Donna Fielder: Time to reach for The Recipe

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Donna Fielder

Thank goodness we found my iPod.

Thursday was a day of thankfulness, and every Thanksgiving Day, I try to take time to really think about the things for which I am most thankful.

When my husband was alive and the kids were little and the relatives flocked in so that my thoughts were more in tune with vultures than turkeys, The Recipe usually topped my thankfulness list. It was a delightful concoction of orange juice, vodka and peach schnapps in equal measures - more vodka if my mother-in-law was on the guest list - and I sat and sipped my way through hours of homey family time in a happy holiday haze.

Nowadays, however, it's just me and the twins, and the need for The Recipe has lessened, though I can't say that it has totally disappeared, because I have now reached the age when I'm stupid again.

My intelligence has waxed and waned over the years depending on the age of my children. When they were little, I was smart - the smartest person in the world. If Dad didn't know, they were sure they could go to Mom and get the answer to any question, from "Where do the birds go when it's raining?" to "Hey Mom, what are condoms? Dad said to ask you."

About the time the twins turned 13, I got terribly stupid. Not only was I dumb, but I kept trying to tell them what to do, and my ideas were total eye-rollers.

I slowly began regaining an IQ above 70 as the kids grew into their late teens and early 20s, and for a long time I became almost brilliant every time one of them was short for cash.

Lately, I've noticed them talking about me behind their hands. I get, "Now, Mom, don't let the bread burn. You know how you are." And "Don't stand on that chair. You'll fall and break a hip."

The iPod incident began with my smartphone, which is obviously not as smart as it thinks it is, or it would not have swallowed more downloaded music than it could hold, causing it to burp disjointed lyrics and driving me to seek the embrace of the iPod.

I'm looking at a 12-hour airplane ride in about a week, and with Sherry as a seatmate I'm going to need diversion to keep from needling her to the point that she tosses me out of the plane.

My daughter watched with some concern as I opened every drawer, prowled through every closet, coon-fingered every jacket pocket looking for the iPod.

"When was the last time you saw it and where was it then?" she asked.

"I found it in my desk drawer a couple of weeks ago," I responded.

"And what did you do with it then?" she asked in a falsely sweet tone of voice.

"If I knew that, I wouldn't be turning the house upside down, now would I?"

And she sighed.

"OK. Sit quietly and visualize the iPod. What color is it?"

"Pink," I said impatiently. "But there is some white associated with it. Maybe the cord."

"OK, OK, we're making progress. What did you think when you saw it?"

"I thought, 'Oh, there's my iPod,'" I said brightly.

She was not amused.

"What did you think you would do with it?"

"I had no plans for it," I said.

"So where would you put something you had no plans for?"

"My desk drawer."

"But you looked there."


Christi disappeared into my office and returned a few minutes later with my iPod between her thumb and forefinger. She had found it in my desk drawer. "You didn't tell me it was tiny!"

"You asked if it was the size of a credit card, and I said smaller."

She wiggled it before my face. "This is much smaller than a credit card. You should have told me it was the size of a stick of gum.

"And another thing," she lectured. "This is hot pink. You didn't tell me it was hot pink."

"I said it was pink," I retorted. "Did you look at it a few times and say to yourself, 'Oh, this can't be it. It's hot pink and looks like a stick of gum with a sync cord.'"

She plopped on the couch, picked up her movie magazine and began reading Kim Kardashian's ex's side of the story. I headed for the kitchen to mix up a batch of The Recipe.

It was Thanksgiving night, my time for ruminating on my good fortune. And wow, I'm so thankful I wasn't out of peach schnapps.

DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is

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