Last night Sue McGleno didn't feel good.
Her body was sick, and her mind was filled with sadness.
So on my way home from the gym, I stopped off at Walgreen's a made a couple of purchases.
#1 was pink / bunny rabbit slippers. They were identical to the ones that - that one kid was forced to wear in that Christmas movie. The one that they play on TBS every year for 24 consecutive hours.
What's it called? The movie where the kid shoots his eye out with the "Red Rider" B.B. gun.
Slippers like that.
Then I bought light up lawn ornaments.
Sue McGleno is a sucker for tacky light up stuff, in another life I'm sure she was a raccoon and I'll bet she pilfered silver jewelry and gum wrappers.
The only problem was we never had an outdoor outlet.
But that didn't stop Sue McGleno.
Our mailbox is basically a hole in the wall of our house, and the postal carrier just dumps our bills through said hole.
Well Sue McGleno strung 10 000 feet of extension chords through this hole, causing arctic winds to swirl through my living room.
Merry Christmas Danny Klecko.......
She didn't care, as long as Joesph and Mary were illuminated.
Finally I called "Tat Bro". He used to work with me in the bakery for years as a dough mixer. Tat was the king, but eventually the Feds caught him moving crank and fire arms.
Tat Bro got sent away to the joint were he took up electrical.
After serving 5 hard years, he got out, came home, and the first thing I did was have him put an outlet on the outside of my house for Sue McGleno.
BTW....in case you are wondering, this years ornament is a family of Cardinals.
Papa, Mama and baby lined up in a neat row.
When I brought these gifts home.....The angels of Christ must have entered our home, because Sue McGleno was healed LOL.
My job is always to be the token "Dick" at our house. Klecko has 1000 rules, and they are committed to memory.
Every chance the "fam" has to reunite, when I'm not there, they mock my controlling nature.
That's OK, cuz deep down I know, they know....that the rules I believe in were put in place to protect my family. To create a sense of safety.
Many fathers understand my plight.
But after Sue McGleno shuffled away with her gifts, I sat in a chair. I sat in silence (which never happens) and thought backwards.
I went 20 years back in time on a winter day when my daughter KiKi was really sick. She had the flu.
I was always the guy who would burn vacation days for trips to the hospital, or illness that kept my kids out indefinably.
By doing this, I never had days acrewed to go anywhere.
Sue McGleno despised me....but safety and health first.
So KiKi was lying on the floor watching boring TV. We were to poor to have cable back then. I noticed she was using an extra blanket, a blanket that didn't belong to anybodys bed.
It was brown, thin, worn and had a couple of cigarette holes in it.
Sue McGleno was at college and KiKi and I were by ourselves.
The day sucked.
I remember I looked in my wallet and I had like 50 dollars. That money was my one week allotment for lunch, cigarette's and merriment.
I looked at KiKi and told her to buck up and be tough, Papi had some errands to run and would be back in around 90 minutes.
With a sick look on her little face, KiKi gave me that "whatever" look and I took off.
In less than an hour, I returned.
I spent almost every single penny I had. I gave it all to K-Mart, and in return they sent me home with..........
A big-fluffy-bright Minnie Mouse comforter. If you wrapped yourself in this, you'd stay warm in an igloo.
In a million years, KiKi never had smiled bigger than at that moment.
I was thrilled that I could get her to have even momentary happiness during her illness.
As she beamed and said........
"Thank you-thank you-thank you"........Big Papi interrupted.
"Shut up kid, that's not even close to the end of your "I am sick" treats"........
Then I produced a plastic New Kids on the Block jumbo mug filled with cherry Slurpee, a VHS tape of Tail Spins and of course.....3 Men and a Baby.
Dude.....the kid was stoked.
Of all flavors in the world, nothing says "I love you kid, get well soon" more than cherry. It might not be a fact, but it should be.
Cherry is soothing, I'll bet that's why NyQuil uses it as their flagship flavor.
I think we watched 3 Men and a Baby like 4 times that day.
This was before internet was wide spread, and I remember KiKi getting all excited and informing me that urban legend stated that their was a scene where the ghost of a dead kid appears momentarily in a brief shot.
