When I attended a small 3 room country school in rural Minnesota (cloak room, classroom & kitchen), I recall one time when we students put on a program for the parents with the autumn/Thanksgiving theme. I still have an old photo of me in an Indian garb. I was more enamored with the Indians than the Pilgrims, perhaps because I saw the Indians as “givers” and the Pilgrims as “takers”. Maybe it was because I’d heard stories about my great-grandmother who was 100% Sioux on my Mom’s side and also some Indian blood on my Dad’s side. At home and school I quickly learned it was really derogatory to call anyone an “Indian Giver”. In thinking of Thanksgiving and all we have to be thankful for, Jerry and I started talking about who we should invite to share in our turkey and all the fixin’s, and it brought to mind the time we invited a homeless couple to join us for Christmas. OK, they were anything but homeless, but their flight had been cancelled at the last minute because of bad weather, so they were going to be spending that day alone. We really didn’t know them and they weren’t in our circle of friends, but one of the couples sharing the holiday meal with us asked if we could include that couple. Of course, we said yes as I believe any of you would have.
As is typical of our culture, folks generally bring a hostess gift of some type. Not sayin’ we expect it, but when it happens it’s always a nice little treat. Well, this last minute couple walked in bearing a lovely little Christmas plate with about 8 or 10 chocolate covered strawberries. Oh be still my heart! I LOVE those things!!! It was tempting to put them in an obscure location, but we let this delectable delight join the table of pies and other yummy treats. By the time we were ready to partake of dessert, we were all moaning and groaning from stuffing ourselves with stuffing, turkey, and smashed potatoes! Somehow all 12 or so of us managed to enjoy desserts while very few of the chocolate strawberries were consumed. That was perfectly fine with me because I knew later that night or the next day there would be a hallelujah time of rejoicing with those treats and a nice cuppa decaf or hot chocolate. I suppose I would HAVE TO SHARE with Jerry.
I’m really not taking a risk by telling this story because we’ve only seen those people once in the 7 years since this happened. We’ve never been invited to their home, and they don’t know about my blog. I’m just here to tell you that I can never ever see a chocolate covered strawberry without thinking of that lady who when the gathering was breaking up, waltzed into the kitchen, picked up the cute little plate with the remaining strawberries, thanked us for the lovely meal, and trotted out the door!!! “NO, no, no”, I wanted to scream! But I pouted and said nothing. Sigh……. Alright, I’ll concede I’m sounding childish and petty and shouldn’t even be sharing this, but I heard someone else call someone an “Indian giver” recently, and this old memory came flooding back to mind. It prompted me to look up the meaning and to write about this truly funny memory. Seriously? Yes, seriously!!!!!! I may be part Indian (and proud of it) but hope to never be an “Indian giver”. Now on a very serious note, I am saying “listen up white folks, give me back my land and those strawberries and no one will be scalped!!!!”
Have a blessed and chocolate strawberry filled Thanksgiving; and with me in learning to laugh at those memories that at the time seemed so major. Don’t hold grudges, pick your battles, keep things in perspective and try not to eat too much. A quote by Dorothy Sayers, “It is the great curse of gluttony that it ends by destroying all sense of the precious, the unique, the irreplaceable.” Sending big love to all!!!!!