Tag Archives: Minnesota

Texas, y’all’s Texas

I’m back! Did you wonder if I’d ever write again? I wondered myself.

Last week we returned, after a brief sojourn in Texas, to Gramp and Granny’s house. “Back from the ‘Holy Land’?” Gramp enquired.

I was a little shocked; it is funny, but the expression seems irreverent. My husband told me it’s an old saying.  It’s true that many Texans have a state pride that’s outsized compared to that of other states’ inhabitants; “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” after all. My own home state’s not like that so much. I imagine that in moments of leisure its people are more likely to be contemplating a post-retirement move to Arizona, than the virtues of our fair state.

My mother-in-law illustrated two coloring books about the state of Texas during the 70s. I saw them for the first time last week, and they are delightful. Here’s a sampling:

LyndonBJohnson

CavernsofSonoraI wish I could post all the drawings here! I love her illustration style. We, luckily, get to see it now and then in letters, and when she draws for the children when she visits.

‘Tis the season. . .

. . .for Norwegian-Americans (and Swedish-Americans) to fondly poke fun at a Scandinavian winter dish, lutefisk. One of my favorite people in all the world is of Norwegian descent, and she introduced our family to the deliciousness of lefse (a thin potato bread) with butter and sugar, and geitost (a wonderful caramel-y cheese). We miss you Laura, come and visit!

For your holiday pleasure, some select verses of “O Lutefisk” (sung, of course, to the tune of “O Tannenbaum”):

O Lutefisk, O Lutefisk, how fragrant your aroma,
O Lutefisk, O Lutefisk, you put me in a coma.
You smell so strong, you look like glue,
You taste just like an overshoe,
But lutefisk, come Saturday,
I tink I eat you anyvay

Lutefisk, O lutefisk, how well I do remember.
On Christmas Eve how we’d receive our big treat of December.
It wasn’t turkey or fried ham.
It wasn’t even pickled Spam.
My mother knew there was no risk
In serving buttered lutefisk.

O Lutefisk, O lutefisk, you have a special flavor.
O Lutefisk, O lutefisk, all good Norvegians savor.
That slimy slab we know so well
Identified by ghastly smell.
O Lutefisk, O lutefisk,
Our loyalty won’t waver.

It really isn’t bad, in terms of smell or taste, but it is a bit unusual. God jul!

Minnesotans come with antifreeze

When autumn weather arrives, it becomes clear that I’m not from around here.

I step outside and take deep, full breaths of the cool moist air, and reflect contentedly that God’s in His heaven and all’s right with the world.

Then I look around me, and observe that everyone else appears to be bracing themselves for a coming ice age.

IceAge

My son Thomas shares some of the characteristics of this alien race.  On Wednesday he closed the window I had opened and announced, “I’m cold! I need hot chocolate.”