April 15, 2012

Some Easter dinners more doggone than others

Easter has come and gone, but not the memory. In years gone by, it was a foregone conclusion that Kaye would lay the sumptuous feast right here in our comfortable 1870 Morrisonville home. You can't imagine a traditional holiday dish that wasn't lovingly prepared and served to our ravenous horde and any neighbors who cared to stop by. It was the same at Christmas and Thanksgiving and myriad birthdays for our children, their children and all the other begats.

We have thousands of photographs to prove that the good times started right here in our Little home on the beautiful Saranac River. Extra chairs, folding tables, laughter and humanity spanning several generations. Never an automatic dishwasher in the kitchen, as we lined up to wash and dry the plates and silverware and exchange stories of family love.

One Easter for Kaye and me left particularly poignant recollections. We had a huge, male Weimaraner named Thurston. He was a beautiful specimen of doghood but supplied several lifetimes of grief because of his "special" personality. I once wrote a short piece of nonfiction commemorating something Thurston did that I would find difficult to relate to this family audience. Our grandchildren called him "Urston," and the title is "Urston Ate It." Use your imagination.

One Easter morning, Kaye left a huge spiral ham on the kitchen table for a few minutes and returned to find it missing. If a dog can smile, Thurston was doing it in the corner while making evil sounds and emitting awful gastric odors that only a large beast with a full stomach can do.

A long butcher knife was the closest implement. Kaye wielded it deftly and purposefully as she and Thurston went round and round the house while the rest of us cowered in corners. She didn't catch him, and I cannot remember what we ate to go along with our vegetables on that Easter day.

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