Sunday, May 8, 2016

May 8: Mother's Day, Pasties, Classic Saint Marty

It is Mother's Day in the United States, the day set aside to celebrate--you guessed it--mothers. 

It has been a fairly laid-back day.  Quiet.  Church this morning.  After church, we went to place some flowers at my wife's mother's grave and my sister's grave.  Now, I'm watching Jurassic World with my wife and kids.  (My daughter gave my wife the entire Jurassic Park series for Mother's Day.)

Tonight, we will have a traditional Mother's Day dinner--pasties.  Well, it's traditional in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  If you don't know what a pasty is, I'm not sure I'll be able to explain it adequately.  First, let me say that a pasty (pronounced like "nasty") is not the nipple cover worn by strippers and pole dancers.  A pasty is a Cornish meat pie that miners used to eat.  Contained within its crust is usually meat and potato and rutabaga, sometimes onion and carrot, as well.  I have eaten some pasties where peas have been thrown into the mixture, although that's kind of a bastardization of the dish.

I have no idea why I have suddenly turned this post into a food blog.  Maybe I'm hungry.  All I do know is that, in a couple of hours, I will be eating a hot pasty made by the descendants of Cornish immigrants at my wife's church.  It will be delicious.

Today's episode of Classic Saint Marty first aired in 2014, on a decidedly unhappy day in my life.  My brother had just died.  I was being kicked out of a job that I'd held for 14 years.  Fast forward to today.  I am on the verge of returning to the job that I left two years ago.  I lost my sister about a year after my brother.  I am still teaching, still living in the same two-bedroom/one-bathroom house, still worrying about bills.  Things change.  Things stay the same.

May 8, 2014:  Worst Day, Waves of Sadness, Walking Out

Wilbur couldn't believe what was happening to him when Lurvy caught him and forced the medicine down his throat.  This was certainly the worst day of his life.  He didn't know whether he could endure the awful loneliness any more.

Wilbur has just arrived at the Zuckerman farm.  He misses Fern.  None of the other animals in the barn are being particularly friendly to him.  Lurvy has just forced "sulphur" and molasses down his throat.  His young life has reached a pretty low point.

This evening, I understand Wilbur's state of mind.  It was my last day of work at the medical office.  All day long, coworkers kept saying how much they were going to miss me.  In between, I had family and friends calling me about my brother.  Every time someone said "I'm so sorry" on the phone, I'd start crying.  I was hoping to be stoic and strong, like a Viking or something.  Instead, I was Shirley MacLaine at the end of Terms of Endearment, coming unglued.

As I was walking out of the medical office at the end of the day, I looked back at what has been my desk for the past 14 years.  It was like I'd been erased.  Depressing.  So, to bolster my spirits, I came to my office at the university and boxed up the rest of my belongings for the big move to the new English Department in July.  That was a mistake, too.  The fact that I can fit 17 or 18 years of my life into five small boxes was pretty depressing, too.

So, I'm crapping out all over the place tonight.

When Saint Marty gets home tonight, he's going to have a very big drink.  And he ain't talking about chocolate milk.

Saint Marty this afternoon

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