Good morning to all of my readers. Just a quick thank you for those of you who comment and those of you who have chosen to follow my blog. I am honored and touched. I hope that I give you some interesting food for thought or some doorway back in time or into the future perhaps.
Today's blog is inspired by a childhood memory. Being that St. Patty's is just around the corner, I thought this might be an appropriate story to share.
When I was a young girl, about the age of 8-9 years old, my mother worked at the Woolworths five and dime on School and Ashland in Chicago. She was the manager of the food counter. Now at the end of the food counter, there was a door that lead down a flight of stairs to the basement. In the basement was a huge kitchen area where there also was a glass windowed office that belonged to my mother. There were all types of cooks and pastry chefs working down there preparing the food for the day. There was one woman in particular who I thoroughly loved to get to see when I would visit. She was a short, somewhat chunky. gray haired lady named Fran...I called her Mrs. Fran. she was not only a great cook, but also a good friend to my mother. Now, Mrs. Fran lived not too far from our house..it was perhaps a 15 minute drive by car. I honestly cannot remember why I would be dropped of by Mrs. Fran's for a day...perhaps to be babysat...although I cannot ever remember a reason that my Grandmother wasn't home...but non the less I would spend a day there with her. Now back then, it seems that we were, or at least I was easily entertained. Mrs. Fran had a nice large back yard. She lived above her daughter and her family. I can remember how charming it was in her smaller apartment. She was of German descent and had touches of Germany all around. There was this small table with a crocheted tablecloth near the door and upon the table was a small frame with a 4 leaf clover inside. I remember it amongst all the other statues and vase of flowers that joined it on the table. I asked about the clover. Mrs. Fran proceeded to tell me about how finding a 4 leaf clover was believed to be good luck to find. She asked if I would like to go search for one. I was so excited. We walked down the back wooden stairs right into the garden and Mrs. Fran explained how I must get down on my hands and knees and begin the magical search. She told me that if I was lucky enough to find one, that she would have it framed for me, just like hers. Well, the one thing anyone knows about me, if I am nothing else...I am persistant...so hours went by as I crawled over and over the grass looking for a 4 leaf clover...unfortunately, to no avail. After quite a long time, and me, being disappointed, Mrs. Fran called me upstairs for lunch. I remember how special it felt to sit down at her table. It was so elegantly prepared for us. She had the most amazing pumpernickel bread, fresh butter and liver sausage sitting on the table with fine china and beautiful floral china teacups. We really didn't drink tea at home unless we were sick, so this was a very special meal. We would chat and talk about the country she came from and other countries that she had visited and snacked on those pumpernickel sandwiches. There were fantastic. When we were finished, she would bring out cookies for us to have with our tea. Before I knew it, my mother was back to pick me up. I hated that the day had come to an end.
I never did find a 4 leaf clover in her yard, although every time I visited, I would search over and over again. Perhaps there was no luck in finding the clover...the fortune came in the visit....and I must say, even though it has nothing to do with St. Patty's day, I still remember the precious gift of those days and Mrs. Fran. I know that she is now gone and perhaps smiling down on me when I occasionally bend over to look for that 4 leaf clover.