For their 50th wedding anniversary, telling us kids that they were spending our inheritance, my folks chartered three busses and took their kids, friends, and relations on a three-day tour of northern Arizona. We visited the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, and Sunset Crater.
For breakfast, we pulled into a rest area and dined on day-old sweet rolls (with raisins) and glasses of pineapple/grapefruit juice—the standard breakfast fare back when our family of seven kids went on long road trips.
At dinner my oldest sister, Janice, stood up and told the group that our father was always a good provider, but he wasn’t good at holding a job. She then went on to recount all the jobs he had held over the years—teacher, farmer, underground miner, truck driver, carpenter, construction company owner, and finally a life insurance salesman.
His partner in the construction business was a guy named Lloyd Coon. Lloyd, and his wife, Lois, were from Iowa. Brought up on Midwest farms, both my mother and Lois were used to taking midmorning snacks to the farm hands out in the fields. When Lloyd and my dad ran the construction company, my mother and Lois took turns providing forenoon coffee to their work crew.
Lloyd and Lois were also good friends, and our families spent many mealtimes together at our house or theirs.
So today, as I was baking my pumpkin pie, I was thinking about Lloyd Coon.
As I mentioned last week, my mother’s pumpkin pies were top drawer. And when Lloyd and Lois came for pumpkin pie, it was always served on the blue-bubble dishes my folks received as a wedding present.
One night, Evie dished up the pie and then set one piece in front of Lloyd and one in front of my father. Lloyd immediately whipped a measuring tape out of his pocket and measured the two pieces to make sure my father’s piece wasn’t bigger than his.
To this day, whenever I pour glasses of wine or milk, I always move them side by side to make sure both glasses contain the same amount.
We call that “Lloyding it,” and now you know why.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.