My grandpa, Ray Wolfe, was the source of a lot of funny family stories and sayings. There was a lot of good humor on his side of the family. The stories were often first told by his older sister, Ruth, who was a barrel of fun. Even when she was trying to be the responsible big sister, she found fun. [She was left in charge when her much younger brother, Brick (Wilbur), climbed up on top of the outhouse. She discovered him and shouted, “If you don’t come down from there, I’m coming up after you.” He was thrilled! Knowing her, I’m betting she giggled and joined him.]
We Have It Every Day
I would imagine this family story happened in the summertime, when it was hot like it is now. You see, when Grandpa was a child in the early days of the 20th century, no one in his town had air conditioning. Summertime in Kansas could be very, very hot.
Grandpa’s father was a preacher, so they didn’t have a lot of money. They didn’t spend money on things that they didn’t need. One day, the children were told that a very special guest would be joining them for Sunday dinner. It was important to make a good impression.
His folks did a lot of fussing over plans for the meal, and even gathered the ingredients to make ice cream. This was a very big deal. Ice cream was a most unusual treat, but the kids were told to go on that day as if nothing were out of the ordinary.
The important day came. The important guest arrived. The meal was wonderful. At the end of the meal, as the grownups served up the ice cream, the children of the house came waltzing down the stairs singing, “Oh, we have it every day, we have it every day.”
Ever since then, when someone in our family enjoys a very special treat, like ice cream or some other foolish delight, we’re quite likely to sing, “Oh, we have it every day, we have it every day.”
PMIK and FHB
When my mother was serving up the evening meal, she’d let us know whether or not we could expect a second helping. If there was Plenty More In the Kitchen, she’d say “PMIK on the potatoes.” If she was trying to make a little food stretch further, she’d say “FHB”, that is, Family Hold Back.
Holiday meals at our house included a variety of friends and family through the years, but they always included Grandma and Grandpa Wolfe, because they lived in town, as well as Aunt Hayde (Hazel), who was grandma’s sister. Sometimes, as sisters do, my sisters and I disagreed about something. Our discussions could get very serious, and eventually Aunt Hayde would start laughing about it. I couldn’t understand it at the time. It seemed strange to me that she laughed when we were mad at each other. Now I think she was laughing with delight, because we reminded her of mealtimes with her own brothers and sisters. She was grateful to be gathered with family.
My dear ones, gather with family often. Don’t worry about impressing anyone, or about saying or doing everything just right. Just gather together. Make memories. Love is everything.