My Dearest, Boo.
One of the many things that I am so proud of you is your love of reading. Since you were a wee tiny baby I have always enjoyed sharing my love of books and reading with you. We would read together books that would eventually become the books we would read over and over again. Some of your favorite were “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”, “Stone Soup”, “High Rise Glorious Skittle Skat Rourious Sky Pie Angle Food Cake”, “Pancakes, Pancakes, Pancakes”, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”, “Green Eggs and Ham”, and “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”. It was fun, as we would then take to the kitchen to make something that went with the theme of the book. Those I wrote down in your very own cookbook that I entitled “To Stir With Love”. All too soon you graduated to the books on tape for children. You so loved “reading” along with the tape and the joy on your face was a sight to behold. Soon you were the one writing the stories and you granted me the privilege of reading some of them. I believe that it was, in part, all the reading you did when you were young that helped foster your love of writing.
To remember the sound of your laughter of joy while we read together can still bring a tear to my eye. Chuck Jones is a man you may never have heard about by name, but I do know that you know his work. Mr. Jones is regarded as the creative drive behind the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melody characters of Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, Porky the Pig, Wile E. Coyote, and the Road Runner. He, too, believes that the voracious reading he did when he was young was the wellspring of the creative inspiration he brought to all his characters. And that laughter springs out of us and out into the world, joining us to the rest of the world. Reading is good; reading is essential to our souls.
One book that I was never successful to find something that you would eat as a theme was the Beatrix Potter book “Peter Rabbit’s Giant Storybook”. The main idea of the book was the many ways that Peter Rabbit was able to outwit Mr. McGregor and feast on the vegetables in his garden. You weren’t a vegetable eater when you were young and things have not changed much since that time. I would still have trouble finding a dish to go along with that theme. Sorry, Boo, but broccoli with cheese sauce does not count, as your helping would only have three or four broccoli spears and a plate of cheese sauce!
Your Aunt Rose one Christmas wanted to give you a special, unique gift and knew of your love of talking books. She purchased “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” and set down with a bell and her tape recorder. She was so excited for you to have this gift! And you could not wait to find our tape recorder and start “reading”. We got a blanket and cuddled up on the sofa for our “reading” time. I cannot remember the exact wording of the book, something about Peter and an ejection to get out of the garden and away from Mr. McGregor. God love your Aunt Rose! As we were listening to the tape what she read was the Peter had an erection!! Gracious! Did you ever think that Peter Rabbit would be an X-Rated book??!!! It was all I could do to calm down my laughter long enough to call her on the phone and give her grief about her tongue twisting. And here we are, twenty-five years later, and I am still giving that sainted woman grief!!
Your Aunt Rose is a very special woman. She is the one that anyone can turn to for help and she will be the first one to lend you a hand. She will be the first one on your doorstep when trouble comes knocking and she will give you the shirt off her back if that is what you need. This is a quality that she embraced from your Grandpa Riley. He, too, had a heart as big as the outdoors. Aunt Rose always has a giant smile on her face and, just like Grandpa Riley, a tremendous love of her family.
I find myself thinking a lot about my Dad today, as we celebrated our Family Christmas. Wishing he was here to celebrate with us. I know that he would be so proud of all of us and how we are able to have fun together; to enjoy one another; to value one another. And, especially, that we did listen to him and now believe and understand his constant telling us that we need to stick together; we need to be there for one another. Family is all that matters. He would be sitting in a big, comfortable chair, drinking a hot coffee, watching all of us and having a giant smile on his face. You could just look at him and know………..Joy Rising!
- 1 package small waffle shaped pretzels
- 1 13-oz package rolo candies (or rolls of candies, about 60 total)
- 1 package m&m candies
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees
- Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place pretzels individually to form one layer
- Place one Rolo candy on top of each pretzel
- Bake for 4 minutes or until candies soften
- Immediately remove from the oven and quickly place on three m&m candies, pushing down to “squish” the rolo candy
- Cool for about 20 minutes, then place uncovered in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to set.
- Transfer to a decorative plate and enjoy!