Crêpe: (n) a thin, light delicate pancake

 Sitting here, pausing, mulling the idea and the essence of the crepe, it occurred to me that many of the transitions and outstanding moments in my life have been marked by the discovery and pursuit of some new food.

Maybe that’s why I’m overweight.

I’ve lived such a full life at the banquet table of experience.

I remember when I was about six years old and I ate pickle-pimento lunchmeat for the first time. It was so good. I liked it when it was sliced thin. I liked it when the butcher made it chunkier.

I liked pickle-pimento loaf so much that I asked for it on my twelfth birthday.

On that day, and throughout that night, I personally ate an entire pound of the stuff.

I never developed a dislike for it—just allowed it to graduate on to my next epiphany of treats.

There was a season when I discovered Chinese food. Having graduated from high school, I found myself driving my old car to downtown Columbus—that being the one in the state of Ohio—and walking around, taking in some theater, and visiting (and eventually frequenting) a little Chinese walk-in restaurant called La Toy.

I had never eaten such fare during my growing up years. I quickly developed a favorite. It was listed as Number 3 on the menu: Fried rice, Egg Foo Yung and Chicken Chow Mein.

So whether I was shopping, looking for a chance to play in a rock and roll band, trying to figure out how to flirt with a girl or going to the state theater to see the Broadway cast of Godspell, I always ended up afterwards at La Toy, munching my jaws on my favored three.

Then a few years later, when I was traveling on the road trying to scratch out a living (but actually not caring one way or the other if the electric company got their payment) I stopped in with a couple of friends at the International House of Pancakes, and posed the question:

What is a crêpe?

It was explained to me, and on a whim, I ordered some, with strawberries on top.

Crêpes are the best of pancakes. They aren’t so heavy and flour-filled. They also are the best of eggs because you don’t have to decide if you like the yolks or not. I became fond of crêpes and frequented I-Hop so often that I nearly went bankrupt from my less-than-wealthy purse.

But to this day, if I come upon a crêpe, I will order it.

Matter of fact, some day in the future, arriving in heaven, sitting before me at the Banquet Table of Life, will be pickle-pimento loaf, Number 3 from La Toy and a platter of crêpes.


funny wisdom on words that begin with a C




Basket: (n) a container used to hold or carry thingsDictionary B

I have never been particularly fond of work.

I do prefer work that I make up instead of chores that are made up for me. But like every other God-fearing American, I enjoy money.

So when I was a kid–about twelve–my dad, for a very brief time, grew strawberries on our little farm, with the intent of picking them, selling them and procuring an extra income.

Nobody in our family knew how difficult it was to pick strawberries. The plants do not have the decency to grow tall enough to reach up to you. No, you have to go down to get them on the ground.

My dad wanted to sell a pint of strawberries for a quarter. He offered me a nickel for every pint of strawberries I picked.

So I picked and I picked and I picked–and every time I brought him a pint to examine, he said it was not quite full.

At the end of the first day, I had only picked two pints, earning a dime. So overnight, practically in my dreams, I came up with a plan.

Unknown to my father, I carried a roll of toilet paper with me into the strawberry patch, and filled the bottom of my basket halfway with toilet paper, making sure that when I picked the strawberries, they covered the toilet paper so that it would take half as much to achieve a pint.

That night I not only received great praise for picking more baskets–eight in all–but proudly walked away with 40 cents.

I pulled this off for two days until people who were purchasing the strawberries began to complain to my parent about being cheated out of product by being given bathroom issue.

My father was furious.

I don’t know whether he was more unhappy because of the complaints of the people or because I was such a cheat.

But I learned that day that a basket is a basket and never will cease to be a basket.

If you find the basket is too small, then you need to get a larger basket.

And, as in the case of my strawberry picking, if you find the basket is too big, rather than cheating, you must acquire a smaller basket.


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Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAgriculture: (n) the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of soil for growing of crops and rearing animals to provide food, wool and other products.

“The good old days.”

I am not a proponent of such foolishness. I realize that the good old days were the bad new ways for the former good old days.

Old people pine for the past because that’s when they felt young and virile. It has no conscience for the morality, prejudice or lack of scientific development that may have existed.

But I will say aloud that we have lost something in our culture by moving from an agrarian society (agriculture) to one of manufacturing and now, basically confined to service.

Matter of fact, last year when I was sending little gifts to my grandson, I included, with one of my five dollar bills, a request that he take his daddy out to a store and buy tomato seeds, go into their back yard and plant the little miracles in the ground and see what happens.

Of all the tasks I gave him to accomplish with a donation attached, this one probably was the most memorable.

First of all, he was astonished at how quickly the tomatoes grew. But then he was shocked by how all these little bugs came along and decided they wanted to eat up his tomatoes before he got the chance to pick ’em.

This young man, who is growing up in an urban area, was suddenly treated to the wonders of rural life–and also to a life lesson of planting, nurturing, growing, protecting and harvesting.

I think we have forgotten where things come from. Because of this, we are demanding instead of being more cautious about our requests because we have good comprehension about the amount of work it takes to acquire blessing.

When I was a kid my father grew strawberries. I thought it was a great idea because I loved to eat strawberries. What I failed to understand was the season that the magical fruit units required for growing–and then, because the vines are so close to the ground, the need to get down on your hands and knees to pick them.

I not only gained a greater appreciation for the strawberry itself, but was also more reverent in my consumption, knowing that every pint I ate would take another twenty minutes of my life to regain.

In some form, if we’re going to continue to be a society that has relegated farming to a chosen few, we will need to teach our children the earth process that goes into making something beautiful … from the seed of an idea.


Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAcre: (n.) a unit of land area equal to 4,840 square yards

I don’t use the word “acre” much.

I once had a house near the lake which sat on one-and-a-half acres–considered to be a lot of land in its location.

Of course, it’s NOTHING in comparison to forty acres and a mule. That’s what each emancipated slave was promised upon leaving the plantation to begin a life of freedom. (Most of them are still waiting.)

It did make me think… forty acres are a LOT of turf. But I suppose if you had a family of four or five people, it would take that much land to plant enough crops to sustain one through the year.

My family owned a farm just outside our little town which was about four or five acres. (My brother recently described it as a “forty acre farm,” but I am quite sure that was embellishment  … or land envy.) But I do remember that the four or five acres was also quite expansive–since NONE of us knew how to farm, clear the terrain or maintain the surroundings.

I once thought I might like to be a land-owner, or baron. But after owning a home for a certain length of time and wondering if every creak would turn into a crimp, draining my bank account, I am not quite so eager to be an “acre taker.”

As I travel across the country, I drive by fields which are impeccably maintained by intelligent farmers who provide the sustenance for our country–and probably enough surplus to feed the whole world, if such a notion ever popped into our minds. Such magnificent technicians these farmers must be!

Because I remember–when my family tried to grow strawberries on about a half an acre, the sheer brute force of nature, in the form of weeds, pestilence and poor weather conditions, turned our little crop into scrub brush instead of quarts and quarts of blessing.

I am so glad there are people who understand “acre,” so that I can benefit from their wisdom … and buy my strawberries in containers at the store.

I hope someday I can assist them in some wonderful way. Maybe I could write an essay on planting or harvesting.