Sunday, December 9, 2018

RAMBLINGS & RECIPES - Remembering Butchie

Has there been someone in your life that has made such an impact on you that your heart just swells with love whenever you think of her?  I met Verna Horton many years ago when I joined an online group of Granny's. We weren't just online friends, we also traveled together. 

Every year we would meet in a city where one of us lived and the "host" granny would take us to all the best places to visit. 
We met in places like Branson, Missouri, and Vancouver, B.C., and Maggie Valley, NC, and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and here in Islamorada, Florida, just to name a few. We had such a grand time each time we got together! (Note: The two bus riders on the lower right were added just for fun... or maybe it was wishful thinking!)

All of these ladies are dear to my heart, but Verna (also known as "Butchie") touched my soul. Whenever I was having a bad day and started grumbling about something, she would tell me "Suck it up and stick it out" or "Put on your big girl panties".  She had such a no-nonsense way of talking to you, but she always had this big smile on her face.

Butchie had an interesting life. She was one of the older ladies in our group, but she was always ready to go on another adventure. She shared some fascinating things about her life and I'd like to share some of her writings with you. She is gone now, but she will always be remembered. I hope her family sees this and realizes just how much she meant to so many.

RE:who am I??????????
(Date Posted:07/10/2009 12:24:27 PM)

I have told all this before and everything pretty much stays the same.  Maybe a few more pounds since I last related any dirt on me!

I was born the second child of some poor country folk who eked out a living during the depression of the 1930's,  farming some one else's' land on shares.  The year was 1930 and Herbert Hoover was the president.  My parents apparently were unaware that they had just given birth to  'perfection'  so they went on to have three more children. So I had three sisters and one brother.

I managed to stay alive during my reckless pre-teen years and graduated from the one room, eight grades school.  I went from there as a Freshman in the high school in a town 20 miles from home.  I went there for four years and graduated with a Major in bad boys and a Minor in cute guys.

I found Mr. Right and wrestled him to the altar.  I had two near perfect sons and had a Beaver Cleaver style life. 

I was P.T.A. President and Cub Scout Den Leader for three years and bowled in a league every Wednesday.

Also was in a group of ladies who got together and played poker every two weeks taking turns hosting.  We drank beer and ate potato chips all afternoon while playing penny ante poker.

Then the foundation crumbled on my playhouse and my Prince became ill.  So I went to work and he had a summer of doing nothing so he was home with the boys.  We were allowed to keep him for four more years before he had to give it up.

I continued in my job and became an officer of the bank where I worked.  The boys grew up, left home, married and there I was.  I was quite content with no thoughts of ever getting married again.  I was quite happy with a part time, some time guy.  I had a man when I needed one or wanted one but never, ever, did I ever want to do laundry for a man, cook his meals, or keep his house.

Then for some reason, it all just flew out the window...........Les came to work in the bank and he said he came there looking for me and I guess he just sort of turned my head and I up and married him! 

That is pretty much ' the rest of the story'.   We had 30 years together before he lost his battle with the big C.

Now I am quite content with my great grandchildren and all my Granny friends. 

Here is another one of her memories she shared with me:

Do you ever see something that triggers another trip down memory lane?  I do and this morning it was waffles for breakfast. I sat down today and wrote a couple more pages to add the book I have put together for my children and grand-children. I will share it with you.

The Summer Of 1938

I was born in Douglas County Kansas in the year of 1930 in a rural area near a little settlement name Richland. Richland is no longer there because in the 1971 Clinton Reservoir was completed and filled, taking over a large number of acres which swallowed up the small town of Richland.

My Father was a farmer and the depression of the 30's along with being in a dust, bowl caused my father to re-think his profession.

My Mother's family had years ago, all migrated to California. My Father thought the employment situation there was better than in Kansas, so he sold off all his livestock, sold his household furniture and belongings.

He then loaded up his wife and four children in a 1929 Ford and headed west. This was in the early spring. Now remember, this was summer time in Kansas and an air conditioned vehicle was not even a dream, I would bet..

There are many things that I remember vividly about that trip across the States. One was Death Valley and another was Needles, California. All the cactus and Joshua trees.

We would have flat tires and hot radiators. I remember Mother and us kids sitting in the shade made by the car while my father patched a tire or found water for the radiator.  We would watch the jack rabbits.

My father always called me the Toilet Inspector because I had to check out one every time we stopped. These were all outhouses, of course, and some were two holers. I do not remember if there were 'His and Her's' or not. Any way, I remember having left a little red jacket that was my favorite in one and it was too far to return to try to find it.

I remember daddy buying us orange soda pop and sometimes Cracker Jacks, in the blue and white box with the little sailor boy on it. That prize in there was so exciting and once we found a coupon on one to send off, along with a quarter, for one of the little white sailor hats. He would also get us an Oh Henry bar or Baby Ruth candy bar.

After arriving in California we found our relatives. My mothers parents were still alive along with all 10 of her brothers and sisters so finding a place to stay was no problem.

My father went to work for the Parks Department mowing the city parks. I remember him finding many lost items in those parks. Two things that stick in my mine is a pair of handcuffs and some stirrups.

I remember the sidewalks being so hot it would burn our feet and we would hop from one clump of grass to another. On some of these walks along hot sandy walks and paths was where I first encountered a horned toad. We would play with them, turn them over and rub their little bellies. My father was afraid of them and he had always been afraid of spiders. The thought of running into one of those Black Widow spiders nearly made him ill.

I saw my first ice cream vender ce there. The sound of music coming from that little truck was just magical. We would run to find it at the very first sound. Ice cream bars were a nickel and if we were real lucky, we would find the word 'FREE'' stamped on the stick after devouring the ice cream.

I also ate my first waffle at one of my Aunt's houses. I had only had pancakes before because we had no electricity in our home. She made the best waffles, she put chopped pecans in them and I am not sure I had ever tasted a pecan. I have tried in past years, to make some and I never quite got it right.
Another thing she made at times was Boston cream pie. I remember it being better than I can make myself. Could it be my taste has changed or has my memory faded or is it just the way it is?

Another Aunt had a small greenhouse and they grew orchids and they also had peacocks. I loved finding their beautiful feathers and I can still remember the racket they made.

My father got the itch to return to Kansas and start over again on a farm. We returned in the fall. We loaded up the same old ford with family and belongings. Only this time I think we must have been quite a site. We looked like we may have been related to 'The Clampet's. Tied down on top of the car was my baby brothers bed that mother bought while there. And she still had that baby bed for all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren to use while visiting.'

It was Butchie's "memories" that encouraged me to write my own memories down so that my children and grandchildren will know me just a wee bit better. Unless those memories are shared, future generations will lose so much about the way we lived so many years ago.  Thank you Butchie. You will never be forgotten.

This is by no means a new recipe. It was first found in the early 1940's on a can of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup.  Verna Horton (known online as "Butchie") shared this recipe with my granny friends in Grandma's Gems. These brownies have been made and enjoyed all around the world and one of the gals in our granny group renamed them to honor our good friend, who just happened to live in Texas!

1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1 can Hershey's Chocolate Syrup (16 oz.)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Butter a 9x13 pan. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs.  Fold in flour and chocolate. Bake at 350 F degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool.

1/2 cup chocolate chips
4 marshmallows
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup milk

Boil sugar, milk and butter for one minute. Add marshmallows and chips. Beat until thick. Frost.


Post a Comment


The Novel Lady Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon