen him when I see an old man from the back that walks like he did or stands like he did. Or I remember him when I hear music that he liked or go to an event that he would have liked. I wish I had spent more time with him when he was alive, I wish that I would have had him over for dinner more often. Towards the end he was disoriented and confused but he sure loved to eat! I know I'll see him when I get to heaven but for now all I have are the memories.