Dyin’ to be at Dianne’s

7 Nov

This is my dad’s little sister, my Aunt Dianne.  I’ve told you about her Cheddar Pear Pie before.  Which is delicious and also, it is delicious.

My family has our own Happy Birthday song that we tag on the end of the one everbody knows.  One of the lines is “May your birthdays be bright with cheer and delight.”  Because my dad’s other sister is named Chere, I always amended the song in my head to “May your birthdays be bright with Chere and Dianne.”  It was like a birthday wish to get to visit them in the next year.

Well this year, I got to visit Aunt Dianne.  I and 9 members of my family stayed at her house for a few days when my bro Eddie got married in August.

 We drove about 20 hours, including through the night, to get there.

(I suppose I shouldn’t say “we” drove, as my dad and bro Jimmy did most of the driving.  I did lots of talking to keep the drivers from getting bored.  I’m selfless like that.)

Anyways, I’m sure that if you’ve been on a long trip like that, you know that sort of nauseous bleck feeling you start to get after eating trail mix and celery sticks in the car for 2 days.  Even when you have your choice of 5 different kinds of peppermint gum (thanks, Dad) you eventually start feeling a little green.

We entered Utah valley at about 2-3 o’clock in the afternoon.  Dad offered to stop at Burger King, or something, but it was just an hour or so until Aunt Dianne’s and we all voted to wait.  A Whopper might be warm and taste good going down, but then it sits there in your gut feeling oily and heavy–especially if you are already kinda bleh.  We were sure Aunt Dianne would have a better option, and she did!

We landed at her house, crowded in and somewhat bashfully admitted that we were starving and tired of car food.  Well Aunt Dianne told us to sit down and before we knew it, there was a huge pot of pasta soup and loaves of homemade bread and lots of sliced up cucumbers from her garden: all my favorite comfort foods loaded on one table.   The 10 of us plus a couple more who were already at her house gobbled down as much of that delicious soup and bread as we could hold and then we all had glorious naps on her many comfy couches.

This is the “Love Sack”.  It is much coveted by all.

All that weekend, Aunt Dianne fed us delicious food and it all just appeared out of her cupboards and fridge like magic.  If we ate it all, more appeared, until we were stuffed.  Even the night that 70 aunts & uncles & cousins showed up to gab and laugh, she calmly produced food for us all.

And she had time to sit down and talk and be interested in what was going on in our lives and laugh at our jokes and loan us her stockings when ours got snags.

It was the most restful retreat I’ve ever gone too, and I felt like a new woman when I got home.  I got back the energy and enthusiasm for life that I’d been missing since my last baby was born.

part of that rejuvenation came from hanging out with these 2 amazing women.

This is the kind of hostess I want to be when I’m grown up.  The kind that can seemingly effortlessly produce food to feed a crown.  (I know it actually takes work and good planning too.)  The kind of hostess where everyone who visits feels welcome and at peace.

Until then, I’m lucky to have friends & family who are willing to come over and pretend with me that the food was great and the fun was seamless; even if there’s a pot on the stove billowing smoke and I’m hastily scrabbling together the ingredients to something else and there’s a pile of dirty dishes behind me.  One day, their faith and long suffering will be rewarded (I hope.)

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