Kilos is a Lot of Spinach
(E.D. Coons--AKA Grandpa)
One of the attractions of Morocco was the market where we bought fresh fruits and veggies. The Citrus was tree-ripened and luscious. The best watermelon we ever had came from a Moroccan field. I often did the shopping at the market because 1) I had worked in the produce section at a grocery store and 2) Mother hated to haggle. One day, the spinach looked particularly good and the price was right. so when asked how much I wanted, I said 'deux kilos' (which is what I always got of oranges, or tomatos). There wasn't room in the string bags for 4 1/2 pounds of loose leaf spinach. He filled them up plus a big newspaper cone. We must have eaten spinach till it ran out our ears. Fortunately you youngsters were too small to remember, and anyway, another 'deux' story came along a few years later... [Ed's note: Part Deux is a 'Steve' story. Click Here to read it.]
Everything he says is true except the Spinach episode happened in Evreaux,
France. I stayed home with the kids & Dad went shopping.
Dad's purchase of 2 kilos of spinach was a disaster of no small proportions
(1 kilo = 2.2 pounds) We had a very small French refrigerator about
3 x 4 feet. So we ate a lot of spinach quick!
Saratoga, Julie, and Harvey
E.D. Coons (AKA Grandpa)
Going to Mutual (YM/YW for the younger generation) in the Dodge Dart was always interesting and always crowded. I can remember calling Mrs Benninotti a few times when we were going to be late to ward of dire consequences for Julie (not being able to go again). I remember being packed in so tightly in back with the seat full and occationally someone laying across everyones knees.
We bought six boxes of pears one year and of course many of them ripened at the same time. We were just getting going good in the canning preparations when Julie showed upl Surveying the scene, she said, "I'm sure I hear my mother calling..." But she pitched in and helped anyway.
Harvey the snowman was a great project. We used up all the snow in the side yard. The balls got so big we had to build a ramp of boards to roll the second section up. He was named harvey after the invisible 8' rabbit of the same name. I'm not sure quite why he is so memorable except that we all worked together to build him and it was fun.
From Sharon: I remember Harvey rather well, considering how little I was at the time. We measured him—wasn’t he 11’ 4” tall to the top of his cap? I’m pretty sure it was 11’ something. And *I* was asked to make the cap by sculpting a cone from a bucketful of packed snow and topping it off with a snowball. (Oh, I was SO important! Of course, from this perspective, I see that it kept a small child happy and out of the way of moving two-ton snowballs!) I remember watching Dad & you older boys rolling the middle ball up two 2 x 4s. It was obviously very heavy, and you weren’t sure you’d get that second ball up there. I was a little concerned, because there was some talk of having to make do with a two-ball snowman. (Travesty!) On a later day, Julie wrote “I love you Harvey” or some such silliness on him using food color & water. And after he got knocked over, Dave & I used the lower two balls as slides. They lasted a good long time. I believe we carved a step or two into the bigger one so we could climb it.
H.I. Coons (AKA Grandma)
As a small child Dale was pretty curious. When we moved to Morocco, Dale was probably 2 1/2 and Mike 1 1/2 and we were expecting Sandy. We lived in Port Lyautey (now Kenitra) and one did not leave anything outside unattended, even the clothes drying on the line were fair game. It was such a poor country that unattended goods were a gift from Allah and soon stolen.
One hot day the wading pool was set up on the front porch and two little boys were in swimsuits to cool off. I was working in the kitchen and listening to the childish conversation while I worked. Pretyy soon there was the patter of little bare feet on the terrazo floors--in fact multiple trips in and out accompanied by a lot of giggling. I went to check -- and every bath towel I owned was floating in the pool. So we all sat in the back yard watching towels dry!
We moved into a new duplex on base at Sidi Slimane. There was no yard landscaping so we hired a moroccan man to plant grass (from this distance I don't rememer the man's name, seems to me they were called mostly Mohammed or L'Arrabe). Anyway he arrived daily on bike which he parked in the carport. Moroccans are generally very patient with children--as you will see. Dale had been outside playing and I came out to check up on him and he'd been into the bike's saddle bags and were busily eating the man's lunch--and he let you do it--So I made you give it back and had to augment his lunch--
We had a 'Girl Friday' named Aisha who came in daily to babysit and clean a bit. Aisha often tied Sandy on her back as she worked. Sandy loved it--talk about spoiled!
So many memories are concerned with doing things together. Often we were as much a curiosity as the places we went to see. I lost the 4 oldest (one each time) at varying places we visited around the world so I developed a habit of counting noses at each turn. It stood us in good stead as we traipsed through museums & castles.
Museums with Sharie
were interesting. Everyone else would look and move on -- Sharie
and I were always behind as she read every word describing every display.