27 November 2009

A Man in Love - Libations Friday! 27 Nov 2009

*** A poem about the struggle for love reunited...

From Denny:
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I cooked and have been laying back yesterday and today and posting in the afternoon my time instead of the early morning. It's been three years since my car accident where I was able to make a proper dinner again and it sure felt good!

The menu at our house for two? Roasted Cajun Turkey (lots of fresh chopped rosemary, spices, browned clarified butter and white wine as a wet rub while it roasted), roasted sweet potatoes with browned clarified butter. Because of the awesome spices and sauvignon blanc wine in the web rub that were now mixed into the roasting pan's drippings - the gravy was out of this world perfection - no need to add extra spice.

We enjoyed sauteed garlicky green beans (bought them fresh on Saturday, blanched them and all I had to do was toss them together in a saute pan with clarified browned butter, a bit of Creole seasoning, and, when cooked enough, then took them off the heat and add granulated garlic powder and tossed again: simple!) :)

Then there was that awesome fresh cranberry chutney with pineapple in it, sure beats that canned weirdness of jellied cranberry juice. To top it off we love a spicy apple pie. Since there were only two of us this year and I didn't want to get stuck with eating up a large pie day after day, I went for individual pies. I took a tip from a professional chef and cooked up ahead of time the fresh Braeburn apples filling - with loads of freshly grated nutmeg, ground cloves and lots of cinnamon with browned clarified butter, white and dark brown sugars.

Also, made the unsalted butter pie dough ahead of time and chilled in the fridge. All I had to do was roll out about a three inch ball of dough just large enough to cover an individual round ramekin dish. Placed the filling in the lightly buttered ramekin and covered with the circle of dough, poked three holes in it and then baked for 25 - 30 minutes and voila! yummy perfect apple pie. You also avoid too much gooey pie crust and instead have perfect crispy crust, thin and delicate.

OK, so for today what did we do for lunch? Wash, rinse, repeat. And wow! it was still as good as yesterday's meal!

So, why the big "what I had for my meal" lead-in? I'm so glad you asked - or were scratching your head in confusion... Since I slowed down to savor the holiday today I had time to reflect upon yesterday. My husband and I always spend time on a holiday to reflect and relate interesting or inspiring stories to each other of what we find in our world. This following poem story relates one such unusual and beautiful story I learned yesterday and is certainly something to ponder.

Photo by JustinLowery.com @ flickr

A Man in Love

After our Thanksgiving Day meal my husband and I lounged on the couch sipping our after-dinner coffee.

Every Thanksgiving we talk, sometimes for hours, about touching stories we heard that year.

This is a true story that took place more than 60 years ago in the World War Two generation.

It’s the universal story of a young soldier at war, yearning to get home to the woman he loves.

Oddly, as the story unfolded, I felt that finger-run up your spine sensation that happens when your spirit is awakened from its slumber.

The spiritual energy journeyed upward, warmed and flung open the doors of my heart, my eyes brimming with tears and a smile.

Then the energy rose up into my head in a burst of spreading light and settling calm.

In seconds I was intensely awake and aware, knowing to focus upon the story for it was important.

The young soldier was a lieutenant who had served in North Africa and Normandy.

It was here in Normandy he found himself alone on a hill, badly wounded by shrapnel.

He was separated from his unit. No one knew his location and no one could retrieve him under withering enemy fire if they did.

Charles knew he had to do something or he would die of his wounds in a matter of minutes.

He thought long and hard about his priorities in Life. Charles had not seen his wife in almost three years.

All he wanted to do was get home to make love to his wife. It was a simple decision that propelled him forward.

While the bullets flew above his head and near him he started crawling down that hill an inch at a time, bleeding profusely.

He kept the image of his wife’s face in his head, determined to make it home to her.

Charles wondered if he was going to survive this crawl downhill. Between the bullets and the blood he knew he needed immediate medical attention. He crawled on.

Finally, he made it to the bottom of the hill safely. He saw another soldier and begged him to help, asking him to call a medic.

The soldier replied, “No problem. I am a medic.” Charles was well relieved and thankful. The first person he meets at the bottom of the hill was a medic.

The medic tended to his wounds, stopped the bleeding and stabilized him for transport.

He asked the name of the Mexican-American medic because he didn’t want to forget the name of the man who saved his life.

The medic stuck out his hand to shake and said, “Oh, I’m Jesus, glad to meet you.”

Charles was startled, wondering if God had really heard his battlefield prayer and then thought maybe it was just coincidence.

Months passed while Charles was in the hospital recovering from his wounds.

The war was ending, he recovered well enough and was sent home.

Finally, he would see his wife’s face in person, no longer dependent upon her letters and a well worn photo he kept in his pocket to remember her beautiful face.

Charles traveled back to Texas where he and his wife were to meet. He promised to meet her at a special hotel.

When he arrived at the hotel lobby, Charles was surprised to see the place flooded with soldiers arriving back from the war just like him.

He tried to book a room but they were full; Charles was shocked he didn’t realize to plan ahead.

He sat down in the lobby trying to figure out what to do. He was shocked this reunion was not the beautiful meeting he had planned in his mind.

The reality of disappointing his wife overwhelmed him. He slumped into the lobby chair, frozen in disbelief.

He could not seem to lift his head, think straight or move his feet to action. Charles just sat there dumbfounded.

After all he went through to stay alive on the battlefield, heal in the hospital and travel here, he had not anticipated this.

As he was reflecting upon his dilemma and how to face his wife, a man approached him.

“I see you look troubled, soldier. Is there anything I can do to help?”

Charles came out of his battlefield reverie of what he had promised himself as he crawled down that hill to see a tall man, well dressed in an expensive business suit.

He wondered why the man was bothering to care about him but was touched at his concern.

Charles suddenly opened up and told the man his problem, something before this war he would have never done to a complete stranger.

The man nodded his head, said nothing, and turned to go over to the hotel desk.

The stranger returned to Charles, and said in a kind voice, “Don’t worry, soldier. It’s all been arranged. You deserve the best.”

Charles was startled, “What do you mean?”

The man smiled, handed him the room key, and walked away.

Charles was so shocked he barely mumbled his thanks as the man disappeared. He never did get his name.

While he was counting his good luck his mood began to lift. His wife walked into the lobby just ten minutes after the stranger left his side.

As he saw his wife approach he forgot all about everything. His dream was reality. He was finally reunited with his love. Suddenly everything felt right in the world again.

When he and his wife arrived at their room, Charles was surprised the man had given them not just a basic room but a spacious well-appointed suite.

Nine months to the day of their hotel reunion their first child was born.

Charles knew the birth of their child was his third blessing.

As Charles tells his story all these years later he is convinced that man was an angel, “And if he wasn’t a real angel, well, he sure was to me and my wife that day!”

Denny Lyon
Copyright 26 November 2009
Thanksgiving Day
All Rights Reserved

*** Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!
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