Last week while we were still visiting Richard's family in Missouri, his parents gave us some fresh meat all wrapped in thick white paper (not sure where they got it, but it wasn't from a store).
As soon as I saw the tightly wrapped white packages.... I suddenly transformed into a little girl wandering around a small grocery store in Northern Indiana where my dad worked- behind the meat counter.
My dad was more than a meat cutter-- old timers would have called him a "butcher" [I really sound old now- lol~]. I remember his showing me large chunks of meat hanging from hooks in the walk-in coolers/freezers (gross) ... and recall his story or two about how he cut up deer meat for some customers who came to the back of the store, requesting the service (he and his boss did this occasionally for people-- I'm thinking only for a select few).
[My mom & dad ]Memories of dad at work involved a bloody white apron (eww), enormous blades guided by dad, cutting meat after meat after meat .... :) . Then, he'd pack the smaller pieces into those little white papers and hand them to the customers. I never figured out how he folded and tucked those papers so tightly- how do they do that?! Oh yes, he also sliced lunch meat too, of course. :) I've always liked watching those slicing machines.
Dad was a great people-person who made customers feel special with his chit-chat (never knew a stranger), going to great lengths to please picky customers. :)
He'd sometimes come home from work complaining how certain people were difficult to please and how one can't make everyone happy. :) Seems like he cut, wrapped, then re-wrapped three different cuts of the same type of meat for an extra picky customer, only to have the customer turn up their nose and claim they didn't want any of it. In my girl heart, I held a grudge against that customer. Haha! :) :) Most of the time, customers were reasonable and dad loved talking with them while serving their meat orders. :) His stories from work often included new co-workers ('twas a very small country store, so co-workers included cashiers) and whether or not they were good workers. Poor workers irritated him, and workers who couldn't talk while working, amused him.
He ALWAYS came home smelling of raw meat, and I often noticed how his hands were slightly swollen and red. He'd tell me it was from working with cold meat all day long. Now I wonder why he didn't wear gloves?!?! ;) He enjoyed working with people, but didn't necessarily like his job.
Oh yes-- how can I forget dad's words: "If you could see what I see every day .... you wouldn't be eating the stuff...", which explains why dad cared little for meat (especially disliked chicken), and one reason why mom cooked many casseroles. lol! :)
Returning to present day 2012 .... little white packages lie waiting in our freezer ... reminding me of dad (will I, or won't I cook them?). :) Haha~ :)
Me ... the daughter of a meat cutter in Northern Indiana .... marrying the son of a minister in SW Missouri. Not even my little girl mind dreamed up such a thing. Funny how life goes ... and I feel quite blessed. :) :)
I'll have to tell that story another time~! :)