For the Love of Asparagus…and a Front Porch Swing

by | Oct 1, 2011 | Every Day Life

very time I eat asparagus I think of Molly Pilkington. I know that sounds weird, but you see, there was a time that I would not touch, much less eat, asparagus. But thanks to Molly, I actually crave asparagus. Here is how it happened.
One day I was shopping at the grocery store and Molly was buying some asparagus. I must have said something about it because what I remember next is her telling me how much her girls like it. Molly told me how she prepares her asparagus and I decided to give it a try.
Here is something else you should know — my husband likes all vegetables. But, if I don’t like it, I don’t fix it. For many years he has been denied some of his favorite foods.
Anyway, I fixed the asparagus and sure enough, it was awesome! We now eat it several times a month. And, whenever I share the story of “How Kechia Came to Eat Asparagus,” Donald says, “I love Molly.”
The realization that I think of Molly every time I eat asparagus led me to consider other people that are “attached” to foods I enjoy.
John Jacobs once got me to try fried dill pickles. I LOVED dill pickles but I had never heard of fried dill pickles and it sounded gross. At his insistence I tried one. I now LOVE fried dill pickles and will order then just about any chance I get. Plus, I will always think of John when I eat them.
Fried potatoes, sweet tea, cherry cobbler and chocolate pie remind me of my Granny Wilson. Raw sweet onions and fresh tomatoes make me think of my Papaw Wilson. Pineapple upside-down cake and silver dollar pancakes remind me of my Granny and Papaw Wheeler. I can never eat cherry pie or pecan pie that I don’t think of my Aunt Joan. And every time I eat macaroni and cheese, I am always comparing it to my Mother’s. She makes the best! I will always remember how much my Daddy loved Coke and chocolate milk.
Of the previous people mentioned here, all but my Momma and Aunt Joan are gone, but they still live with me when I eat these foods. Weird isn’t it?
I have come to realize it is not just food that can bring people to life for me or remind me of sweet moments. Just the other day we were taking our son Dillon to lunch for his 22nd birthday. He had his pick of restaurants and he chose Steak-N-Shake. This was one of my father’s favorite places to eat. Dillon didn’t even know that, and yet, along came my father to this birthday lunch for a grandson he had never had a chance to meet.

Every morning I have a cup of coffee and I grab a spoon from a beautiful cut-glass goblet. Each time I do, I think of my dear friend Cherie Poll from my days of living on Long Island, New York. I had been married all of six days when my husband whisked me off to New York to begin our lives together.
Culture shock was an understatement. Cherie was originally from Alabama and I would have never survived if she had not taken me under her wing. She always kept a glass full of spoons on the table for us to fix our coffee and now I do the same — sweet memories.
Other items in my home connect me to people I love and seldom, or never, get to see anymore. The table I am writing at right this moment belonged to my Great Aunt Lola, “Auntie.”
I ate many a meal at this table while it was in her home long ago. She made the best green beans ever! She cooked them for a long time in plenty of bacon fat. Oh my, they were good.
I have tea cups, a cedar chest, a typewriter, quilts, jewelry, rocking chairs and so much more. Just the sight of these things brings the memories of those I love into my everyday life. It reminds me of the people who have moved in and out of my life and what blessings they have been.

There is an all time favorite item — even above my Mother’s mac and cheese and Auntie’s green beans — that brings a smile to my face and heart every day I see it. It is my front porch swing.
My front porch swing is very special in two ways. First,, my husband built it for me. And second he built it out of my Granny and Papaw Wilson’s twin beds.
For as long as I can remember, my Granny and Papaw Wilson slept in twin beds. And if my husband’s snoring keeps up, my grandchildren will be saying the same thing about us… but that is another story for another time.
After my Granny and Papaw had both passed away, the family was going through the things and no one really needed the twin beds so I took them home with me. I had seen a bed swing in a magazine and asked my husband if he thought he could make a swing out of the headboards and footboards of Granny and Papaw’s beds.
It was magic. He made the best bed swing ever. I love that one day I will sit on that bed swing with my grandbabies and tell them the story of the swing. And, I am sure that being the story teller that I am, they will also hear about Molly, John, Cherie, my mom and dad, Granny and Papaw Wheeler, Auntie and Unkie, and all of you who have so graciously moved in and out of my life. And, what a sweet life it has been.
Now would be a good time to go sit on that front porch swing. I think we will have some asparagus with dinner tonight. Thanks, Molly, and remember… Donald loves you.

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