The Almost Daily Thread

musings from the blue chair

Christmas and carrots

on December 11, 2014

2014-12-05 22.00.36

christmas tree with carrot

I awoke Monday morning knowing the seasonal blahs were creeping in on me.  I thought maybe I was just missing Thanksgiving and the lovely holiday made for eating and talking. I considered going to the kitchen taking all the dishes out of the cabinets and washing them but knew Christmas would arrive anyhow.
For me, Christmas carries a degree of sadness and melancholy.  For some years past it nearly consumed me.  So, I have learned to “feel” it coming and have incorporated some new “traditions” that make me happy – like taking each of my grandchildren Christmas shopping for their parents and siblings – after we have dinner at a place of their choice. And I have found some new ways to decorate and liven up the place without too much hoopla.  It’s just no fun to foofy up the place alone.
Feeling the nose-dive nostalgia staring me down, I called a good friend for lunch.  Thai food is good for uplifting the spirits, huh?  And so not Christmasy.  I mean where would you get a Plum pudding anyway?  I think Uncle John wrote a Christmas letter about that once, alas, the nostalgia spiral. He even sent a recipe. I’ve never tried it.
My friend frequents this Thai restaurant and has become friendly with the owner and the cooks so much so the owner brought her food to our table, sat down to chat.  Soon, the waitress/cook joined us and did most of the chatting.  She shared her story.  She was born and raised in Laos under Communist rule, was so unhappy she swam 3 hours across the Mekong River into Thailand where she was immediately put in jail and then into a refugee camp for a year where there was so little food they ate mice.  She was then brought here by the US government to Akron, Ohio under sponsorship.
Well, she sure made my nostalgia seem incredibly whiney and I knew that my Christmas season sniveling was about to dry up.  Now, I’ve dealt with many deaths, a few divorces, abandonment issues, lack of trust, lack of faith, some, ok, many layers of self-esteem issues –to name only a few– but I for sure never had to deal with escaping my own country under threat of death through unknown, extremely dangerous perils. I was witnessing a woman with some courage.
I stand in gratitude for the comfort of my home, my government.  Well, as a “big brother” product of my generation and a reader of the conspiracy theories, I have some hesitation in giving safety in the US carte blanche – but USA by far better than many places.
The rest of her story I can’t really print because the language and the story turns a bit off color. Happens that the Thai word for cut sounds awfully like our current favorite profanity — yes, the F-word.  Several new immigrant were in the sponsor’s kitchen preparing food for visitors. One newby came into the dining room asking is she needed to, cut (insert Thai word) the carrot. You need cut (insert Thai word) cantelope.  And the story continues with with this woman saying, “You no need cut (insert Thai word) carrot.  I’m just saying that cutting a carrot bilingually brought Christmas cheer back to me with teary laughter.
I am so grateful for Pad Thai.
Oh, and she says mice taste more like squirrel than like chicken.

4 responses to “Christmas and carrots

  1. Sherry says:

    Thanks for bringing a smile to my face!


  2. Sara Lane says:

    Sure makes you think! Good story ~ and I love the Christmas tree!!!


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