The first neighborhood I can remember living in as a child was home to what theTownsfolk called the low rentals. It was government built housing for lower income families and we had one of the lowluxe four bedroom models that came with its own refrigerator and stove.
Let it be known that we weren’t so poor that we didn’t have a little something to call our own. We arrived in this situation with our very own fridge. Imagine the lofty distinction of being the only family on the block with two fridges. It made sense until you did the math and realized we could barely keep one of them in food. And so, the downstairs fridge generally sat idle but willing.
My mother was a busy woman being a mother of nine but this did not stop or slow down her active involvement with various Church activities. Her most mysterious affiliation was with the Catholic Women’s League. The only thing we kids knew about the CWL was what she always said when asked what they actually did. Without fail, she would exclaim it’s a national organization! as if that explained everything.
From time to time, the CWL would have a bake sale, presumably by national decree, and my mother would launch into action convening a committee and calling people to find out what they would bake or contribute. She herself was always at the ready with a pan of Queen Elizabeth squares when called upon.
The husband of one of the members of my mother's coven worked at a grocery store and decided to donate a dozen bags of doughnuts, the kind that were sold in a bag with a little cellophane window on the front. As the bake sale was a week away, mom called the auxiliary fridge into action and the bags fit nicely into the usually lonely freezer.
My brother decided that having so much treasure close by was too great a temptation and he hatched a plan. He took a doughnut thinking it might not be noticed. Because one doughnut is widely known to never be enough, he decided he’d take another but this time he took it from the next bag. As the week wore on, he progressed bag by bag until he’d eaten a full dozen. He was full, of doughnuts and himself.
My mother somehow became aware of my brother’s crime against church and committee and he was soundly thrashed for his sins. She repopulated the missing spot in each bag with a doughnut from the final bag and paid for those who were lost in action.
To this day I’m convinced that his nefarious plan would never have been discovered if the CWL hadn’t been a national organization. National organizations have resources. Don't mess with Jesus' ladies.
2 days ago