I said no way....but sure enough, KiKi found it and it was kind of creepy.
I reverted to logic, and was about to explain stuff about things I know nothing about, like reflections, lenses and lighting, but then when I saw little KiKi wrapped up in her Minnie Mouse blanket, and her pasty white face was finally smiling, I caught myself and shut up.
Funny, at the time it seemed like a non eventful day, but as I think back, having time alone with my daughter....time where she liked me, and the 2 of us just got to share patience until she finally got better.
I'm not kidding you......it was one of the top 10 days in my entire life.
I'd like to take credit for healing the kid, but truth be told........
NOTHING MENDS THE BODY-MIND & SOUL LIKE A CHERRY SLURPEE.
Cherry Fruit Facts:
* The Cherry fruit is known to grow in many areas of the United States. It is noticed that sweet cherries prove to be difficult to grow. Sour cherries are grown towards the east coast.
* Cherries are very easily perishable and they rarely ripen after harvest. Therefore, you need to refrigerate them soon after their purchase. These can remain fresh in the fridge for at least 2 days.
* The German word Kirsch-the cherry liqueur comes from the word karshu. This is the name given to the cherries that were first cultivated in Mesopotamia in 8 BC.
* Cherries are very versatile fruits and can be a part of any meal or dessert. From breakfast to soups and salads, these find their way into any food item easily! Being delicious, these can be frozen and devoured whenever you wish!
* Studies have shown the cherry fruit has plenty of health benefits. They are known to provide pain relief for people who suffer from arthritis. It is said that eating 20 tart cherries in a day can prove to fight inflammation effectively.
* Red cherries are also very high in melatonin. These are known to destroy the toxins that cause diseases. The cherry fruit is also high in antioxidants that help to fight cancer and heart disease.
* The cherry fruits are low in cholesterol, fat and sodium. They are also a very good source of fiber and Vitamin C.
* Since the cherry fruit bruises easily, you need to handle them with care. When buying cherries, look for a bright color and those with a supple exterior. Cherries, which are plump and firm, are very good to taste. If you are looking for good quality cherries, try to go in for cherries with their green stems attached.
* Tart cherries and tart cherry juice are known to reduce the urate levels in the body. These are also known to reduce muscle pain and back pain. The benefits of tart cherries are also found even if they are frozen, in the form of juice or canned. Sweet cherries as well as tart cherries have very high levels of anthocyanins. This is the red pigment in the cherries, which helps to reduce the inflammation.
* Sweet as well as sour cherries can be used for jams. Sour cherries are used more often as an ingredient in pies and are suitable for making souffles, cooked fruit compotes etc.
* Cherries are also known to have a very short fruiting season. It is during the Christmas time, one sees these plants at their peak, especially in Australia. Areas of Northern America see these cherries as the first ones to ripen amongst other trees; therefore the term 'in cherry condition' has been derived which means something new.
* Michigan has around 35,000 acres of tart cherry trees. This place grows almost 75% of the tart cherries, which are produced in the United States. The Traverse City is therefore called the Cherry Capital of the World. The sweet cherries are grown in large numbers in Washington.
* The cherry fruit extract contains antioxidant flavonoids and are used in many tablets and capsules. These capsules are used to support the pH levels of the body.
Klecko's Cherry Cookie Winks
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/4 cup shortening
* 1 cup white sugar
* 2 eggs
* 2 tablespoons milk
* 1 teaspoon almond extract
* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon B - powder
* 1/2 teaspoon B - soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup chopped pecans
* 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
* 1/3 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
* 2 1/2 cups crushed cornflakes cereal
* 10 maraschino cherries, quartered
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.
2. Cream the butter and shortening with the sugar. Blend in the eggs, milk and almond.
3. Sift together the flour, B - powder, B - soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the chopped pecans, chopped dates and 1/3 cup maraschino cherries.
4. Shape teaspoonful sized chunks of dough into balls. Roll each ball in the crushed corn flakes. Place balls on the prepared baking sheets and top each cookie with 1/4 maraschino cherry.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12ish minutes.