A LIFE MORE ORDINARY - Parodies And Epiphanies-Kraut And Cookies

(01/08/2004)

By Gaylen Duskey

realfang@citlink.net

A few days back Bob Weaver, the editor of the Hur Herald, came by our house and did a real nice story/pictorial on our Chistmas decorations and the way we feel about the holidays.

It was pretty accurate – although I think Linda made more like 100 pounds of candy instead of the 40 Bob guessed – and we appreciated it very much.

But when you do Christmas like we do Christmas there is a downside – taking things down before the end of the 12 Days of Christmas, which, according to our religion, is Jan. 6. There were the 10 trees. The two-table Christmas village. The lights along the top of the porch and the lights on the trees and bushes in the front yard. And, of course, there is the tough, tough job of finding room in the storage building and carrying the boxes and boxes and boxes out to it. I did the carrying part and a fair amount of the actual taking down of the trees.

I was, still am actually, very tired.

And I was all set to do a parody of the song 12 Days of Christmas.

It was going to go something like this:

"Five hernias; four sore backs; three unknown aches; too many orders and a big time "honey do" boss…"

It was going to be funny but then I did an Internet search for the lyrics to the 12 Days of Christmas. When I read the meaning of the song, I realized it was not a thing of parody although I must admit I still get a chuckle out of certain parodies such as the one written by the late Jim Comstock about the Kennedy (JFK) 12 Days of Christmas.

According to many web sites, these are the 12 Days of Christmas:

1.A partridge in a pear tree is The One true God revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.

2.Two turtledoves are The Old and New Testaments.

3.Three French hens are Faith, Hope and Charity.

4.Four calling birds are the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists.

5.Five golden rings are the first Five Books of the Old Testament.

6.Six geese a-laying are the six days of creation.

7.Seven swans a-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments of the Catholic faith.

8.Eight maids a-milking are the eight beatitudes.

9.Nine ladies dancing are the nine Fruits of the Spirit.

10.Ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.

11.Eleven pipers piping are the eleven faithful apostles.

12.Twelve drummers Drumming are the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

Those are not the things of parody.

But it was the thing of a mini-epiphany in that I finally saw the light.

The same thing happened on a few other things.

Such as the way my grandmother, the late Madge Burns, ate kraut. She quite often put sugar on it.

I never put two-and-two together and realized that my grandmother’s maiden name was Penninger – a very German name – and that was the reason for sugar on the kraut.

But at an Oktoberfest a few years ago I tasted some German kraut. It was sweet. The sugar on the kraut was just the Germanic background of her family handed down.

Another, and much more recent, mini-epiphany came a few weeks ago when I was talking with my mother about "Aunt Ann." Aunt Ann was Ann Burns, the wife of William Burns. As a child I often visited at the home of Lenore Beall with who Aunt Ann stayed. Since Lenore was my aunt and Aunt Ann was her mother she was always Aunt Ann to me.

I was talking to my mom saying "Aunt Ann" this and "Aunt Ann" that when she asked, "why do you call her that?"

I told her about being Lenore’s mom and Lenore being my aunt … That’s when she reminded me that Lenore and my grandfather, Howard Burns, were brother and sister and that "Aunt Ann" was actually my great grandmother.

Whoa! A real mini-epiphany if I ever heard one.

There will be more epiphanies in my life. As a matter of fact I expect one about Friday. That’s the day my wife told me I was going to sell Girl Scout cookies for Elizabeth. I am sure I will learn something on the streets of Grantsville peddling Does-Se-Does, Samoas and Thin Mints.


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