Thursday, March 20, 2008

Floorboard Pie

On my recent trip to California we (mom and others) were able to go by the home of Fred and Carol A. My mom and Carol have been friends for about thirty-five years now and when we lived in the same small northern California town during the 70's, I remember the two of them, as well as the rest of our families, spending a bunch of time together.

That's Psycho Mom on the left and Carol on the right.

As I recall, I hadn't seen Carol or her husband for at least 20+ years, but as I walked into their home it was like putting on my favorite pair of jeans. They're the ones that always feel just right no matter what the occasion.

You may have something or someone similar that you think of. Perhaps you haven't thought about them for quite some time either, but whatever or whoever they are doesn't matter; it's the warm comfortable feeling you get from them when you "put them on".

Fred is a gentle, soft spoken man. As honest as a summer day is long and he is the type that would give you his last dollar, even if it meant he would go hungry because of it. He's an average sized man in stature, but when he grabs a hold of your hand as he greets you, it's like shaking hands with a grizzly bear. It's a handshake that in one firm squeeze, tells you of his unwavering integrity.

Carol reminds me a lot of my mom. She'll invite you into her house with a big hug and an even bigger smile and from the minute you walk in she makes you feel welcome. She has the greatest sense of humor a person could possess and her laugh is infectious. The kind of laugh that fills the room and makes everyone around want to join in. If there was an award for being a great person, she would win it hands down.

I could go on and on about how wonderful these two people are, but I think you get the general idea. Suffice to say, think of the nicest person(s) you know and you have Fred or Carol.

We sat at their kitchen table and reminisced about days gone by when one particular story that has always been near and dear to my heart came up.

Carol had been telling my mom not once, but many, many times about a delicious cherry pie recipe she had come across. It was supposed to be one of those "the best thing since sliced bread" kind of pies. After hearing Carol rave about how good this pie was, mom did what any good friend would do. She said, "If this pie is as good as you say it is how about making one and bringing it over so we can judge for ourselves how wonderful it is."

Little did mom know that this was precisely what her best friend would do. Some time later, days or weeks I'm not sure, carol called mom on the phone and said, "Gerry, I just wanted to make sure your at home, because I have something I want to bring over for you."

Now whatever time had passed, it was long enough for mom to have not been automatically thinking, "It must be the famous cherry pie I've heard about."

"Yeah, we're here," mom replied.

"I'll be over in a little bit," Carol said.

At the time I was probably about seven or eight years old, so I'm sure I was questioning my mom as to who was on the phone, when she would be coming over and what she was bringing, in that order. I no doubt had my nose pressed up against the front window of our house in anticipation too.

"Mom! . . . She's here!" I would have said.

Now generally when someone says they are bringing something over, you kind of expect them to get out of their vehicle and come up to the door. Not this time. She just sat there in her pick-up at the front of our house.

After a couple of minutes mom came to the window to have a look. Carol was still sitting there just as she had from the moment she arrived. After another minute passed we decided to go out to make sure she was alright.

Carol was sitting in the drivers seat with a rather disgusted look on her face.

Through the open passenger side window, mom asked, "What's the matter?"

"Open the door and you'll see." was her reply.

So with me by her side, mom opened the door and there on the floorboard of her pick-up lay an upside down cherry pie! She told us that a little old lady (probably not an exact quote) had pulled out right in front of her at about two miles an hour causing Carol to hit the breaks . . . hard. She watched in slow motion as the beautiful pie that she had just finished making slid off the seat next to her and did a perfect 180 degree flip, landing with a splat on the rubber floorboard.

Not missing a beat, I darted into the house only to return with a couple of forks in hand. I was not going to let this unfortunate mishap keep me from enjoying a home made cherry pie! We all carefully, had a few bites and a lot of laughs that afternoon. I tell you, I have never enjoyed a pie more in my life.

From that day on that would become known as floorboard pie.


Sandee (Comedy +) said...

What a great story Jeff. I think I'd be right there with a fork too. Very well written as always. Have a great evening. :)

jennifer said...

Weren't you a smart kid! I would have eaten it too! My mom tried to make fudge for my brother and his friends and it didn't set. she grabbed spoons and handed out fudge-goo! They loved it.

I hope you have a great day tomorrow.


katherine. said...

what a great memory....and a great story.

there were many friends of my parents who played a role in my childhood....I try to remember that with my kids' friends....

do you guys have the recipie?

Jeff B said...

Sandee- Every time I see Comstock cherries in the super market I think about this story.

Jennifer- Through a kids eyes these can be great treats.

Katherine- Strangely enough we don't have it. Carol may have shredded it after that day!

Anonymous said...

What a great memory, Jeff. Thanks for writing the story. I can't remember what went into that pie, but I sure do remember the look on Carol's face and how you turned a disaster into something really funny when we saw you come running out of the house with the forks. I'm going to look through my recipies tomorrow and if I can find the one for "Floorboard Pie," I'll forward it to you so you can post it.


