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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Dutch Oven Contest


This last week has been so overloaded. On the whole, I kept my mouth shut and carried on. I didn’t even write a post entitled One Year Anniversary, Government Shuts Down. Fun, but pointless. Since opening my mouth seems my best bit of ammunition, I carry on with phone calls to legislators that may seem pointless, but are part of the noise capturing attention. As much as my heart wants to march to protest, I know I physically cannot. So, I sponsor one for me and one more to fill out the crowd. The least I can do.

At the endocrinologists last week, I was in a civics metaphor. Walking back to the elevator, finger trailing the long wall because I won’t carry my cane, I became aware of a disturbance by the elevator. A young mother pushing a double long stroller of babies past a man standing in the middle of the hall. I wondered why she didn’t just stop and shift the stroller to make the turn. End of thought.

When I got to the spot, vacated by the irritated young mother, the man said to me, “Can you tell me where to find room 302.” It was the room I’d just left, so I launched into a “down this hall” explanation, before I looked up and full in his face.  In my defense, he was a massive fellow and it was a long way up. And, since I notice everything when I bother to, he was dressed in a fabulous leather overcoat, with appropriate vest and suit coat visible underneath, a lovely fedora, black gloves, a cane. And, the one eye I could see was white, like Laura’s favorite zombie movies.  

“It’s down this hall; can I walk with you?” I said, and turned back. “That would be so nice; my helper couldn’t come today.” I guess he could see a bit, like a macular degenerative person I know. I smiled to myself; cane and gloves in his left hand, he dragged his right index finger down his side of the hall. Then he said, “I hear you dragging a finger on the wall. A matched pair?”  I laughed and said no, my problem was balance.

I opened the office door, and there was the new sign in system I hate. Type your name into a key pad. I went to a window, shoved open the glass (just put a full palm on it and slide!) and said a man with a problem seeing was in the waiting room. All three of them were out like white on rice; apparently he is an old favorite. I left.

The young mother has crossed my mind this week. I’d hate to be in a car she is driving, unaware of her surroundings. Or, had she seen his disability and been repulsed? Or, had she seen his blackness, and been repelled? Or, was she just rude? I have too much time on my hands.

I retrieved Laura from her Polar Bear weekend a bit ago.  She is damp to the bone. They made shelters of tarps and slept out two nights. Tarps, ropes and rocks, I heard. They hiked. They sledded. They zip lined.  They drank a lot of cocoa. They ate pizza one night, from their summer earnings. The next night they had a Dutch oven contest. “The boys, the girls, the grown-ups.” Four boys, three girls, four grown-ups. One camp fire, three Dutch ovens, and their choice among ingredients of hamburger, many veggies to slice or dice, beans, spices, pastas.

She knew about the contest ahead of time, and told me she would tell her team she would be in charge. She made a chilie. The boys made a goulash. “They ruined it. I told them, ‘Your noodles are done, get them out of the water!’, but they didn’t listen to me.” The grown-ups made a chilie, too. “Who won the contest?”

“My team. But it wasn’t unanimous. One grown-up didn’t vote, because he didn’t want it to be unanimous.”

“How rude!” said I. “I thought so, too,” from the Polar Bear.


One of Laura's photos from a Polar Bear hike.


27 comments:

  1. Thank you for being yourself. I hope that young mother has an epiphany.
    I am not in the slightest surprised Laura's teams' dish won the day. And agree on the rudeness front.

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  2. Just contemplating the thought processes of the adult who did not vote and the reason given for not so doing...

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  3. You do not have too much time on your hands, but you do have time to be thoughtful, both in what you do and how you analyze what you see and hear. Sounds like a blessing to me.

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  4. Guy who did not vote was definitely the rude one. Hope the chili we are having at our discussion group tonight is as good as what Laura’s team made. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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    1. The eat off was take two spoons full from the competitors, then eat your own. At the end of the night her pot was scraped clean, literally, and the other two were tossed. She is a good cook, a good sport, and highly competitive.

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  5. Hari Om
    Okay. First I had to double check what YOU meant by 'dutch oven' - cuz it ain't what I know as a dutch oven, of that I was certain!

    As to the pram driver; Joanne, let me tell you I have discovered that if you are someone of a certain age (according to them) or carrying a stick or are just generally in the way of their wheels, the expectation is that you will make way for them. I have been asked to vacate a seat on a bus by one such. Despite the sign clearly stating it was for the elderly or infirm. The pram section already was filled up and the bus driver ought to have asked that the prams be folded as that same sign says. Nope. Mothers have all the rights. They think.

    Rant over. YAM xx

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    1. I laughed till my ribs ached. You did that on purpose! As for the rest, my little town is so polite, but when I get out and about I see my world is far less.

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    2. ...good, I'm glad to have tickled those ribs!!! Yxx

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  6. Of course Laura’s team won. She is an experienced cook after all!

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  7. You are a nice lady Joanne. Thank you for helping the blind man. xx

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  8. people are talking now about doing so many "random acts of kindness"...but how come they have to consciously do this?
    Reckon we were raised differently...

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  9. That Polar Bear Camp is just too much for someone like me who is so cold when it's 55 degrees.

    As for your fellow patient, it seems that rudeness is exuded on people who are different. My hairdresser just told me a story of terrible racism of which she was a victim while traveling in southeast California. She's Armenian and has never been treated so badly here in this state, but the area in which they traveled had confederate flags waving all over the place. She said it was very scary.

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  10. That was very kind of you, Joanne. I have a nephew who is blind so this really hit home. Some people are just really thoughtless and think the world revolves for only them. Sad.

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  11. I remember being a young mother with a child in a stroller, so sleep deprived I didn't know which end was up.

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  12. I am watching to see how the GOVERNMENTAL shutdown is resolved. I believe we will learn some of the future from that.

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  13. Hmmm, a Dutch Oven contest raises a whole 'nother image in my admittedly juvenile mind. But chili would have helped win that contest too.

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  14. "A matched pair", well yes, with both of you having some form of disablement. I'm glad you stopped to help him.
    Glad too that Laura had so much fun being a Polar Bear, and won the Dutch Oven contest.

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  15. You are a very thoughtful person Joanne,we all have a lot to learn from you.

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  16. That was a very touching story about that blind patient. Good for you to help him.

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  17. good for Laura. of course she won. I've camped out when the temp dipped below freezing during the night but you would never catch me camping out for fun in the snow.

    and good for you for your compassion. as you say, all it takes is to actually pay attention. though I imagine the young mother had her hands full and no telling what her day had been like so far...(this is me trying not to judge).

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  18. Ah, you were very kind. A crown awaits. :)

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  19. Manners are definitely a dying art, sadly...

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  20. I’d like to think that the lady with the double pram was dealing with her own problems (two babies) and did not think or look beyond that. She just wanted to get out of there.

    It sounds like Laura had a wonderful adventure.

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  21. Joanne, I do admire you. I almost always keep my mouth shut and carry on. Sometimes I wish I didn't. You (and Laura) are a courageous pair.

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  22. Shivering here at just that photo!

    Dutch oven time. I have soup simmering on the range, even before I read this. She had a time.

    Gentleman and Lady, helping one another, just the way it should be.

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  23. You're an inspiration:-) And so is Laura. I would not want to go winter camping but I'm happy to eat chili.

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