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Monday, April 21, 2014

Back to Basics

I don’t live in the past,
yet I have fond memories of
things long gone.
We lived in a village,
a resort town with a lake.
Maybe 1500 souls,
in summer many more,
when the Milwaukee people came to play.
None of us had much,
and we sort of knew it,
when the Millers and Pabsts
and Johnson Cookies folks
were at their lake homes.
Some of us worked for them,
others served them, in some way or another.
Our service was mostly to the locals,
an IGA store, part grocery, part meeting place.
There were no ATM machines then,
so we were sometimes a bank
when someone needed to run a tab
or borrow five bucks until payday.
I did everything in that store,
marking cans and stocking shelves
and trimming produce and delivering eggs,
everything except the butchering.
That was just too basic for me.
My folks said I should learn to cut,
it would pay my way through college,
but I just couldn’t take the blood.
Come to think of it,
I never ate deer or rabbit or duck or goose, either.
But I grew some great potatoes and tomatoes,
made some fabulous puddings and potato salads.
Lo and behold, my best recipes now
are the ones without meat.
I’m not your basic vegan,
but sometimes it sure looks that way.
I make no claim to being clean and virtuous,
and my eating has nothing to do with religion.
I guess
I was just born this way.

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