Ron said...

Hey, Jeff...what a FABULOUS little warm story!!!!

You truly have a beautiful way with words, buddy.

You always paint the perfect picture.

You have a "gift" and thank you for sharing it!

Jules~ said...

That is such a great story to have and share over and over again. Thank you for sharing it.

Matt-Man said...

Ha...Good story Jeff.

but as I walked into their home it was like putting on my favorite pair of jeans.

Great line. Cheers!!

Dana said...

My aunt Vicki and uncle Dick are your Carol and Fred equivelent, and in fact we have a similar pie (chocolate cream) story that involved a dog chasing a cat on to the counter resulting in tile pie.

buffalodickdy said...

Floor board pie! Funny stuff! I learned a long time ago to put food on the floor of the car before you even move the car! I've even used duct tape...

Doc said...

Upsidedown Cherry pie is highly underrated ;-)

CrystalChick said...

Aunt Anna and Uncle Tom.... she always made dessert for him! And when we visited I remember playing the game 'Sorry' and 'hide and seek' and raiding her licorice dish. Strangely enough, that dish must have at one time been filled with little chocolate type laxatives, I have NO idea why, but I remember my father telling a story of how he helped himself to a few when he was younger and well... you know.
Gee, the things we remember. LOL

For cherry pie that good, of course you would eat it off the floor!! Good story.

nitebyrd said...

Lovely story! You were a smart boy, I'd never let a cherry pie go to waste either.

the teach said...

What a nice story about Your Mom's friend! I bet she loves you too! Happy holiday weekend! "D

Sherry said...

What a great story... and memory.

I think a firm handshake is one of the best things people can do to show what kind of person they are, just like him!

San said...

Fabulous story, Jeff. Your descriptions of Fred and Carol. And eating the floorboard pie. It reminds me of an experience when I was younger and went to a luncheon for ladies. The hostess had totally screwed up an elegant dessert that involved rolling cream and this delicious chocolate filling into a chocolate cake. It came out all smushed and stuck to her kitchen counter. When she described the mishap, we all descended on her kitchen, prying it off the counters with our fingers and popping it in our mouths. Yes, lots of wine had been served.

I am going to add you to my blogroll, so it'll be easier to keep up with you. I enjoy your blog.

Jeff B said...

Mom- That would be a great recipe to find. I really enjoyed going over to their house and getting to alke with both of them again.

Ron- Good times my friend.

Jules- My boys had never heard this story before, so it was neat to share another memory from my childhood with themm too.

Matt- Pardon the pun, but it just seemed to fit.

Dana- Maybe you'll share the whole story with us some day?

Buffalo- I'm pretty sure Carol never trasnported anything on the seat again either!

Doc- I dare you to find one book that tells you to flop the pie over after baking.

Crystalchick- Poor Uncle Tom...Bwahahha

Nitebyrd- Having two older brothers, I think it was my survival instinct kicking in.

Teach- Truly a priceless friendship!

Sherry- That is something my dad taught me as well.

Jeff B said...

San- I'll bet that was a sight to behold. It's funny how some of these miscues in life turn out to be some of our fondest memories.

Thanks for the addition. I did the same.

Bond said...

terrific story jeff...I was right there, fork in hand.

As I mentioned recently, many of my parent friends all moved to LI at around the same time we did and we had like 6 of 10 homes in a row filled with "family"...they were 'uncle' al and 'aunt' get the idea...

Why, when things fall, do they always fall best side down? a slice of pizza, a great cherry pie...

Travis said...

Terrific story. Your descriptions of the two people made me see who they were and more to the point, what they meant to your life.

Jeni said...

Over the years I've spent cooking and baking stuff, I've had my share of disasters and such. Even one involving pie that went flop in the car! I had made 3 or 4 peanut butter peanut butter cream pies with graham cracker crusts to give to our church women's bazaar, along with some pumpkin rolls and when I got out to the church and opened the door to get the pies out, they slid -landing upside downon the pavement beside the car! Not all of 'em -but I lost at least two that way that day! Needless to say, I was not a happy camper.

Odat said...

That picture is great...looks like they're up to no good!! lol.
Great story...I love cherry pie..i would have done what you did too!!

Mel said...

Ah yes---those comfy old jeans kinda folks are keepers.

Reminds me that I need to go visiting.......soon!

I'll look forward to the recipe---and promptly hand it over to himself....LOL

Desert Songbird said...

Hand me a fork, would ya?

Jeff B said...

Bond- More kids could benefit from having the adults in their lives like you and I had.

Travis- Everyone should be fortunate to have someone like them in thier life.

Jeni- Peanutbutter Pavement least you got a good illeration out of the deal.

Odat- Most of the time they are together it "up to no good".

Mel- Friends should be visited often. It's easy for us to get busy with life in general, but it's important to take the time to reminisce.

Songbird- You'd have loved it!

Kerri said...

What special people and what a wonderful story!