21 April 2017

A potato tradition

Joshua and I have a tradition and that tradition revolves around potatoes. Yes, that most humble starchy root vegetable is a cause for celebration at our house and here's why.

Over a year ago, on April 8, 2016, we officially moved in to our house. It was, as my previous blog entry states, a mess. And adding all the boxes of our (read: mostly my) belongings on top of everything already there was...a little much. So, we're in the house, we've been packing and moving and driving back and forth all weekend long with little more than the briefest breaks for meals. We had been working so hard. Finally, it was around nine pm and we had brought the very last load of belongings: the pets. Once the animals were relocated, that was it. We were done. I had Chip, our lab/chow mix, in my car with Andy, our tabby cat, and Franklin, our red eared slider, safe in carriers in the backseat. Joshua had Bruno, our Rhodesian Ridgeback, in his truck, with a cat carrier full of chickens in the bed. This was it. This was the last step.

We unloaded, got the animals settled, and poured ourselves into chairs at the tiny green kitchen table I'd bought for my little apartment two years back. Then, we realized neither of us had eaten for hours. Okay, what is there? Answer: nothing. With the move, we didn't know how long it would take to get utilities run, so we ate all we could and passed the rest around before the move. Very little refrigerated food. Everything canned is in a box and the can opener is in another box. Nothing is open in this town of 400 this late at night. Neither of us want to go anywhere, not just cause we (read: I) don't want to leave the animals alone. We've got to figure this out.

Finally, we found two potatoes, some butter in the fridge, two bottles of water, and the salt shaker. I popped the spuds in the microwave (because the electricity was hooked up) and started them cooking while Joshua dug for silverware and dug out another plate. Ten minutes later, we had a very simple meal: baked potatoes with butter and salt and water. We relaxed, unwound, and just took in everything that had happened in the last seventy-two hours. We had uprooted our entire lives and relocated to a house that we were buying. It was all a little wild in that moment. There was no going back to our old house. We were home.

This year, on April 10th (scheduling prevented the tradition beginning on the anniversary date of the 8th as it should have) we recreated that meal and began our tradition. Every year, we will have baked potatoes and water. One half of each potato will be exactly as it was that first night: butter, salt, nothing else. For the other half, one topping will be added each year to represent how far we've come. This year, we added cheese.

Does your family celebrate any unique traditions? Where did those traditions come from?
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