Our Retro Bungalow

Our Retro Bungalow
The journal of the making of an old house into a lovely new home.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce: A Quirky Family Tradition

I've got a few blog subjects stacked up in my brain
and I'm hoping to get them written before next week.
And tonight I have two back to back meetings at church,
but I'm gonna try and quickly get this first one done and published.
As I always seem to say...
we'll see.

Dean's mother passed away five years ago on February 3.
She was quite the paradoxical personality.
Or, perhaps, perplexing is a more proper descriptor.
Those particular words are similar in meaning,
but an adequate adjective escapes me at present.
Let's just say she was unique.
At any rate, we've missed her and think of her often.
We've even experienced being "visited" by her since
she left mortality and passed through the veil.
Those are experiences that, as a family, we've spoken of 
several times and shared with a few very close friends 
and other family members.
Maybe one day I'll write about them here.
Maybe not.
We'll see.

As the one year anniversary of her passing approached,
my husband came up with an idea that has stuck.
Well, it's stuck so far as this, the fifth year since she's been gone.
Who knows how long it'll actually last.
We'll see.

Since that first anniversary,
we call all our children and grandchildren together
at the Burger King restaurant on 2nd Street in Ogden.
Why?
Because...
Rose loved nothing more than she LOVED a Whopper.
She loved burgers in general, but the Whopper was her #1 favorite.
And she always ordered her Whopper without pickles and lettuce -
just like the ditty from the old t.v. commercials way back when.
My husband inherited only a few of his mother's traits -
round facial features
thick hands
barrel chested build
stout legs
and
an unquenchable love for burgers.

A few months before she was admitted to a care facility,
Dean had taken her to the emergency room late one night.
They didn't emerge from the hospital until around 4:30 in the morning.
Rose insisted Dean take her to the drive up window at the Burger King
on Harrison Blvd so she could get a Whopper.
"Mom, they're not open. And when they open they won't be serving 
burgers until after breakfast hours."
She persisted.
Dean appeased her by driving up to the window and, sure enough,
they were closed.
When she had to live in the care home we would faithfully pick up 
a Whopper without pickles and lettuce at the drive up window on 
our way to see her every Friday evening.
Our visits always made her happy, but I think it was the Whoppers
that she really, really looked forward to.
In time, though, she couldn't handle the whole Whopper.
Not long after that she was no longer interested in them
and they would languish on her side table beside her bed.
That's when we knew she was close to being done.
Not just with Whoppers, but with being earth-bound.
The Burger King on 2nd Street in Ogden is just across the street to the west
from the apartment building she lived in.
She made friends with all the employees there and was always...
always trying to 
a) fix their personal problems 
and
b) convert them to our church.
Her efforts were admirable, her heart was in the right place, 
but her methods were a bit...
hmmmmm...
taxing?
Well, there's been a complete turnover of employees by now
and whether or not any of them "changed their ways"
or joined the church, we are unaware.
But so long as we can,
we will continue our relatively new
and quirky family tradition
of
The Grandma Rose Memorial Dinner
at 
Burger King
on 2nd Street.
Our daughter, Jocelyn, inherited this portrait of Rose that was painted 
by Rose's sister, Mildred many years ago.
 It has come along with us each year so that
grandma is "there" with us while we eat and share memories of her each year, 

 But it wouldn't surprise any of us Mossi's one bit
if her spirit self really were right there, watching over our gathering in her honor
 and wishing with all the might her spirit self can muster that she
could have just one more bite of a Whopper -
without pickles and lettuce, of course.