04-11-2019 Tri-City History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal

The dreaded broccoli Isn’t it wonderful, Dear Readers, that we have turned the simple act of eating food into such a marvelous part of our lives? We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries by going out to eat. What else? A dinner by candlelight can be the prelude to a love affair, or the celebration of a continuing relationship. I can’t count the times we have marked a special occasion by going out to eat. In my family it all started out with my mom’s preoccupation with a proper diet. As little kids my sister and I had certain restrictions. We could not eat ice cream and drink lemonade at the same time… might curdle in our stomachs! Certain foods she felt were too mature for our little systems. There is a story in our family from when my sister was in her high chair (before my time). They were having baked beans and my mom wouldn’t let Wilma have any. When she was older, then she could have some. So she fixated on baked beans and was always wanting them. A favorite uncle and aunt came to visit. They were at the dinner table, and Uncle Roy remarked, “My, Wilma, you’re getting to be a big girl!” She thumped her spoon on the high chair tray and said, “I want some beans!!!” When I was but a wee nipper, my mom had quite a struggle getting me to eat vegetables. I couldn’t see the value in consuming cooked carrots. I ate them… but under duress. She would always say, “Carrots will give you good eyesight!” I wonder perhaps from this distance, if I didn’t have enough of whatever that was in my system. Because when I got into the Air Force they told me I had excellent night vision. The vegetable I really came to dread was broccoli! Don’t know why, and I like raw broccoli in a salad. But even the smell of the cooked kind makes me want to beat a hasty retreat. I know it’s unreasonable, but there you are! The first assisted living we were in, we made some great friends. And we liked the place. The one thing that bothered me was the frequency with which they served the dreaded broccoli. I wondered if perhaps they had a contract with one of the local broccoli farmers. So whenever it was served I went through a little routine… I’d clutch my throat and go “Aaarrrrrgh!” …hoping they’d take a hint! It made for pretty good theater, but we still got the broccoli! Then we moved. Fast forward a few months and here we are at the Vineyard, ensconced in a new apartment, and settling into a nice routine. Just the other day I went down to one of the exercise classes. It is held in the workout room and our fearless leader is the wife of the guy who built the place. She is in superb condition and was just getting us into it when a group came by on a tour. Led by Amanda, another girl in superb condition, they stopped to see what we were doing. Turns out it was a family looking for an assisted living place for their mother. Amanda introduced us all and asked if we would like to give these new people our impression of what life is like here. I said to her, “Should I tell them my broccoli story?” She nodded yes enthusiastically, so I told them the following: “The place we used to live we liked. But I have a problem with broccoli, and I think they had a contract with a local broccoli farmer. It got so every time they served it, I’d make a big scene like… clutch my throat and go, “Aaarrrrrgh!” I hoped they’d take a hint and change their ways. No such luck. “We moved over here because it is very close to one of our daughters. First afternoon we were getting acquainted… all brand-new and we liked it. We went down to the dining room for supper. There are windows on three sides and a nice view. Resting easy in the saddle and ready for our first meal… guess what the vegetable was! Yup, the dreaded broccoli! Without even thinking, I went into panic mode, clutched my throat and ‘Aaarrrrrgh!’ came out! “Everyone looked at our table, and I think one little lady almost had palpitations! Well, when I explained it we all got a big laugh out of it. And truth be told we’ve not seen much broccoli since! “The next morning we came to breakfast. The lady chef told us we could have a choice of pancakes, waffles, sausage, bacon, eggs any style, fresh fruit, juice, and coffee. I thought for a moment, then said, ‘Yes!’ I ate so much I didn’t need any more nourishment all day.” Well, the touring group got a kick out of that. As they were getting ready to leave, the tour guide, Amanda, said to me… “We may have to put you on the payroll!” And we went back to our exercises. And that’s the story on broccoli! I’d just as soon not talk about it anymore. There’s plenty of other good food as we go through life weaving more golden threads into that marvelous tapestry… the one that includes our storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Glimpses From The Past Who is this boy on the 4-wheeler? Stop by the NBHS Museum if you have information on this or any other photo appearing here. North Berrien Historical Museum is always interested in photos, stories or information sharing. The museum can be contacted at 269-468-3330 or by email to info@northberrienhistory.org. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma

Watervliet Library In Stitches Knitting Group Apr. 12, 2:30 – 4 p.m. Second Friday of every month, bring a project or interest; they’ll help you get started. Third Monday Book Club Apr. 15, 7-8 p.m. Great books, fabulous conversations! Ask for a copy at the desk; this month –The Mermaid’s Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. Story Hours Wed. 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. & Thur. 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Picture books, crafts and fun designed to inspire the love of reading! For ages 3 – 5. Yoga Mondays 9–10 a.m.; Chair Yoga-Wednesdays 6–6:30 p.m.; Wednesdays 7–8 p.m.; Fridays 10:30–11:30 a.m. Please call 463-6382 for more information on any Watervliet Library activity.