Twenty-Ninth Slice: Never Trust a California Grit

I’m visiting my parents for the next few days.  My mother and I went to the library book sale and bought 85 books between the two of us.  None of them are for either of us.  It is the last day of the book sale and everything was selling for a dime.  We primarily bought books to give to the students at my school.  For $8.50, you can’t go wrong.  It will proably cost me more in gas to drive them home–the cost of carrying 85 books on a seven hour trip will be more than what I paid for the books–but I am okay with that.

After the book sale we had brunch at the cafe in the art museum and then cruised through the exhibits.  My mother is not one to linger in front of a painting.  We were primarily there to look for a birthday present for my sister but the current selection of art museum earrings was disappointing.  

We nipped over to the mall after that.  There is a store that my husband likes that doesn’t exist where we currently live.  I was hoping to pick up a shirt for him, but there were none on the clearance rack that were non-iron and regular (as opposed to slim) fit in the brand that he likes, and he doesn’t really need a shirt, so I passed.  I found a Wacoal in my size on clearance and my mom and I picked up some little gifts for my sister.

We hit Trader Joe’s on the way home.  My mom needed grits for tonight’s dinner.  They claimed to be stone-ground, but they were made in California.  The directions called for milk and brown sugar and we were suspicious, but we didn’t really want to go to another store.

My mom fixed shrimp and grits and my cousin (actually my first cousin once removed) and his wife came over for dinner.  My father started ranting about Carter and inflation so I hit the wine a little harder than I should have, perhaps.  

My mother had some trouble with the grits.  First, they looked dry, so she added the milk as the package directed.  Then, the grits would not cook down. The shrimp were ready to eat.  We decided to eat the watery grits.  I said they were like dorm grits and she didn’t know what that meant.  I meant they were like grits you would be served if you lived in a dorm–all runny.   The grits still tasted good, and the shrimp were amazing, as usual.  

My cousin’s wife got a lecture from my father on why she should take up bridge while my mom, cousin and I talked a little bit about family history.  My mother said that growing up, the joke about her family was that whatever statement you might make at the dinner table, someone would contradict you.  If you said it was a lovely day, someone would counter that they saw clouds.  My mother claims that the smart phone would have eliminated much of their conversation since much of what they debated could be so easily checked, but I like to think perhaps it would have elevated their conversation.   Maybe instead of fighting about facts, they could have discussed ideas.  Then, again, arguing about ideas sounds dangerous.  Maybe it was better that they quibbled over trivia.

Tomorrow I have to try to crank out some work, and the day after that I have to make the long trip home.  Time at my parents’ has a tendency to fly by.

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