Miss Cool commented on an earlier post, saying that it sounded as if I had everything under control on this visit. I'd have agreed... but not now.
As usual, whenever I cook a meal and it is ready to eat, the phone rings. Since my sister had injured herself and could not cook, I was to do the Christmas dinner at her house in MN, but the weather prevented it. The trip was rescheduled for the New Year, and travel went well. I began the New Year's Day dinner early in the morning, and with several trips to town by various people for items as the menu evolved, by the time the first nephew and wife arrived at 6, we were ready for extra hands to cart dishes to the table.
This time when the phone rang, seven were in mid-bite after meat, potatoes, dressing, two types of cranberry sauce, green bean and almond casserole, sweet potato casserole, and gravy were passed or dipped, depending on how hot/heavy the items were... My sister's husband, as the one in the end chair, had gotten the phone, but the caller had hung up rather than leave a message.
Using caller id, her husband asked if anyone knew a D. H. I didn't think it could possibly be for me, so, I wasn't paying good attention. Finally, I realized that J's phone was a cell phone belonging to his roommate, and that was the name being talked about.
To increase the impact of this call, when I said something must be very wrong to make J. call, my sister had to get her cell phone and have her husband relay the number to her, as the house number I'd left with J. to contact me only accepts long distance on the plan they have -- their two cell phones do the call out minutes.
With everyone watching, I take over the phone. I don't have a poker face.
"What are you doing?" J. asked.
Laughing, I said, "Eating, of course! That's always when the phone rings."
He paused, then said he had called to say he found Patriotic Starburst dead, so he'd hung up quickly and refused to leave that as a cold message delivered by an answering machine!
I was stunned.
"Where? When? How?" I asked tersely.
"He was covered in mud and frozen down by the creek, cause of death unknown and unknowable until thaw."
Nobody at the table could hear J's words -- I could barely hear him. One nephew got up and retrieved a box of kleenex, which was passed down. The one next to me hugged me.
Nothing I'd said let them know what had happened, just the look on my face. Both these boys were frequent visitors on my farm as they were growing up. We hadn't seen each other in a long time, but they were tuned in...
I couldn't eat or think rationally. And to think I'd been worried about overeating...
I was sure glad I had family around to help me deal. Talk about depressed!