Saturday morning dawned bright, clear and very cold, but without any snow on the ground, despite predictions from forecasters that we might see a dusting of the white stuff.
The possibility of having a little snow was tantalizing; visions of picturesque photos for the paper, maybe enough to scoop up a snowball, even stepping outside to catch a flake on the tongue if it started to come down during the daylight or evening hours… oh well, guess we can’t have everything here in the valley.
Through the wonders of our modern technologies, though, it’s easy to keep up with what’s happening in other areas of the country and my New York family members are ready for it to stop snowing. I got an early morning text Friday from my mom (sometimes she forgets to take into account that they are three hours later than we are) that came at 5:53 a.m. California time to alert me to their snowfall. We were getting some rain at the time, they were getting snow and their forecast was for a foot or more by the end of the day on Friday. I texted her back with the word that we might get a little bit too; she said she was more than happy to send us some of theirs…
Some schools in the foothills did end up with a ‘snow day’ because of slick conditions and the traffic reports on Saturday morning noted some closures over my sister’s way in the Vallejo area because of black ice and plenty of overturned vehicles so we didn’t totally escape the wintry weather.
One of my dad’s favorite channels on TV is the Weather Channel so my parents are typically up to date on what is happening weather-wise with their daughters on the West Coast.
Most weekends, in fact, find me touching base with my mom via an actual phone call as opposed to a text and the basic conversation includes starting off with the weather, then moves to how the family is doing, followed by any new projects either one of us might have going on.
Occasionally, it will even delve into the topic of food and what we were each having for dinner. If it’s a Sunday, it’s a good bet my mom and dad went out to eat somewhere for lunch after church. That has become a source of enjoyment for them in their retirement-age years (though I would in no way consider them ‘retired’ – they continue to be incredibly busy) and there are a couple of nearby diners that they hit regularly. Any time we vacation in New York these two particular diners also see us a couple of times each, so I know why my parents keep going back.
In our most recent phone visit, I was actually at the stove cooking up some dinner — your basic meat, potatoes and vegetables — while I was talking, so I had the tiny little cell phone cradled between my ear and shoulder as I stirred the pot on the stove.
My mom heard the telltale clinking of the spoon against metal as I stirred the veggies and dutifully inquired “What’s for dinner?”
After providing her with the menu for the evening, I asked what they had eaten. It was 9:15 p.m. their time, so I knew they were finished, the dishes were done and it was probably time for my dad to be scooping himself some ice cream for a nighttime snack.
My mom chuckled at my question and offered a little story about how my dad really loves her blackberry cobbler (all homemade, of course) but every time she makes it for dessert, they are too full after eating dinner to enjoy it.
So they had that for dinner instead.
It took me a minute to recover.
Serving dessert — just dessert — for dinner.
My brother would be jealous he wasn’t there to enjoy this change of pace.
I had to ask her if she was really serious and she said, yes, they actually had the cobbler for their dinner. And, she was just getting herself some cheese doodles for dessert. Made me wonder briefly if pod people had invaded or if the earth had just slipped off its axis.
But then I thought, why not?
My parents are at the age where they should be able to switch it up and eat dessert first if they want to. Or just eat that if it works; they can go without vegetables for one night.
If they’re going to enjoy it, let them eat cobbler for dinner.
They deserve it.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times and The Oakdale Leader and assistant editor for The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.